What You Need to Know About Sherry, According to an Expert The Rise of Taiwanese Food Chain Din Tai Fung Editors’ Recommendations How Full Harvest and Misfits Market Are Saving Ugly Produce The Best Food Shows on Netflix to Binge Right Now 10 Classic Vodka Cocktail Recipes You Can Mix at Home Adrianna Fie was so fascinated by food that she pursued a master’s degree in food studies from New York University, and when she moved to Madison, Wisconsin, she worked at the Kitchen Gallery, where she learned about all the accessories one can use in one, as a cheese manager at Metcalfe’s Market, and then she took a job at Butchery Underground to learn about meat. A little over two years ago, Fie took a trip to France, visiting several kitchen and food shops. Fie was so amazed by the amount of interesting products she couldn’t find in the United States that she created Flotsam + Fork, an ecommerce site dedicated to making them available outside of Europe. The Manual spoke with Fie about Flotsam + Fork, her travels, and the products Manual readers should scoop up.Why did you feel that there is a need for a website like Flotsam + Fork?I wanted to create Flotsam + Fork as a place for people to find products that are not easy to find in the United States, especially well-made products from companies with great stories or makers that I find inspiring.What are some of your favorite discoveries while traveling?Always the food! I love to visit markets and grocery stores, bakeries, butcher shops, everything!I like to do some research before I go, but my favorite way to discover a place to to walk everywhere and peek into unique local shops– from hardware stores to inspiring design stores like Merci in Paris. As much as I love finding a new product, or beautiful packaging, the most memorable part of trips for me are the meals and market experiences.What are some of the key qualities a product must have to be featured on Flotsam + Fork?I want every Flotsam + Fork product to be well-made, classically and simply designed, and still affordable. Affordable doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the cheapest option, but it will be something that you will want to keep forever.I look for products that are still made in their home country, often by traditionally-minded companies that have made a decision to keep manufacturing locally, rather than outsourcing. It’s important for me to support these companies, and to provide information so that our customers know what they are supporting as well.Are you planning to visit additional countries to look for products? Where and why?I’m actually heading out on a scouting trip this week! We’re headed to the Netherlands, with a day trip detour over into Germany to visit a 200-year-old twine company and several linen weaving factories. I like my scouting trips to be an even mixture of research and random discovery, poking around kitchen shops and hardwares stores. In this case, Northwestern Germany has a long history of linen and textile manufacturing, and the Netherlands, is of course known for pottery, cheesemaking, and the De Stijl design movement.What are some essentials for the homes of Manual readers?My favorite things in the shop are some of the most functional, while still being beautiful. Manual readers should have the best clothespins in the world, this workhorse can opener for home or for picnics, a little sharpening stone for their pocket knife, and a drip-free olive oil can for kitchen or tabletop.For more information, visit flotsamandfork.com.
Rajapaksa arrived in Seoul Monday for a four-day state visit. Under a memorandum of understanding, the money to come from South Korea’s Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) will be used in various agricultural and public work projects as well as education and health-related programs, it said. “The agreement is important because it raises transparency on the amount of money that will be offered, making it easier for Colombo to set up its national development plans,” the ministry said.The EDCF can make it possible for local companies to take part in the ongoing 10-year national infrastructure building plan that runs through 2016, it said.The loans can also strengthen bilateral economic ties with the country that buys South Korean cars, knitted goods and synthetic rubber. Two-way trade between the two countries reached $426 million last year, with South Korea posting a $262 million surplus. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa held a summit in Seoul Tuesday to discuss ways to strengthen economic and other cooperation between the two countries.Meanwhile South Korea said it will provide Sri Lanka US$200 million in development loans that can be used for future infrastructure building by the South Asian country. In the past, Seoul provided development loans to 22 projects worth $460 million, making Sri Lanka the fourth-largest beneficiary of official overseas assistance. (South Korean agencies) During Tuesday’s summit, Lee said Sri Lanka’s economy has grown steadily and its political situation stabilized due to Rajapaksa’s leadership. Lee also thanked Sri Lanka for sending a pair of elephants two years ago as a token of friendship between the two countries. “In particular, more than 20,000 Sri Lankan workers are contributing to the economy of South Korea and they are beloved by South Korean businessmen,” Lee said during the summit, referring to migrant workers from the South Asian nation.Lee said the two countries agreed to expand the Sri Lankan workforce in South Korea. Further details of the agreement were not immediately available.Rajapaksa’s trip to Seoul also includes a forum with business leaders of the two countries and a meeting with leading South Korean trade organizations.South Korea will meanwhile provide Sri Lanka US$200 million in development loans that can be used for future infrastructure building by the South Asian country, the South Korean Finance Ministry said.