• November 28, 2023

When I Lost My Voice, Orange Peel Chai Brought It Back

Every Wednesday, the editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit, Sonia Chopra, shares what’s going on at BA – the stories she likes to read, the recipes she has made and much more. If you Sign up for our newsletterYou will get your letter before anyone else.

When I lost my voice earlier during the pandemic, I tried everything I could to correct the problem. At first I did my best to just stop talking, but for a talkative person like me (who also has days of meetings), it’s not as easy as it sounds. So I started searching through bags of cough drops, all kinds of home remedies, whole citrus groves full of oranges, loads of over-the-counter medications – and I really focused on drinking soothing teas.

Unfortunately, my formula – boil a ton of ginger with water, add spices, throw in a tea bag, steep, strenuous – did nothing. I tried adding honey; I tried to lose the caffeine. I tried great onion syrup by Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz. I bought Fancy a new mug to keep water hot all day and to set up a small tea station at my desk. I called my grandmother; I’ve texted some chefs I know. Nothing worked.

And then a friend sent me a cocktail set of dried oranges, and one day on a whim I tossed one with some crushed cardamom and cinnamon in it – and it actually helped. When I ran out of cocktail sets, I started tossing in orange peels I’d previously piled on my desk over the course of a day as I scrolled through wedge after wedge during meetings. The taste is more subtle, but the effect is the same.

When my staff asked if anyone had any recipes that might be suitable for a food waste story in the May issue, I developed the orange peel chai. It’s completely adaptable – use the spices you like, ditch the ones you don’t, caffeine completely optional – and if you try, I hope it picks you up on days when you feel bad .

Get the Recipe:

Orange peel chai

Instead of tossing your orange peels, add a few to a batch of warming chai for a soothing drink for the sick (or everyday).

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