Thoughts from a Nontraditional Macedonian

Why Nontraditional? A personal narrative.

Why "Nontraditional Macedonian?" Firstly there is the creative license that the name implies, allowing me the freedom to make whatever variety of Zelnik I choose. However, that tagline also has connotations about my personality, my struggle for purpose and the path that lead me here.  I was shy and nerdy as a kid. I still am. Nothing gives me more anxiety than a room full of boisterous personalities. I have a busy mind and plenty to say, but typically keep to myself. Over time I've found alternative ways to express my personality. For instance, I started writing poetry when I was 14. About that time is when my football coach first called me Ryno (me, being Ryan). The nickname has...

Continue reading

What's a Zelnik?

 What's a Zelnik? That was always the retort when I told my grade school classmates what my favorite food is. To be honest I didn't even fully understand what it was back then. I knew what our family recipe had in it - eggs, cheese curds, feta cheese, and leeks - but I never considered that there were other variations. "It's like a quiche," I once heard and so that's what I told people. As an adult, I must now politely disagree with that assessment. Sure, its a baked dish that has eggs and cheese in it but a quiche is much more delicate, less hearty, and the crust is something entirely different. First of all, the Zelnik's filling is...

Continue reading

Let's Taco Bout It

From here on, I'm dedicating the months May through July to my continuing exploration of cuisines born of American Indian cultures, with a heavy focus on tacos of course.

Continue reading