Alphadesigner Explorer of Details Fri, 14 Apr 2017 21:15:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 31804308 Encore une fois, Atlas of Prejudice 2, in French Sun, 17 May 2015 01:21:11 +0000 Mesdames and messieurs, encore une fois, the Atlas of Prejudice 2 comes out in the language of love, adultery, and posh agriculture!

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Atlas-des-prejuges-2-de-Yanko-Tsvetkov With 35,000 sold copies in less than five months, the first volume of the French edition of the Atlas of Prejudice (Atlas des préjugés) exceeded my wildest expectations. Added to the numbers from the other editions and volumes, the Atlas of Prejudice series reached 70,000 copies sold worldwide!

This leaves me incredibly confused because, being finally super famous, I have difficulties to determine if I should start snorting cocaine immediately or wait until the counter passes 100k?

The French edition climbed to number 6 in the official Top 10 bestseller books list of Amazon France! And this is for all the books available on the site, not a mere genre-dependent subcategory. It was featured on one of the most popular French TV shows, Le Grand Journal, and the way it was welcomed by the French public completely destroyed the old Anglo-Saxon stereotype about how self-absorbed and humorless they can be.

Come to think of it, few of us (who don’t speak the language) were aware the French had such a vibrant satirical tradition until that horrible terrorist act exposed it far and wide. It’s a shame that it took a tragedy to catapult Charlie Hebdo’s comedic brilliance over the Channel. Several days after the attack, I experienced one of the most surreal moments in my life when randomly looking at the TV screens in my gym I spotted a couple of objects that looked familiar during a report about the premiere of the special Charlie Hebdo editions in the bookstores. Right on the counter there was a pile of my Atlas of Prejudice. I felt complemented and embarrassed at the same time. On one side there was the satisfaction about my recognition. On the other, the idea that the book sales may have been boosted by this horrible nightmare felt like a dagger through my heart. Bittersweet doesn’t even come close to describe it.

Making fun of people can be a dangerous job and contrary to common belief, the risks are not necessarily determined by the author. There are hordes of touchy people on this planet who take themselves and their holy ideas far too seriously. This realization was the main theme of the second volume of the book, which was published in France on April 8. You can get it from Amazon France, Fnac, or from your nearest bookstore. French-speaking Canadians can order it through their regional Amazon store. Here’s the official blurb, in the language of Voltaire and Piaf:

Nous n’en avons pas fini avec les stéréotypes nationaux !

Après le formidable succès de l’Atlas des préjugés (tome 1), l’auteur a poursuivi sa chasse aux idées reçues en imaginant 40 nouvelles cartes et infographies qui stigmatisent nos préjugés.

le monde vu par les Vikings ou Christophe Colomb ; les plus grands stéréotypes européens ; l’Europe vue par les conservateurs britanniques ; la carte des plats immangeables…
Comme l’humour est parfois plus efficace que les longs discours, l’auteur a imaginé des cartes satiriques, souvent décalées et toujours drôles sur nos préjugés nationaux.
Un livre à mettre entre toutes les mains.

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Atlas of Prejudice 1 (French Edition) Out Now! Mon, 29 Sep 2014 20:48:30 +0000 Mesdames and messieurs, the Atlas of Prejudice Volume 1 is finally available in the language of love, adultery, and posh agriculture!

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Atlas des préjugés de Yanko Tsvetkov Attention s’il vous plaît! The French edition of Atlas of Prejudice (Vol. 1) is available for preorder on Amazon and will be hitting the bookstores on October 8, 2014!

To say I am pinching myself would be an understatement. After the German, English, Russian, and Spanish editions, my first book is finally available in the language of love, adultery, and posh agriculture!

It’s also the language I always wanted to learn but for some reason never managed to. Like every fluent Anglo-Saxon speaker, I excel at finding excuses to be busy with something else. Maybe this book is a chance for a change. What about you? How good is your French? Pick this up and let’s find out! :)

The book is published by Les Arènes and was and translated by Jean-Loup Chiflet.

Here’s the official blurb, in glorious, seductive French:

Depuis l’Antiquité jusqu’à nos jours, les préjugés ont la vie dure. Pour la première fois, ils sont cartographiés ici. 40 cartes inédites portent un regard satirique et sans concession sur les stéréotypes nationaux, 40 regards croisés où l’on rit aussi bien des autres que de nous, 40 caricatures hilarantes qui nous en apprennent plus que de longs discours. Best-seller en Allemagne, L’Atlas des préjugés est un livre plein d’ironie qui permet de mieux comprendre les cultures nationales.

Yanko Tsvetkov est né en Bulgarie. Il a fait ses études en Allemagne, a travaillé en Grande-Bretagne et vit aujourd’hui en Espagne. C’est un européen de la génération « Erasmus ». Des clichés et des préjugés, il en a entendu des centaines. Cet atlas leur rend hommage.

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Atlas of Prejudice 2 (English Edition) Out NOW! Thu, 20 Feb 2014 03:25:29 +0000 After prolonged labor and a messy Cesarean, I'm happy to announce that I just gave birth to Atlas of Prejudice 2, the sequel to your favorite book.

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Atlas of Prejudice 2 by Yanko Tsvetkov


The success of Atlas of Prejudice Volume 1 surprised even the most optimistic people around me. In less than a year, the book was published in German, English, Russian, and Spanish. Several other foreign language editions are in the works. The combined worldwide sales already reached 20,000. I bought a private jet and a house in California.

Well, the last sentence wasn’t quite true. Probably because I declined a $25,000 offer from an established company that wanted to publish the English version under a different title and with a different cover. I thought the demand was outrageous, and said no. Then I self-published the book with CreateSpace and started promoting it without the marketing backup of an established publisher. Freedom has its cost.

The idea about a sequel came almost immediately after I finished the first volume. However, due to the complications with the English edition, I had to postpone most of the work on it until August 2013. Then, in a scenario similar to the struggle with the first book, I had to break the piggy bank with randomly collected proto-ideas and start matching them together like gigantic puzzle pieces of a Jackson Pollock painting.

About a third of the book was written on my tablet, late at night. I remember once I deleted half a chapter with a simple thumb slide. That’s how I found out that Google Keep doesn’t have an automatic save function. And why should it, the app was never meant for writing books. After this high-tech fiasco, I abandoned the dream of writing the entire book on a touchscreen device and went back to Microsoft Word and the good old laptop.

Volume 1 was a collection of maps with a couple of added essays about stereotypes. Most of those maps were already complete when I started the book. Volume 2, on the other hand, is much more organic. The workflow was reversed: I started with the text and drew the new maps only after I finished writing each chapter. I consider Atlas of Prejudice 2 my first real book, in the classic sense of the word. I hope the readers will be able to sense that.

This time around, there’s much more to read. I wanted the book to have a backbone, an idea that runs almost continuously through it, like a baseline of a song. I found inspiration for it examining the generational gap between me and my grandmother. The book opens with a description of the world according to her and ends with a map according to a Facebook user. Even though I am in my late thirties and I’m not a huge fan of that particular social network, I consider myself part of the generation it defines. The self-obsessed teens shouting for attention on various social networks are not very different from what I was at their age. Whatever nuances may separate us, they all fade away when compared to the enormous gap between 2014 and 1932, when my grandmother was born.

The process of growing up and adapting to a new world is often examined in between those chapters. The first voyage of Columbus spelled the end of European puberty. It led to the worst excesses of post-adolescent Spain, an empire that behaved like a 18-year-old college boy, loaded with cash and lack of responsibility. Further to the East, the Pope and the Ottoman sultan competed who will wear the biggest tiara. The Vikings to the North, already Christianized, continued to hunt for narwhals in the Arctic, selling the tusks of those animals as unicorn horns to the ignorant people from the south.

During the promotion of Volume 1 an Austrian journalist assumed my prediction about the end of the European Union was something serious. Volume 2 contains a chapter dedicated to modern Europe and its chances for survival. Of course, Brussels was the last place I turned for inspiration. Kraftwerk’s Trans-Europa Express did a much better job. What is lacking in today’s Europe is something as inspired as this album. Something that transcends the political and economic bullshit of the day. Because, as Alain de Botton recently mentioned in his article about the contemporary addiction to breaking news, “we badly need people whose attention is not caught up in the trends of the moment and who are not looking in the same direction as everyone else”. We need more idealism. Not the naive, distracted kind; we have plenty of it on Facebook, Twitter, or any other place where slacktivism reigns supreme. We need the kind of idealism that is informed and able to reach beyond the day after tomorrow.

But most of all, we need to learn how to laugh at ourselves, and to give up the habit of frowning all the time. Atlas of Prejudice 2 is about that.

The English version of the book is already available on Amazon and it will soon appear on other online retailers. The German version will come out next month, on March 20, and can be preordered here. More information about other stores is available on the official site of the book. A preview of the content is available on Google Books.

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The Atlas of Prejudice, Finally in Russian! Thu, 26 Sep 2013 23:59:59 +0000 As a gay author, I can't begin to express how lucky I feel to have a book about prejudices published in Russia. Let's hope it stays that way.

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I have to admit that the first time I heard someone from Russia was interested in my book I thought it was a joke. And this uncertainty never really left me until I saw my title appear in the online catalog of the publisher at the beginning of this month.

Bulgarians have a love/hate relationship with Russia. On one side there is the enormous admiration for Russian culture, the linguistic and geographical proximity, the common history. On the other side we have communism, repression, hegemony and… even more common history. People usually discard one at the expense of the other. I can’t. I feel equally fascinated and intimidated.

I remember a journalist from the Izvestiya newspaper calling me in London, days after The Telegraph featured my Mapping Stereotypes project. During the interview she asked me what was my opinion about Russia. This is what I said:

I love Russian culture. When I was a kid I was extremely influenced by Russian literature, in particular the fairy tales of Kashchey the Deathless.

Because, you know, Dostoevsky is so last week. And then of course I had to make things even more awkward, admitting that I am in love with Stalinist architecture.

Of course I shouldn’t feel embarrassed to say what I think and I was completely honest. Kashchey (along with Baba Yaga) was one of the most impressive characters from my childhood and I really find buildings like Hotel Ukraina absolutely poetic.

However, where I’m coming from, none of these things are appreciated for what they really are. There are always a couple of layers of extra meaning. My friends who had lost family members during communism detest them, they project their loss on every symbol from the communist past, from the bubble gum packaging to the space rockets. My other friends who are still dwelling in the past with its Utopian promises are using them as counterarguments for everything they don’t like about the present.

I feel caught in the middle because for me a building, a mythological character, or even the whole bibliography of a literary genius, don’t come packaged with an ideology that I have to accept or reject, regardless of the cost. There’s something incredibly sad about seeing things in black and white, in mixing politics with culture, and banalities with symbols that survived the test of time. It’s true that no artwork is created in a vacuum but dismissing its beauty because of it is just pathetic.

This year for the first time since the beginning of the 90’s I felt the unsettling spirit of the Cold War creeping back on the political scene. Perhaps it is the Syrian crisis, perhaps it’s just historical inertia but the propaganda machines seem back on track in full swing. On one side, American media delights in discussing Russia’s human rights record, conveniently marginalizing US atrocities like Guantanamo and the NSA scandals. On the other, Russian media excels in regurgitating stories about Bradley Manning, skipping the outrageous fact that the country put a dead whistleblower on trial.

And then there are the anti-gay laws in Russia, one of the most shameful things that had happened to this country in the 21st Century. Of course people like John McCain, the anti-equality Arizona conservative, were quick to criticize the Russian politicians because they “codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn“.

Things like these make me angry. Because they force me to do one thing that I really hate – talk publicly about my sexuality. I’ve never paraded the fact that I’m gay but I feel disgusted by the people who voted for these laws, by their supporters and by the hypocrisy of bigots like McCain who try to hijack the conversation about my own rights just to suit their simple-minded political bullshit peppered with the worst cliches of American exceptionalism.

Do people really have to take this shit? From both sides? What if we just stand up and leave the room while those idiots are talking? I know how idealistic this sounds. I know it may not even be possible. But a gay man can dream.

So here’s the thing. The Atlas of Prejudice debuted in German, then got published in English this summer (so bigots like McCain can read it). And now it’s available in good old Russia so those opportunistic homophobes around Putin can take a look as well.

Job done. I’m off partying!


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Democracy, Tyranny, and Art Fri, 20 Sep 2013 20:30:52 +0000 The direct correlation between artistic and political freedom is a noble rule but there are far too may historical exceptions for it. Here's one of them.

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The Battle of Anghiari

How political and artistic freedom don’t always overlap

While shooting the movie The Third Man, Orson Welles, who played the main character, decided to improvise with the dialog and added the following rant to the script:

In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, they had 500 years of democracy and peace — and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

It’s an interesting thought but it definitely doesn’t do justice to the Swiss.

To begin with, the first known cuckoo clock was actually a possession of August von Sachsen, who, like many other provincial German rulers during the Renaissance, had a penchant for sophisticated eccentricities.

The most significant Swiss invention to date is a set of fonts, which is more ubiquitous than Coca Cola. This set was created by Swiss typographer Max Miedinger in 1957 and was named Helvetica, after the Latin name of his homeland.

Today, Helvetica is the de facto standard in modern graphic design, spurred by the rise of the International Typographic Style. Like most things that claim universal appeal, it is bland, neutral, faceless, inexpressive and unemotional.

This is exactly why it’s so invisibly omnipresent. Helvetica is the default font on your iPhone. It’s used in logotypes for countless popular brands like Lufthansa, McDonald’s, Gap, Orange, Motorola, Panasonic, American Apparel, BMW, Target, J.C. Penney, Kawasaki, Zanussi… Even Arial, the font family that secretaries around the world have come to love and cherish, is a Helvetica rip off, Microsoft-style.

This ubiquitous typeface and the design philosophy that underlines it have a cult following which, in its attempt to purify modern design from any unnecessary detail, has reached a level of fanaticism that could make any suicide bomber blush.

If there is a dark side to democracy, as Orson Welles implied, it must be that sometimes, in a very ironical way, the cultures that thrive under it may develop striking limitations in their blind pursuit of compromise. By contrast, societies which are run by despotic and undemocratic principles may spark unparalleled freedom of thought.

Illustration: Peter Paul Rubens’s copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Battle of Anghiari. Allegedly from left to right: Francesco Piccinino, Niccolò Piccinino, Ludovico Trevisan, and Giovanni Antonio del Balzo Orsini.

This article was first published on Medium on August 16, 2013.

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Atlas of Prejudice 2 Coming Soon Sun, 08 Sep 2013 19:22:11 +0000 After all the success it's time for a sequel. The next volume of the Atlas of Prejudice book is coming in February 2014 and I just finished its cover.

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Atlas der Vorurteile 2 von Yanko Tsvetkov

After selling more than 10 000 copies in Germany in only 6 months and subsequently appearing in English and Russian, the Atlas of Prejudice is ready for a sequel.

In fact I have been preparing it ever since I finished the first book because 80 pages weren’t enough to collect all the ideas I had. The format was already predetermined, so I couldn’t go above it. This is one of the limitations of working with publishers. In my case it was the only one because my publisher in Germany, Knesebeck Verlag, gave me absolute freedom about every aspect of the book, front to back.

It’s easy to forget how much trust such a decision requires, especially with new authors who haven’t proven themselves commercially. Appreciating creativity is one thing but betting a significant part of the budget of your company on it is much more complicated. I am very thankful about that.

Now that we have not only creative ideas but also a solid financial success behind us, Knesebeck Verlag and I are going to continue our collaboration on the next version of the book, the Atlas of Prejudice 2. It’s scheduled to appear in February 2014 on the German market and it will expand the project beyond national stereotypes. The cover, which I just finished, may give you an idea about the new direction. The rest is contained in the draft annotation that describes the project at its current stage:

It’s easy to forget that each and every one of us is culturally biased. A real explorer is able to recognize this psychological flaw and steer clear of it when he gets in touch with a different culture. For the truly adventurous, the world is not a tourist destination but a stage, a platform on which nothing is certain and everything changes all the time.

People who are able to rise above their own cultural limitations often appear as weird. But this weirdness is often projected upon them by the limitations of our own minds we like to describe as “normal”.

In order to truly explore human nature we have to burst the cocoon of cultural preconceptions in which we so eagerly wrap ourselves. We have to overcome the fear of losing our own identity in the process. We have to reject the idea that we are simply products of our societies and rediscover our true roots that run much deeper than any social, cultural, or political accidents.

This book is for those of us who have both the courage and the sense of humor to recognize that.

Stay tuned.

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Atlas of Prejudice: The European Age of Incest Tue, 20 Aug 2013 15:47:01 +0000 The good old days of absolute morals and unshakable abstract values are long gone but it doesn't hurt to remind ourselves about them once in a while.

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Get the Atlas of Prejudice on Amazon US | UK | Germany | France | Italy | Spain


The short essay The European Age of Incest and the map Europe According to Charles V (1555) are taken from the first volume of the Atlas of Prejudice by Yanko Tsvetkov. The book was first published on the German market in 2013 where it became an instant hit selling more than 10 000 copies. The English version of the book was published worldwide on August 11 and is currently available on Amazon.

There weren’t any iPhones in the Middle Ages and nobody today assumes the opposite. Even though we are aware of the immense technological gap between our time and the medieval period, there are some political differences which aren’t so easy to spot. One of the most significant is that the term nation didn’t actually exist. The concept of a national state emerged during the 17th Century, after the Thirty Years’ War.

In 16th Century Europe, states covered the territories owned by the aristocracy associated with a particular crown. Whole regions switched ownership as frequently as Imelda Marcos switched shoes. Royal marriages were political acts through which empires were consolidated or partitioned. Unwilling to share power with strangers, ruling aristocrats started to marry their close relatives, which along with the benefits, brought many genetic disorders.

One of the most powerful monarchs Europe had ever seen, Charles V, by the grace of God, Holy Roman Emperor, forever August, King of Germany, King of Italy, King of all Spains, of Castile, Aragon, León, Navarra, Grenada, Toledo, Valencia, Galicia, Majorca, Sevilla, Cordova, Murcia, Jaén, Algarves, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, King of Two Sicilies, of Sardinia, Corsica, King of Jerusalem, King of the Western and Eastern Indies, Lord of the Islands and Main Ocean Sea, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Lorraine, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Limburg, Luxembourg, Gelderland, Neopatria, Württemberg, Landgrave of Alsace, Prince of Swabia, Asturia and Catalonia, Count of Flanders, Habsburg, Tyrol, Gorizia, Barcelona, Artois, Burgundy Palatine, Hainaut, Holland, Seeland, Ferrette, Kyburg, Namur, Roussillon, Cerdagne, Drenthe, Zutphen, Margrave of the Holy Roman Empire, Burgau, Oristano and Gociano, Lord of Frisia, the Wendish March, Pordenone, Biscay, Molin, Salins, Tripoli and Mechelen, was a product of centuries of exquisite royal incest.

As a consequence, he suffered from severe case of mandibular prognathism, a genetic disorder which develops an abnormally extended chin, a condition that colloquially carries the name of his dynasty—Habsburg jaw.

He was unable to chew his food properly, suffered from indigestion and usually ate alone. Logically, the abundance of such genetic defects also meant abundance of power, wealth and land.

There is a famous quote attributed to him: “I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse.”

Apart from letting us know that in the early 1500s horses were fluent in German, those words are a testament to His Majesty’s cosmopolitan spirit.

Being the undisputed ruler of Spain, Charles V had direct access to the immense resources of the Spanish colonies in America. Centuries ahead of his time in terms of fiscal innovation, he borrowed heavily from Genovese bankers, using the loans to finance wars and chase the French out of Northern Italy. On their way home, they famously brought with them Leonardo da Vinci who was seduced by Francois I, the king of France himself.

That’s one of the reasons the Mona Lisa is now in the Louvre but don’t blame Charles V about it. Nobody could have foreseen that a common portrait of a woman with questionable beauty could one day become the most famous painting in the world.

Francois I was the arch-enemy of Charles V. Un­­able to forget the Italian loss, the French king resorted to extreme measures. He allied himself with the only man who could rival the power of Charles V: Suleiman the Magnificent, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

For the first time in history a Christian kingdom entered into a political alliance with a Muslim power. Suleiman twice laid siege on Vienna, wreaking havoc among the Catholic world. When he retreated, probably out of negligence, he forgot several bags of coffee and a basket of croissants. The Austrians found them irresistible and stole the recipe, which was in turn stolen from them by the French, who today consider it part of their cultural heritage.

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Atlas of Prejudice (English Edition) Out NOW! Mon, 12 Aug 2013 19:59:33 +0000 The English Atlas of Prejudice is finally out! A hilarious mix of stereotype maps and essays about bigotry, it will make you pee your pants with gusto.

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Atlas of Prejudice by Yanko Tsvetkov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. The Atlas of Prejudice, also known as the book which was written in English but was first published in Germany, is a continuation of the highly successful Mapping Stereotypes project by visual artist Yanko Tsvetkov. Started in January 2009, the project soon became a viral online sensation. It even received Twitter’s equivalent of an Academy Award:

Two years after, the Guardian newspaper summed up its qualities with the grammatically correct sentence: “No matter where you’re from, you should be able to find something here to offend you.”

The project was gradually expanded to contain more than 40 stereotype maps, which the author describes as cartographic caricatures ridiculing the worst excesses of human bigotry and narrow-mindedness. (I’m speaking in 3rd person to make myself look important.) The essays that accompany them narrate the story of the project and contemplate humanity’s affair with prejudice since the dawn of civilization. They offer an even deeper but equally hilarious perspective on our inherent tendency to randomly blame people simply because someone convinced us that they ate our breakfast.

According to this book, the first domesticated animal was not the dog, but the scapegoat. The razor-sharp irony of the author will guide you through the delusions of the ancient civilizations of Greece and China, reveal the stupefying amalgam of superstition and paranoia of the Middle Ages and it will leave you begging for more with a grotesquely hilarious prediction about the future of Europe.

You can get the book on If you live across the Ocean, there’s Amazon UK.

Update: The Russian edition of the book, Атлас стереотипов и предрассудков, was published by Alpina Non Fiction in September 2013. The second volume of the Atlas of Prejudice is scheduled for publication in Germany next year by Knesebeck Verlag.

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Gazpacho Recipe According to Americans Tue, 23 Jul 2013 23:27:46 +0000 The authentic recipe for Andalusian gazpacho as understood and implemented by US Americans. Part of my series Gazpacho Recipes from all over the World.

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Gazpacho Recipes from all over the World

What It’s All About

Gazpacho is a cold summer soup coming from Spain, the ancient homeland of all Hispanic people, which nowadays is ruled by Europe.

Enjoying this raw and sometimes overwhelming mix of fresh ingredients is an acquired taste, so this recipe is for those of you who would describe themselves as culinary adventurous.

Things You Should Know Before You Start

It’s always a good idea to take precautions when you deal with fresh ingredients. As live products who haven’t undergone thermal or chemical treatment, they are potential carriers of harmful bacteria and viruses.

Remember to always buy your products form a trusted grocery shop. In case of doubt, ask your local grocery shop assistant about the sanitary procedures. Never touch fresh fruits or vegetables with your hands! Bacteria is sticky, especially in a moist environment. Because most of the essential gazpacho ingredients like tomatoes and cucumbers consist primarily of water, which means an extremely high level of moisture, you should handle them with extra caution.

Another potential danger may come during transportation. In hot climates, and I assume you would want to consume gazpacho in summer, fresh vegetables rot easily. The process actually starts immediately after the tomato is removed from the plant. If handled improperly and kept in non refrigerated storage spaces, the amount of bacteria increases by the hour. The seeds inside the vegetable have been known to germinate when the temperature is too high, so perhaps it would be a good idea to bring a cooler with you and keep the ingredients inside it until you come back home.

Once you get to the safety of your kitchen, you can carefully unpack everything directly under running water, so you can prevent potential contamination of your utensils. After a good rinse, put the ingredients on a large plate and gently rub them once or twice with a kitchen paper soaked in antibacterial soap. Rinse again and let them stay in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the gazpacho.

Ingredients and Equipment

Here’s the actual list of ingredients according to Andalusian tradition. As it’s always the case with ethnic food, some things will be impossible to find. For example Europeans consume stale bread, which is a habit they inherited from ancient times. For some reason they still insist on doing it (A pinch of history: they even beheaded Marie Antoinette because she wanted to replace their stale bread rations with cake). Another difficult thing to find may be Andalusian onions.

1/2 lb. tomatoes
1/4 lb. Vidalia onion
1/4 lb. cucumber
1/4 lb. green bell pepper
1/4 lb. red bell pepper
3 table spoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 ounces of Doritos

To process the ingredients, you will need the following appliances and utensils:

1 Vitamax High Performance Turbo Instablender
1 Avalon Advance Multifiber Ultrastrainer
1 Slice’n’Dice knife
1 Black Hole Jumbo Superpitcher
1 Grab’n’Dump spoon
1 ZeepLock plastic bag

If you don’t have the exact same stuff at home you can use alternatives. As always, I would advice caution. You know the rule: if it ain’t branded, it’s probably Chinese.


Now that you have everything you need, let’s start the preparation process. Cut the tomatoes in large pieces, while carefully removing the stems and scooping out the seeds. You don’t want one of those stuck between your teeth because they may cause excess plaque, caries an abscess or even cancer. Do the same with the bell peppers. Slice the onion and the cucumber in small cubes. Add everything into the Vitamax High Performance Turbo Instablender.

Take the Doritos, place them in a plastic ZeepLock bag and crush them emphatically. Carefully add the golden Doritos powder to the Vitamax High Performance Turbo Instablender. Finally, pour in the olive oil and the vinegar. Start the Vitamax High Performance Turbo Instablender at low speed, then gradually increase and let it blend until the mixture becomes silky smooth.

Start pouring the gazpacho in the pitcher through the Avalon Advance Multifiber Ultrastrainer. Periodically remove the accumulating sediment. When done, drop several ice cubes and add salt according to your taste. Enjoy your gazpacho fresh. Never let it sit for more than an hour because it may accumulate bacteria. Do keep in mind that, if left unattended, the vitamins in the mixture will self destruct in about 30 minutes. Leftovers can be kept in a freezer for up to a week.

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Europe According to Luxembourg Wed, 17 Jul 2013 02:59:12 +0000 Before Der Spiegel asked me to make a map according to Luxembourg, I only knew it used to look like an amoeba until its neighbors trimmed its borders.

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When the editors from the German magazine Der Spiegel asked me if I would agree to make a map according to Luxembourg, I had a lot of doubts because I didn’t know enough jokes about the tiny country, except the fact that once its territory resembled the shape of an angry amoeba. Those people really lucked out when Germany, Belgium and France clipped their borders. Now the country looks neat and tidy.

The Spiegel team had a Luxembourgian colleague who was kind enough to share many useful suggestions and after several days of additional research and googling for weird facts, I got it all on paper. I spared some truths though. Did you know Morrissey wrote a song about a “buck-toothed” girl form Luxembourg who spends her summer all alone in her house? Sexy, no? This is why all countries should have a sea shore!

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