Matt used to write the Frugal Traveler column for the New York Times, was editor of BonAppetit.com, and many more publications, and works as freelance digital editorial consultant.
“Restless & hungry. Writing about travel, food, parenting, and culture all over the place.” as he puts it in his Medium byline.
As a journalist and writer, and now with an eye towards documentary video making, Matt has a spicy eater’s and documentarian’s perspective on the chilli.
With experience around the world, including Latin America, Europe, and Asia, his views go a tad deeper than they often do. Witness, in our talk:
“There is no such thing as ‘Thai chillies’… it’s a meaningless term, usually used for what the Thais call ‘mouse-dropping chillies’. ‘Mouse-shit chillies’. … You go to Thailand, and you ask for Thai chillies, they are going to ask you ‘Well, which ones?’ There are about 10 different ones that people use on a regular basis.”Matt Gross
On China/Chongqing… “It’s an always-boiling hotpot. Always the same hot pot, always changing ingredients.”
On trying new foods: “I had this epiphany where I realized that, if I didn’t like a food, it wasn’t the food’s fault, it was my own failing. And that I had to learn how to like what the food was for what it was, and not for what I wanted it to be. And once I realized that, it sort of flipped the switch in my brain and I realized that I could like – and enjoy! – really anything, because the food was what it was supposed to be, and not what I wanted it to be.”
Cogito, ergo Capsicum!