Meet Jeanine Donofrio, a food blogger and graphic designer from Austin, Texas. I met Jeanine at Alt Summit back in January, and as soon as I visited her blog, Love & Lemons, that night, I knew I would be a fan. Most of the recipes on her site are vegan and gluten-free, with no sacrifice in flavor or deliciousness – and I can testify of that as I have made several of her recipes already. The photos of her dishes are simple, bright and gorgeous and guaranteed to whet your appetite. Jeanine’s blog has been featured in many major publications such as Bon Appetit, Glamour and Organic Authority. Here’s Kyoto, in her own words.
My Edible City
When my husband Jack came home one night announcing he would be going to Japan on a business trip, I went straight to the computer to buy myself a plane ticket. “Well I’m not not going”, is all I said to him. So I flew to Tokyo and met up with him after the work portion of his trip was done. We spent an additional two weeks in Japan including one full week in Kyoto.
It’s is a magical ancient-yet-modern city. We strolled through awe-inspiring temples and perfectly manicured gardens. I chased down a real life geisha walking down the street in an effort to snap a photo. We had an amazing stay at Hotel Mume, a new design/boutique hotel with the nicest and most helpful staff.
And we ate.
Kyoto loves their food. There are restaurants that are hundreds of years old and vegetables that are so local that they’re simply referred to as “Kyoto Vegetables”. The haute cuisine of Kyoto are the kaiseki restaurants… multi-course, small-plate dining where food is intricately prepared and presented in little hand-painted dishes… each course more beautiful than the last.
My Favorite Dish
Tofu. “Kyoto is to tofu what Naples is to pizza.” is a quote from an article I read in Bon Appetit shortly before our trip which pretty much sums it up.
It’s not the packaged block that most people think of. It’s handmade and crafted into many forms. My favorite was the Goma dofu (sesame tofu) which was rich, creamy and cheese-like (apparently it’s made from sesame paste and not actually soy – but delicious nonetheless). There’s Yuba (tofu skin) which is kind of egg-like. And then there is Yu-dofu – soft tofu that is served in simmering in hot pots on burners that are right on your table. If this sounds all too healthy, then I have four words to leave you with: deep fried tofu doughnuts.
- Kyoto’s Tofu Obsession, an article by Bon Appetit
- Hotel Mume, the boutique hotel where Jeanine and her husband stayed in Kyoto
- More info about Kyoto’s incredible Nishiki Market
- TimeOut Japan’s guide to Kyoto
- Kyoto Foodie, a very thorough website about the city’s cuisine, including restaurant reviews, recipes, ingredient information, and more
Next Week on Edible Cities
Photo credits: All pictures by Love & Lemons.