Thursday, May 9, 2019

The 12th Anniversary of the Passionate Foodie!

Pop the Bubbly as it's time to celebrate!

Today, The Passionate Foodie blog celebrates its Twelfth Anniversary, a significant milestone. During all those years, I've seen many other blogs come and go, but I've chosen to continue my writing. With over 4500 posts, I'm very proud of all I've written and have accomplished, and I look forward to continuing to write, continuing to spread my deep passion for food & drink. I love sharing what I learn with all my readers.

During the past 12 years of The Passionate Foodie, I've learned so much about food & drinks, exploring a wide variety of topics, essentially anything I can eat or drink. I never wanted to limit my writing to a specific cuisine, type of drink, or other specialty. I want the freedom to explore whatever perks my interest and I know I'll never run out of subject matter. Every time I learn something new, I realize how much more there is to learn. That is one of my favorite aspects and it helps that I'm a voracious reader and love to research new topics.

My blog has provided me a myriad of wonderful opportunities and experiences, creating a vast storehouse of fantastic memories. I've sampled so much excellent and exciting food and drink, in this country and others. I've gotten to travel to some amazing destinations, including France (Bordeaux and Champagne), Spain (Sherry region), Italy (Tuscany & Collio), Portugal (Douro region) Argentina and Chile. And later this year, I may get the chance to travel to Croatia.

I've judged a number of cooking competitions, including one that ended up on Japanese television. I was honored to be inducted as a Cavaleiro in the Confraria do Vinho do Porto, a Knight in the Brotherhood of Port Wine. I've also become a Certified Spanish Wine Educator, a Wine Location Specialist (Champagne & Port) and a Certified Sake Professional.

I've met so many interesting people, which has enhanced my experiences as I've long said that food and drink when shared is even better. Some of those people have become very close friends, like Adam JapkoAndrew Witter, and so many others too numerous to name, and I think those friendships will last for many years to come. It has been fascinating to meet numerous wine makers, distillers, brewers, wine & liquor store owners, importers, distributors, restaurant owners, chefs, and much more. From each, I've learned something new, which has helped my writing and understanding.

During these twelve years, what began as a hobby transformed into my profession. I'm now a freelance writer, having been published in a number of magazines and newspapers. I'm also a Sake educator and consultant, working for a variety of clients, from restaurants to distributors, conducting Sake classes, tastings, dinners and more. Plus, I work part time at a local wine store, gaining an insight into wine consumers. In addition, I write fiction, and have published three novels and a book of short stories. The fiction is mostly part of the Tipsy Sensei series, about a Sake expert in Boston who learns that the supernatural creatures of Japanese folklore are real. In the near future, I'll be publishing a crime novella. I was also a contributor to a comprehensive whiskey guide, The New Single Malt Whiskey.

It has been my pleasure to try to showcase and promote under-appreciated and/or lesser known wines, spirits and other drinks, such as SakeSherryFranciacorta, Greek Wines, Georgian Wines, Uruguayan Wines, Portuguese WinesMezcal, Baijiu and more. I've championed many of these underdogs, all which are worthy beverages deserving of much more attention by consumers as well as other writers. We all need to expand our palates and seek out the liquid wonders that can be found all around the world.

Out of my over 4500 posts, I have some top favorites, those posts which I am especially proud of for various reasons. At the top, I am proudest of my article, An Expanded History of Sake Brewing in the U.S., which involved lots of research, including searching through old newspaper archives. It presented an intriguing history which surprised numerous people and changed some of their previous beliefs. This article was even used a a major source and inspiration for someone else to recently write an article on this topic in The Japanese Journal For The History of Brewing.

I'm also pleased with a more recent article, An Expanded History of Pechuga Mezcal. With more original research, I was able to locate printed evidence of the existence of Pechuga Mezcal back to 1864, about 70 years older than any previously known evidence. In addition, I found over forty other printed references, from 1872-1945, concerning Pechuga, providing even more information about this intriguing type of Mezcal. This article has also been referenced in a new Mezcal book. I've written a similar historical article about Tequila, The Rise Of Tequila In The 18th & 19th Centuries, which also changes some of the alleged "common knowledge" about Tequila.

I'm proud of so many others as well, from my multi-part histories of PortSherryand Champagne. to The Science of Sake & Food Pairings. I've also been writing some historical articles about various food items, from American Chop Suey to Carrot Cake, which have provided intriguing insights into the origins of these foods. My latest posts concern the History of the Bagel. I also recently started The Mind of a Sommelier interview series which I've found to be fascinating, providing much insight into the vinous decisions of local sommeliers and wine directors.

I believe my writing has improved over all these years but some of my earliest articles still stand the test of time. I hope to continue writing articles that make me proud, articles that my readers find interesting and enlightening.

I owe many thanks to all of my readers, as it is their support and encouragement which has helped motivate me to continue writing year after year. I also owe thanks to my family and friends who have been so supportive for all these years. In addition, I am grateful to everyone in the food and drink community, from chefs to wine makers, who have helped contribute, in a myriad of ways, to my blog. Life is about connections, about the relationships we make, and they all contribute to what we do.

If I didn't thoroughly enjoy what I've been doing, then it would have ended years ago. I find it fulfilling and satisfying, and hope that my passion for food, drink and writing never dims. I look forward to celebrating my 13th anniversary next year, and I hope my readers keep reading me year after year.

It's time to celebrate!

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