Taste Introduction 

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Some people eat with gusto. They push the boundaries on spice and gravitate naturally to the family-style section of menus at restaurants to sample as much as they can with their companions. They gleefully search high and low for the best food in the most unexpected places for the least amount of money. They relish stepping into restaurants where menus present culinary twists and customs and delight in discovering heretofore unknown delicacies. They find pleasure in what’s offered on their plates — or put into their hands or mouths. Preconceived ideas about what to like or eschew are rare, and they let their eyes, stomachs, and noses drive their dish decisions. These eaters embrace trends, return to traditions, and spread their zest for eating with friends, colleagues, and loved ones. With that in mind, this fall’s Taste embarks on a little extreme eating. You’ll find articles on the hottest, spiciest dishes around; some of the biggest plates you can share; a few examples of the most portable, most affordable, and most delicious street fare at the Laney Flea Market; restaurants with the most evocative, homey flavors of faraway places; and the slipperiest, slimiest, most jiggly palate pleasers plated up in a handful of East Bay kitchens.

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