I must confess that I hate extremes of temperature. That's probably why I chose to live in San Francisco and haven't moved for 40 years. I did rent a house in Hawaii one August, however, and nearly passed out every afternoon (gracefully, of course) from the heat. I could find relief only in a sea breeze, a swim----or a frozen lime soufflé. In Merida, Mexico, the seviche was so refreshing that I ate it happily when the weather was scorching. And in Rome I practically ran to the espresso bar for my daily dose of coffee granita. The cuisine of every warm climate offers something cooling. Naturally, icy things, like that coffee granita, are reviving. But, paradoxically, spicy dishes spiked with chiles or ginger, which make you perspire, can also do the job. Foods with hot and cold elements are revitalizing, too: hot garlic croutons in a chilled golden tomato gazpacho, for instance, make the soup seem even colder. Read on for nine of the most cooling recipes from around the world.
Joyce Goldstein is a chef, author and Mediterranean food authority. Her latest cookbook, Sephardic Flavors: Jewish Cooking of the Mediterranean (Chronicle Books), is due out in October.