A flaming sushi roll

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Editor's Note

Greg Rienzi, editor

Image caption: Greg Rienzi

I ordered No. 11 off the sushi menu.

I should have known something was amiss when the waiter smiled and said, "You sure? That's the fire viking roll." Yeah, I like spicy. He laughed and told me to think more flame than flavor. This particular sushi roll arrived at the table on fire. We're not talking birthday candles: The roll was wrapped in tinfoil, engulfed in a flame a foot high. The heat was such that I had to exit my chair and stand back while it extinguished, nearly five minutes later.

Of course, the scene delighted my 18-year-old daughter, who whipped out her phone to record the TikTok-worthy moment. I bring up this fiery tale for three reasons. 1) Food is community, and I'm grateful to have shared that eventful lunch with my daughter. 2) The flames were just enough to crisp the outside of the sushi roll, which was, in fact, delicious. Food can truly satisfy the senses. And 3) You're about to read our food-themed issue!

I'll steer clear of too many puns, but we've been baking this issue for quite some time. It's truly been a pleasure to help craft this collection of stories and essays that mix fun and serious with a secret Johns Hopkins sauce. We have stories of running a beer mile, the medicinal properties of the broccoli sprout, an alum who literally eats for a living, the existential appeal of the chili pepper, and so much more. So, please, dig in.

Greg Rienzi signature

Greg Rienzi

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