Tag Archives: Food

7 Tips to Travel Healthy by Sonnet on insonnetskitchen.com

Last week I traveled to Washington DC for work and I thought it would be fun to share some of my best tips healthy traveling tips. Eating healthy and feeling energized while traveling can be particularly challenging, especially if you have special dietary needs or preferences. Since I was traveling for business, I wasn’t able to have as much flexibility and control over my schedule as if I were traveling on vacation, so I definitely picked up some techniques along the way that made it easier to eat healthy and feel my best on-the-go.

Tip #1: Do your research before you go
The internet is your friend and it will help you to explore the city you are visiting before you embark on your trip. I always find this especially important if you like to eat healthy on trips because then you can prepare by packing extra snacks if needed. I always look for:

  • The closest natural foods or health foods store. (In a pinch, a regular grocery store will also do!)
  • A nearby juice bar (if possible)
  • Nearby Asian, Thai, Indian, and (healthy) Mexican restaurants. (These restaurants are usually my best bet for finding fresh veggies in an unfamiliar city. Plus, they are also a great option if you are traveling with others because these restaurants can accommodate a large variety of dietary needs.)
If you know that you are traveling to a city that doesn’t have any options for dining healthfully, the next few steps are really important because they will help you to be prepared and make the best choices on the trip.
Tip #2: Pack your snacks
Nothing is worse than traveling hungry. I always make sure I have a variety of healthy snack options with me to prevent blood sugar crashes. Some of my favorites include:
  • Nuts (preferably unsalted) or seeds
  • Crackers
  • Nut butters (I really love these individual Justin’s almond butter packets because they don’t have to be refrigerated for traveling and are easy to use on-the-go.)
  • Dried fruit
  • Larabars (Cashew Cookie is my favorite!)
  • Herbal (or decaf) teas
Other items to pack:
  • A small bottle of extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar (helpful for salad bars with limited dressing options)
  • A can-opener (helpful if you plan to purchase canned beans, see below)
Tip #3: Pick-up some fresh snacks and basic ingredients when you arrive
One of the reasons why I research a health foods or grocery store before I go is because then it’s easy to pick-up some fresh snacks when I arrive. Even if you don’t have a refrigerator in your room, you can easily make an ice bath in your sink to keep these items cold overnight or for a few days (just replenish the ice as needed.) Some of my favorites include:
  • Whole carrots, cucumbers, celery sticks
  • Fresh guacamole or an avocado
  • Hummus
  • Fresh fruit
  • Mixed greens
  • Canned beans
I love these options because they can easily double as meals if I need them too. I will often pair my flax crackers with hummus and veggies to make a light lunch or combine mixed greens with veggies, canned beans and the olive oil and vinegar that I packed to make a large salad for dinner. If you are planning to dine out or have lots of restaurant options, you might not need to be this resourceful.
Tip #4: Drink water and stay hydrated
One of the worst things about traveling is how dehydrated I feel during and after a flight. Carrying a water bottle and drinking lots of water ensures that I will stay hydrated and energized throughout my day. I also try to drink at least a cup of water for every hour that I am flying, as well as increasing water intake on the days before and after flying.
Tip #5: Eat smart when dining out

From small airports to big cities, I have experienced a variety of challenges during my travels over the last few years. Dining out is always easier if you are going to a restaurant that has some healthy options, however, when that’s not possible here is what usually works for me:

  • Start with a large salad. Every restaurant should have some type of salad and you can usually get it without cheese, croutons, and mayo-based dressing. This is helpful if you don’t have a lot of options for fresh food wherever you are dining.
  • Pair together a variety of sides to create a meal. Restaurants are usually able to give you a side of black beans and steamed veggies. In a pinch, this can be a lifesaver. I also like to order a side of beans and put them on top of a salad to bulk it up a bit.
  • Ask what accommodations they can make. Some restaurants are more flexible than others, but often times they can remove cheese on items or make dishes gluten-free if you need them to be. A polite request can go a long way.
Tip #6: Supplement as needed
This last trip I used a few supplements that were immensely helpful for traveling and I will definitely be using these on future trips. My favorites were:
  • Natural Calm Anti-Stress Drink packets. I’ve talked about the importance of magnesium supplements in another post and I found these individual packets were great for traveling and helping to reduce stress and fatigue during the trip.
  • Airborne Immune Support on-the-go packets. Traveling can be stressful at times and I hate arriving home with a cold. I’ve had great results using Airborne while traveling in the past and I loved these packets because they were convient to mix with water during the flight.
  • JetZone Jet Lag Prevention. This trip was my first time trying this supplement and I was a little skeptical of it as first, but I decided to try it because of the time difference between the East and West coast. I was already immensely sleep deprived leading up to the trip so I wasn’t sure if it helped that much on the way there, but I definitely noticed it on the way back. My trip back included thirteen hours of a subway ride, a train ride, working, a layover, and two long flights. By the end of it I was exhausted, but I had a wonderful night of sleep when I returned and woke up incredibly refreshed the next morning. I know there is no way I would have felt this good without this. If you are traveling between time zones, I would definitely recommend trying it.
Tip #7: Respect your body
Traveling is physically and mentally exhausting and it’s important to take care of your body. This includes:

  • Getting extra sleep as needed.
  • Moving your body. This might be walking around the city, using a hotel gym, or doing some yoga poses in your room. I always pack my resistance bands so I can do some basic resistance exercises (e.g. arm curls, side leg lifts, etc) in a small space if I don’t have other options for exercise during the trip. This really helps with jetlag, overall fatigue, and feeling energized during the trip.
  • Avoiding salt, sugar, and caffeine as much as possible. Even though I work to avoid these things in general, I have found that minimizing salt, sugar, and caffeine while traveling is especially helpful for keeping my energy level up and preventing mood swings.

What are your best tips for traveling healthy? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

Credit – This insightful article is written by Sonnet on insonnetskitchen.com . Do check it out for some mouth watering recipes!

TC Original: My Tryst with Caviar

Caviar in Russia
Caviar in Russia

Eating caviar will never be as fun as the first time I tried this supposed delicacy.  Now I am a foodie inspired by the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Bear Grylls but when it came to actually trying new food, I was a bit hesitant.  It was of course the first time I stepped out of India and I had a hard time adjusting to the bland, almost tasteless food that Russia had to offer.  No don’t get me wrong, there are certain cuisines in Russia which have some hints of flavour and taste, but that’s for another blog post, I’m going to tell you about my tryst with caviar in this one.

I’m very choosy about my sea food. Living in Mumbai, I do have a large variety in terms of fish but I am snooty. I prefer eating fresh produce, found in my Uncle’s backyard in Goa.  If anyone’s ever had fresh sea food, you wouldn’t dream of having fish that has been brought in over many days from the high seas.  Moscow and Kazan, the cities I was staying in, unfortunately imported all its sea food from the coastal regions of the mammoth land mass, so fresh ‘Riba’ (Fish in Russian) was completely  ruled out.  There was however one thing that got me curious, Caviar.  Russia is famous for its caviar and I surely wanted to try it once!

Now the method of having caviar in Russia is to take a slice of bread. Plaster it with an inch of butter. Open the golden tin of caviar and scoop out the orange little balls with a spoon onto the bread and butter.  Spread this evenly and prepare to take a bite.  This was a bit difficult for me as I could smell the distinct odour of old fish.  It was I must say, extremely revolting.  I closed my nose and shoved the piece of bread in and started the awkward munching, hoping against hope that I don’t puke it out. Just when I thought the worst was over the little eggs started popping off in my mouth, oozing liquids that accentuated the taste of fish.  Now that’s where I realised it was an acquired taste.  Beer is bitter, but everybody loves that bitter tang that it imparts. I couldn’t brave myself up for another slice of bread with caviar. Enough of adventure for a day, I thought.  A fellow traveller with whom I was sharing the caviar tin with had a ball laughing at my contorted face.  Mind you I had paid 600 Roubles for a 100 gram tin of caviar.

It was a troubling experience for me honestly, but here’s the funny thing. I think I’m going to try caviar once again.  It’s not to prove a point or act even more stupid. It’s simply to relive that memory and in the process hope to may be acquire the taste.

5 “Strange” Portuguese Foods that I’ve Grown to Love by Andrea Smith on americaninportugal.blogspot.in

I wouldn’t say there are many “strange” things in Portuguese cuisine.  And by strange, I mean something that isn’t normally found or eaten in your own native country.  In general, I actually find Portuguese cuisine to be one of the most “likeable” cuisines, because just as in the much-loved Italian cuisine, they use a lot of simple, fresh, locally sourced ingredients.  And for the most part, every dish that has been put in front of me during my time in Portugal has looked delicious and made me instantly want to eat it.

However, there have been a small handful of Portuguese foods and dishes that I definitely found, and still think are strange.  And it’s even more difficult for someone like me with a culinary background to get weirded out by something.  But these were foods that I either never knew existed or the combination did not look appetizing.  Though ironically, they are some of the most nationally known and loved foods in Portugal!  But since my parents raised me with the good manners of eating everything on my plate, even if I didn’t like it, I knew I had to try these things regardless of what I thought.Though now I’m glad I did, because then I understood why these foods are so popular here- they are indeed, really tasty!  Granted, the soft texture of these foods in particular was not very appealing to me at first, but once I stopped focusing on that and more on how delicious they tasted, I was able to let go and truly enjoy and appreciate what I was eating.

It’s true, we’re all programmed to turn up our nose at things that look strange or unappetizing to us, it’s natural.  Would you believe that most Portuguese I’ve asked have never even heard of the classic American peanut-butter and jelly sandwich?  And even funnier is that after I explained what it is, most of them still found it strange and and wouldn’t want to try it! 🙂  The same way they found it funny and surprising when they heard my reaction to their beloved foods.   So bottom line, if we get over these cultural or personal hangups, as I eventually did, we’ll be able to enjoy so many more things that one would have never imagined to be delicious!

Below are five popular Portuguese foods and dishes that I found very strange in the beginning but now love.  I’ve ordered them on a scale of “least to most strange” 🙂  So, on your next trip here, I encourage you all to give these foods a chance and try them like I did, as you never know just what might become your next favorite food!

The only bread I normally associate with soup are the croutons you sprinkle on top, so when I found out that bread was the main ingredient of this traditional Portuguese main dish, my first question was “why?”  Well, with the historically poor background of rural areas, one had to make sure you never wasted anything, so this was a way to use up old, stale bread.  Traditionally, the bread is soaked to some degree of softness, then either broken up and/or cooked with chopped garlic and fresh cilantro.

There are two main versions of açorda. In the greater Lisbon and northern regions, they make Açorda de Gambas,where the bread is heavily soaked and mushed up, then cooked with shrimp.  Despite its great flavor, I’m not a big fan of this version (pictured second) because the look and texture reminds me too much of…er…vomit .  But I do love the Açorda Alentejana version (pictured first), which resembles more of a soup without cooking the bread.  Only a hot broth of garlic, olive oil and tons of fresh cilantro is poured over it and topped with a poached egg.  Many people also add bacalhau (saltcod) or other fish to it for a heartier meal.   Açorda Alentejana is so popular here that it was nominated as one of the 7 Maravilhas da Gastronomia (7 Wonders of Gastronomy-hmm a future post?) and even though it didn’t win, you don’t want miss out on trying this!

Sapateira Recheada-Stuffed Stone Crab:

Let’s get this straight- I love stone crab, in fact I loved it even before I moved to Portugal.  But I never had anything more than the claws, which can sometimes cost you a small fortune to get in the US.  Here in Portugal though, on the coast, sapateira is about as common and readily available as any regular fish, and much more affordable!  But get ready to eat the whole thing, which includes the shell of the body stuffed with its roe and insides.  Yes I know what you’re thinking, that really doesn’t sound lovely, and I made a face too when I saw it the first time…..but oh my god is it delicious!!!  This has become my favorite part of the stone crab now, because the flavor is so rich compared to the claws and legs, and when spread over some warm toasted bread and butter it’s just heavenly 🙂  Personally I prefer this stone crab stuffing plain, but most people mix it with a variation of the typical ingredients found in a classic potato salad, like mustard, mayo, pickles, egg, onion, parsley etc, even beer!

You can find sapateira recheada on the menu of any marisqueira-seafood restaurant, all along the coast, but note: it’s a common belief here that stone crab and most shellfish are only best eaten “in the months with an ‘r'” (September-April) so try to save this for a treat in the colder months.  And if you’re a seafood lover in general and want to know more about sapateira and other shellfish as well as one of my favorite spots to eat them, check out my pastCatavino article- “Sesimbra: A Seafood Lover’s Paradise in Portugal”

Ovas-Fish egg sacs:

These not-so-luxurious fish eggs typically come from pescada (hake) or bacalhau (saltcod) and honestly, if you saw these whole- raw or cooked, they look absolutely disgusting.  But when sliced up and made into a cold salad mixed with onion, tomato, bell peppers, olive oil, vinegar and fresh cilantro (as pictured above), they are much more pleasing to the eye and very tasty.  Many Portuguese also recommend eating plain, boiled ovas when you’re sick, particularly if you have tummy problems, because they are mild and easy to digest.  You can find salada de ovas served at many fish and seafood restaurants as an entrada-appetizer.

Caracois- Portuguese Snails: Snails, either you love em’ or hate em’, but most Portuguese absolutely love this seasonal late spring/summertime bar munchie.  Unlike the French escargots, caracois à portuguesa are much smaller- normally about the size of a dime and are slow-cooked in a delicious broth of olive oil, garlic, onion, oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper and sometimes a pinch of piri-piri for a slight kick.  They are best enjoyed with a cold glass of Portuguese draft beer and a basket of bread to mop up all of that finger-licking broth mmmm 🙂  You can read all about my first experience with caracois and more on the Catavino Article I did about them- “Suck it Up and do What the Portuguese do, Eat Caracois!”

 

Percebes- Gooseneck Barnacles:

Utterly strange, not even edible looking and more expensive than most seafood….who in their right mind would want to eat these things??  Yup, exactly what I said at first, but plenty of people eat them here, including me now!  Goose or goose-neck barnacles can be found growing on the rocky cliffs all along the northwest Atlantic coast but are most appreciated in Spain and Portugal.   Due to the dangerous area they grow in, they are a lot of trouble to collect- hence the hefty price.  Just a tiny appetizer plate of them at your local marisqueira here can cost around €8-10.  And they’re not that easy to eat either, since you have to take off the rubbery outer layer first, which can get a bit messy as you might get squirted by their red juice if you’re not too careful!  You can check out exactly how percebes are harvested and eaten in the video below from Gordon Ramsay’s show The F Word, when he went to Galicia, Spain (just above the northern border of Portugal) and you’ll see that he agrees with me that although percebes look totally unappetizing, they really are delicious.  In my opinion, I would describe them as having the cleanest, most pure, unadulterated flavor of the ocean- refreshing!

 

Credit – This lovely article is by Andrea Smith on http://americaninportugal.blogspot.in.

To read the article with pictures click HERE.

Noshing Around Quebec City by foodgal.com

QUEBEC CITY, CANADA –It’s easy to build up an appetite, strolling around this historic city in the chill of winter. And one of the best and most fortifying meals I had on my trip to this capital city was at the artsy Panache restaurant.

The restaurant is located inside the luxe Auberge Saint-Antoine hotel, just steps from the edge of the St. Lawrence River in the old port district. Indeed, in the 1800s, the impressive stone building served as a maritime trading center for glassware and tableware merchants. During the construction of the hotel, plates, vases and other pottery were unearthed, which are now carefully displayed throughout the hotel. Even the hotel room numbers have little antique chunks of porcelain highlighted next to them.

My fellow food writers and I — all guests on this trip courtesy of Quebec City Tourism — had the pleasure not only of dining at the restaurant one night, but eating in a private room with the chef, Francois Blais, during what would be his last week at the restaurant. Blais, who opened the restaurant eight years ago, felt it was time for a change. But don’t be surprised if he opens his own, more casual restaurant in Quebec in the near future.

Blais has been a pioneer in Quebec City when it comes to sourcing local ingredients within 100 miles from small family producers and championing sustainable seafood. The dinner was testament to that dedication.

It included pillowy gnocchi smothered with locally foraged wild mushrooms, as well as polenta-crusted calf sweetbreads that were as big as my palm.

The centerpiece was a locally raised, seven-week-old piglet that was spit-roasted and served with an assortment of root vegetables from the restaurant’s all-organic farm on the nearby Ile d’Orleans.

Accompanying the succulent pork was a sauce made from cranberries, grown locally and among the plumpest we’d ever seen. A representative from Nutra Fruit, a Quebec City company that produces cranberry products, explained why their dried cranberries, in particular, are so huge compared to the piddly, shriveled ones we usually find in American supermarkets. Most of those, he says, are driedafter they have been juiced and sliced. Nutra Fruit’s dried cranberries, on the other hand, are whole, un-juiced berries that are dried. These are so delectable and satisfying that they’re a true pleasure to nosh on just plain out of hand.

Another restaurant not to be missed is the famous Le Saint-Amour, which was just named “best restaurant of the year” by Guide Debeur 2011. The restaurant has been around since 1978, but its cuisine continues to innovate and push the envelope.

Just consider the duck foie gras plate we enjoyed. The restaurant is known for its foie gras dishes. This one included the decadent liver not only in a terrine, and pressed and seared, but sandwiched inside a matcha macaron, of all things. And yes, it actually worked, with the subtle sweet-bitter notes of the crisp cookie playing off the rich foie cream inside.

A palate cleanser of “Dark Valrhona Chocolate Consomme” had us all talking. The tiny warm little glass of liquid arrived at the table looking for all the world like weak tea, but the flavor was that of a intense dark chocolate bar. It was astounding. Think of tomato water, which is clear but carries the potent flavor of a perfect tomato, and you get the idea.  Chef Jean Luc Boulay makes the consomme in a time-consuming process that involves combining water and chocolate that’s eventually strained through cheesecloth. More than that, he didn’t want to divulge, unfortunately.

Brewski lovers will want to visit Korrigane Brasserie Artisanale, a brew pub that opened just last summer that makes some quite unusual beers, including seasonal ones brewed from whole blueberries or pumpkin. I became a fan of the latter, especially for its smoky flavor.

We spent an afternoon sampling the beers — which are not bottled and available only at the brew pub — while happily nibbling on an assortment of local charcuterie and sweets we had picked up at nearby gourmet food shops.

Quebec boasts three culinary schools, all of which operate restaurants that are open to the public. We had a chance to visit Ecole Hoteliere de la Capitale, the largest of the schools, where we met Suzanne Sylvester, a chef-instructor, who used to work in the United States at Tra Vigne and Domaine Chandon, both in California’s Napa Valley. American-born, she moved to Quebec 17 years ago, after meeting her husband, a French pastry chef.

With the price of elite culinary school programs in the United States costing as much as a year at Harvard, it was remarkable to hear that tuition for this school is a mere $200 per year. Currently, there are about 400 students enrolled in the year-long program.

Lunch is a bargain, too. You can enjoy three courses with a glass of wine for all of $10 per person. Our repast included a lovely seafood salad over grilled pineapple, and a hearty lamb stew braised with local apples.

If you can’t make it to Quebec anytime soon, you can still enjoy a taste of this distinctive city from one of our guides, who kindly provided us with the recipe for an age-old, winter-time libation known as the “Caribou.” Back in the day,  this drink was a mix of alcohol and caribou blood. Thankfully, the modern version appeals more to today’s palate, with red wine replacing the blood.

Although some versions call for brandy or port, this one requires just a bottle of red wine. Enjoy two glasses from it. Then, fill the empty void in the bottle with vodka or Everclear, along with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and a cinnamon stick. Shake the bottle every day for three weeks, then enjoy. Sante!

Credit: This lovely article is by www.foodgal.com

Amsterdam Travel Tips by The Blonde Abroad

Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Europe. While it is well-known for its taboo tourist attractions, Amsterdam boasts so much more than cheap thrills. My first trip to Amsterdam, admittedly, was a bit of a disappointment.

So, on my second trip, I made it a point to stalk out the best of the best in the city.

  • Language: The official language is Dutch, but nearly everyone speaks English as a second language.
  • Currency: The Euro is used as currency (€)
  • Credit Cards and Banks: Most restaurants and hotels will accept credit/debit cards. Be sure to carry plenty of cash for small purchases and public transportation.
  • Climate: You can visit Amsterdam all year round, but the winter months may be too cold for walking or cycling around the city.
    • Cold season: November to March
    • Warm season: June to September

Helpful Tip:

Depending on your type of trip, I’d recommend getting an iAmsterdam card. The card includes free admission into the most popular museums, free public transportation and a free canal cruise. Plan your trip to see if the iAmsterdam card can save you money on your trip.

Calculate your savings>>

Accommodation in Amsterdam can be pricey – even at hostels!

Budget-Friendly Accomodation:

  • The Flying Pig DowntownDorms & privates, Wi-Fi, kitchen, bar. Prices range from €17-52 per night. The Flying Pig is my favorite hostel in Amsterdam. It’s in a great location and has a really cool vibe.
  • St. Christopher’s Inns: Dorms & privates, free breakfast, bar, restaurant, Wi-Fi. Prices start at around €36 per night. St. Christopher’s has multiple hostels around Europe and is well known for great quality and service.
  • The Bulldog HotelDorms, Privates, Apartments, Wi-Fi. Prices start at around €18 per night. The Bulldog Hotel provides basic accommodation and is centrally located in the Red Light District.

Helpful Tip:

If you’re a solo female traveler, I do NOT recommend using www.Couchsurfing.com in this city. While there are plenty of great locals offering a free place to stay, the site suggests using caution in Amsterdam. I suggest not taking a chance.

The Best of Amsterdam Accommodation:

  • Lloyd Hotel: This hotel is by far the most unique hotel I’ve ever stayed at. Lloyd Hotel is the world’s first 1 – 5 star hotel. Each room is designed to surprise even the most well-travelled guest. It’s located 15 minutes by tram outside of city center and is a funky breath of fresh air.
  • Banks Mansion*Reader Recommendation*

“[Banks Mansion] was a great place to stay and right on the canals. Great breakfast every morning and a very generous happy hour in the evening! It was also in walking distance of the Flower Market.” -Steve

  • Mauro Mansion: *Reader Recommendation*

“The best place to stay by far is Mauro Mansion – it’s right by Central Station and in the heart of old downtown. It’s run by a gay couple and they are the kindest gentlemen I’ve ever met.” -Becky Mahan, Stranger in this Town

Amsterdam is full of history and activities! Whether you prefer museums or high tea!

  • Canal Cruise: Get a feel for the history and layout of Amsterdam by boat. Take a full tour or hop-on-hop-off tour and travel through the canals of the city.
  • Van Gogh Museum: The Van Gogh Museum is fantastic. There is an incredible collection of Van Gogh’s work from the beginning of his endeavors as an artist.
  • Cycle Amsterdam-Noord: Rent a bike and take the free ferry across to Amsterdam-Noord to spend the day cycling. Follow Route 9 by the marked pathways and explore the dike villages, grassland landscape and the island of Marken. (47 km/4-5 hours)
  • House of BolsHouse of Bols is one of the best tours I’ve ever been on. Learn about the history of traditional Genever and experience a one-of-a-kind cocktail experience.
  • Visit De Drie Fleschjes: Visit the oldest tasting room in Amsterdam, “Three Little Bottles,” opened in 1650. Enjoy a drink and take in the ambiance of antique barrel-lined walls and burning candelabras.
  • Coffee Houses & The Red Light District: While this side of Amsterdam tourism isn’t exactly my thing, that’s not to say your shouldn’t at least peak your head in to see what the hype is all about. Rumor has it, for tourists, getting high in Amsterdam won’t be legal for long.
  • Heineken Experience: Despite the touristy nature of this tour, I really enjoyed it and think it’s a great bang for your buck. The tour lasts nearly 2 hours with tons of activities, two free beers, plus a free souvenir. (I scored some aviator sunglasses!)
  • Pack a Picnic in Vondalpark: If you find yourself in Amsterdam during good weather, chances are, Vondalpark will be packed with people. Take a walk through the park, picnic and people watch.
  • Albert Cuyp market: Don’t miss this market! It’s the largest in all of The Netherlands. Come hungry and try some local cheeses and dutch Stroopwafels. You can also score some great souvenirs here. (Open from 9:30 am to about 5 pm, Monday to Saturday)
  • Handbags & High Tea at Tassen: Visit the largest collection of handbags and purses in the world! Even if you aren’t a fashionista, the collection is fascinating. Some of the over 4,000 handbags at the Tassen Museum date back to the Middle Ages (when even men wore them)! The museum café is beautiful as well and offers a yummy High Tea at a bargain. (Plus, there’s free WiFi!)

Cheeses and sweets and meats, oh my!

  • Stroopwafels, Poffertjes & Pancakes: These delicious Dutch treats are not to pass on. There are plenty of spots to satisfy your sweet tooth around the city. My favorite stroopwafels are from a little vendor by the Van Gogh Museum and the best poffertjes and pancakes are at Pancakes!. You can also grab these sweets at the Albert Cuyp market.
  • Meatballs: The name says it all! Check out the restaurant Meatballs for some homestyle cooking in the Red Light District. Don’t worry fellow veggos, there are plenty of options for vegetarians too!
  • De Kas: My favorite restaurant in the city, De Kas, creates one menu daily based on the harvest of their own nursery. Everything from the food to the organic wine is outstanding. It’s farm to fine dining!
  • Ask the Locals: Want to skip the touristy spots? Ask the locals! My friend Sabine, fellow blogger and Amsterdam native, has an awesome Foursquare list of all the best locals spots to eat in town! Check it out: foursquare.com/sabinedewitte/list/amsterdam 

    Credit- This lovely article is written by The Blonde Abroad. Click the hyper link to view the article with pictures and videos.

5 Places to Eat Thai Street Food in Bangkok – CAZ on ytravelblog.com

Eating Thai street food is one of our favourite things to do in Bangkok.

It’s hard not to find a street corner with a row of carts lined up dishing up meals like noodle soup, BBQ pork, fish cakes and delicious curries.

Is your mouth watering as much as mine?

The good news is that eating street food has many benefits to you as a traveller  – it’s generally safe (you can see what’s being cooked and it’s fresh), you get to interact with the locals, It’s authentic, delicious and the best way to give back to the local economy.

Eating Thai street food in Bangkok is incredibly cheap, as is the street food in all of Thailand. A bag of fish cakes will set you back 20 baht (less than a $1) and a noodle soup around 60 baht ($2).

How do you know where to eat street food in Bangkok?

Craig and I really believe the best place to eat street food is the street you are on. Go to the areas that are thriving with locals—always a sign that the food rocks.

Just know a few of your fave dishes in Thai, so you can order the right thing. Have it written down in Thai language if you can. If all else fails use your eyes to choose and then point and smile.

I know most of you are eager to really eat at the BEST places for street food in Bangkok. There has to be a list somewhere right?

Well according to our guide Tim, from Absolutely Fantastic Holidays, there is. Tim is a Bangkok local and shared with us what is widely considered throughout the Bangkok community to be the

5 Places to Eat Street Food in Bangkok

1. Chinatown

OMG, if you love authentic street food you will love visiting Chinatown in Bangkok. There are hundreds of street stalls, markets, carts and restaurants. Night time is when Yaowarat, as Chinatown is also known as, will rock your taste buds.

We can really understand why this comes in at Number 1. According to Jim Thompson, who took us on a walking tour of Yaowarat last year, Chinatown is the place where street food first began in Thailand over 200 years ago when Bangkok was the major trading hub of South East Asia.

DUMPLINGS

Just look for the ad hoc stalls, the plastic tables and chairs, feast out on delicious food and wash it all down with a Singa beer.

We lived a short walk from the outskirts of Chinatown and loved wandering down for our evening meal of Thai noodles with gravy. At 20 baht how can you say no?

OYSTER OMELLETE – CHINATOWN SPECIAL

2. Silom Road

This is the only area on the list we have not experienced recently, although we did venture to this area of Bangkok whilst living in the city in 2002.

Being the central business district of Bangkok there are a lot of people, hungry people wanting a quick meal in between office hours. That means you’ll find a lot of street food options.

Soi Convent and Soi 20 is where you probably most want to go to gorge on cheap Thai food.

3. Soi Rambuttri

This is one of our favourite streets in Bangkok. It is one of the few places you can escape the madness of Bangkok. When we lived in Bangkok this street was known as Dog Shit Alley, because of the number of dogs that paraded up and down the rat infested street. We loved eating and drinking here. It was cool before it was the hipster-cool it is now. It has had a major uplift and is now a pretty Bangkok oasis.

credit: zealous

We were surprised Soi Rambuttri made the list as it seems such a small area, but Tim assures us the food there is known to be first class. It’s also really cheap.  We didn’t eat there this time, except for Kalyra who gorged herself on a cheap banana pancake with chocolate – one of our fave 2am treats after a night in the Alley.

4. Banglamphu

When we explained why we didn’t understand how Soi Rambutri and Banglamphu were both on the list – as Dog Shit Alley is in Banglampoo – Tim explained that the street food is a little different.

Banglamphu is the area around the river, near the Golden Palace that comprises the backpacking travel area of Khao San Road and So Rambutrri.

If you want the really great street food, then walk to the end of Khao San Road, turn right past the police station opposite the Wat and Soi Rambuttri and lining the streets will be many many street stalls and carts. Also the streets adjacent to Khao San.

credit: amsfrank

We can absolutely affirm that this is a great place to eat street food in Bangkok. This was where we ate dinner most nights when we lived in Bangkok, we loved to feast on fish cakes and noodle soup.

credit: amsfrank

5. Soi 38 Sukumvhit

We don’t feel we had the normal Soi 38 street food experience. We were excited to feast on this street as we had heard so much about it, but only felt disappointed upon arrival.

There were only a few carts lining the street, we envisioned much more, and the selection didn’t seem all that great. Mind you, we did have a very whiny 5 year old at the time so probably were not really focused. We ended up jumping in a small stall just to have some peace.

credit: faithmonsoon

The Tom Yum Goong we ordered was one of the worst we have ever had. Maybe because we are so used to Bangkok street food, we weren’t that wowed by Soi 38. Many people are though, so I would go and see for yourself.

TOM YUM GOONG

Where do you think is the best place to eat street food in Bangkok?

Credit: This delicious article is by  CAZ here: http://www.ytravelblog.com/thai-street-food/

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Vegan Treats in Berlin by Jill@ Vegan Backpacker

Böhme Passion Fruit Chocolate Bar

This is my 10th and final blog post about the amazing city that is Berlin. To cap it all off, I wanted to bring you a roundup of vegan treats that you can look forward to spotting at supermarkets and health food stores throughout the city.

Böhme Chocolate Bars

To start things off, I have to tell you about these ultra affordable chocolate bars made by Böhme. They make dark chocolate bars with creamy fruit fillings. There are enough flavours that you’re likely to find your favourite furits amongst the lot. They’ve got lemon, rhubarb, pineapple, passion fruit, raspberry, peppermint, strawberry and more.

Böhme Passion Fruit Chocolate Bar

They’re super sweet and definitely not the kind of chocolate bar you want to eat in one sitting. They cost €0.39 – .49 Euro ($0.52-0.65 USD), which means chocolate lovers can give in and buy more than one. All in the name of trying new things, right?

Vegan Treats Available at Most Supermarkets

At one supermarket, I picked up the pineapple and rhubarb Böhme bars, as well as a bag oferdnuss flippies, known to English speaking folk as peanut puffs, a fruit strudel by Conditorei Coppenrath & Wiese, and a bag of gelle früchte, fruit candies, by Katjes. I learned about all of these vegan products from Rezeptefuchs, a German website that maintains a list of vegan products, as well as their prices and where to find them. The website is in German but you can use Google translator to make sense of it.

ValSoia Chocolate Ice Cream Bar

ValSoia is an Italian company but you can find their soy-based frozen dessert products in several of Berlin’s supermarkets. According to Rezeptefuchs, they are sold at Edeka, Famila, Globus, Marktkauf and Real.

Tofutti and SoYeah Ice Cream

The vegan ice cream selection doesn’t end there. Tofutti ice cream is widely available at health food stores, as is SoYeah ice cream, a line produced by the Ice Cream Factory. I saw a few flavours of Tofutti around town, including strawberry, mango passion fruit, and chocolate. You can find chocolate and vanilla SoYeah ice cream at most health food stores but strawberry is harder to find. Buying ice cream in a box will lower the price you pay per scoop but some of the best vegan ice cream in the city can only be found at eis shops. Don’t miss my review of vegan ice cream options in Berlin.

Cremino’s Dunkle Creme

Dark chocolate spread is everywhere in Berlin but there are only a few brands that are made without milk products. We started off by trying Cremino’s Dunkle Creme and stayed loyal to it throughout our stay. It has crunchy bits of ground cacao and makes for a special addition to toast, pancakes and waffles.

Alnatura Chocolate Spelt Waffers

Alnatura Chocolate Spelt Balls

At Alnatura health food stores, as well as other organic food shops and some supermarkets, you can find Alnatura’s line of chocolate products, several of which are vegan. We tried the spelt chocolate squares, as well as the spelt chocolate balls. Both were made with bitter chocolate, which kept us from eating more than a few at a time. Dark chocolate lovers will adore these.

Rapunzel Nirwana Noir Chocolate Bar

Another chocolate treat I’d highly recommend is the Nirwana Noir chocolate bar by Rapunzel. It’s a semisweet chocolate bar with nut truffle filling. It’s to die for and, be warned, highly addictive. Don’t miss it!

These are just some of the vegan treats you can find in Berlin. It’s a sweet, sweet city that I hope to return to someday.

Credit: This yummy article is by Jill on Veganbackpacker.com