Category Archives: For the Foodies

The best food Italy has to offer

Unfortunately there are many foods around the world that have not exported very well when they have left their country of origin. Mexican food for example is nothing like what you think it is when you actually visit Mexico and it is tough to understand why the Tex-Mex variety that we eat, is more popular than the original, and beautiful traditional Mexican cuisine.

Another victim of this is Italian food and somehow the world got the notion that what makes Italian cuisine is nothing more than pizza and pasta. I always find this interesting because when you actually travel to Italy, you will soon realize that their cuisine is about much, much more than just what you can find in a store in the USA. I wanted therefore to give you some Italian foods which I fell in love with during my time in Tuscany and Rome, and why you must try them.

Ribollita

Like many delicious foods around the world, this meal actually started out as being considered a poor man’s food. Back when people had servants , the servants would collect the unfinished bread of their masters and the vegetables which were left on the plate. They would build the bread and vegetables in water and then eat it for their own meal. Thankfully the making of the dish are now a little cleaner but the origin is the same and the flavors and texture of this meal are simply beautiful.

Tortellini en Brodo

This is a real staple dish in northern Italy and it is often enjoyed during the holidays in the country. Unlike with most tortellini dishes which are coated in thick and creamy sauce or served with a ragu, tortellini en brodo sees the tortellini floating in a chicken broth. This is a dish which reminds me a little of an Italina wonton soup and the mixture of veal broth with fresh pasta pieces and some Parmesan makes this a delicious dish which you simply must try.

Osso busco alla Milanese

I am a big meat lover and so I was over the moon when I saw this delicious meal on the menu. This is a dish which uses veal shanks, far more popular in Italy than anywhere that I have visited, which are braised slowly and then served with a sauce of white wine and vegetables and a side helping of gremolata which is a rich and garlicky sauce. This is a dish that keeps on giving an just as you reach the end of the meal, you will find some little nugget of meat inside the veal bone which have been coated in the succulent sauce.

I absolutely adore Italian food and when you are actually there, you get to taste all of the flavors and the ingredients which have been added to your dish, much more than I can say for any Italian meal which I have eaten elsewhere. When you visit Italy you will see that it is not just the food which tastes good but the entire culture around food is avery healthy and vibrant one and you won’t want to stop eating when you get there!

5 things to eat in France

I have never really sampled much French cuisine but I was really looking forward to doing just that last month when I went to Paris for the first time. Unlike with other countries like Italy and Mexico, I honestly didn’t know what kind of food to expect and in truth I as absolutely blown away by what I tried during my time in the country.

I wanted to share with you then, my top 5 dishes which I think that you simply must try if you happen to be visiting France.

Croque-Monsieur

I don’t want to say that this is just a beautiful and ornate grilled ham and cheese sandwich, but the truth is that this is a beautiful and ornate grilled ham and cheese sandwich. The difference however between eating it in a French bistro and eating it in your kitchen back home, is the quality. Not only is the cheese tastier and gooier but the ham is thick and tasty and the bread is far more beautiful than anything you could buy in a store.

Duck Confit

This was perhaps the only French dish which I had heard about prior to my visit to the French capital and it was actually the first thing that I ate when I arrived. I learned that they actually devised this dish as a way of cooking duck so that it could be used in the future and what they do is cook duck thighs in their own fat so that they stay moist and juicy. Thankfully someone realized just how tasty they were straight away and the dish was born. The best place to eat the dish is in the Southwest of France and the blend of crispy skin and soft, succulent meat is just mouthwatering.

Croissant

You have not eaten a croissant until you have eaten one in Paris and the difference in quality and flavor is gargantuan. The freshness and crispiness of the croissants here has to be tried to be believed and it is no surprise that croissant chefs must train for years before they are allowed to make their own.

Paris-Brest

Interestingly, this dish is named after traditional bicycle race which takes place between Paris and the north of Brittany in Brest. You will find this little beauty in the patisseries and it is round piece of soft chop pastry which has been filled with praline buttercream with caramelized almonds on top, there is nothing better to eat with your fresh coffee than this masterpiece.

Crepes

They may not be the most impressive haute-cuisine but the crepes which you can find in Paris are absolutely breathtaking and well worth a mention on this list. I don’t know if it is the batter, the cooking method, the fresh ingredients or a combination of the three but the crepes here taste like nothing you’ve ever tried before and I more than had my fill of them during my time in France.