Posts Tagged With: history

The Traveling Foody – Peru

Welcome travelers and Traveling Foody fans.  We are very excited about this feature on Peru.  Our friend Phil just returned from a 3 week adventure to Peru and we had a wonderful conversation with him about his excursion into Peruvian country, culture, and food.

First of all, what’s all the hubbub with Peru?  Okay, so they have llamas and their wool makes for wonderful material.  What makes Peru a destination?  Is it food? Is it the culture? Is it the topography?  We believe it’s all the above and much more.

Get with it and see what Phil had to say about Peru.

TTF: What was it about Peru that attracted you to travel there?

PHIL: I’ve always wanted to visit Machu Picchu since I was a kid, so I jumped at the chance to get on this hike.

TTF: What parts of Peru did you visit?

PHIL: Cuzco and the Sacred Valley.

TTF: Like many countries, various cultures migrate to them.  What other types of nationalities are living in Peru?

PHIL: Many Chinese immigrated there in the 1900’s for good paying labor.  Germans & Israelis came here in the 1950’s.  Canadians, U.S. Americans and to a lesser part, British also are here.

TTF: What was your favorite meal in Peru?

PHIL: So many great places to eat and so many dishes!  My favorite restaurant was El Encuentro.  It was a vegan joint with meat analogs. 

Spaghetti El Diablo

Spaghetti El Diablo

I ate here a lot while I was on my own, and frequently while the carnivores were doing their own things.

Best meal was probably a potato & cheese dish. 

Potatoes and Cheese with Cilantro sauce  and Quinoa

Potatoes and Cheese with Cilantro sauce and Quinoa

Many, many dishes had a sauce of cilantro. This dish had that plus clove.  The cheese was fresh guinea pig cheese.

The Peruvians have over 300 varieties of potatoes; from blue to purple to red. Black & white are common as well.

TTF: What was your fondest memory visiting Peru?

PHIL: Climbing Wayna Picchu (the mountain behind all the ‘postcard’ shots’ of Machu Picchu) and looking down on Machu Picchu.  A very memorable time.  It was hard to be alone up there, but the vibes were pretty intense.

Moray. An ancient Inkan laboratory for plant hybridization

Moray. An ancient Inkan laboratory for plant hybridization

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TTF: Was it easy to get around?

PHIL: Yep, even though my Spanish was close to non-existent, mini-buses & taxis were easy to use and get to where you were going.  Cheap too!

TTF: Would you visit again?

PHIL: Visit? Hell I’m thinking of moving there!

 

Thank you very much Phil for your input and time with us. 

Phil has been a traveler for most of his life and a great friend of the Traveling Foody family for many years.  We can’t wait to see what adventures he will experience next and wish him safe travels and to eat well.

Some of Phil’s adventures were in the Cuzco area, which is the old capital of Peru.  What about the newer capital?  Well, the current capital is Lima and is located on the central coast of Peru.  Compared to other cities in the country, Lima is by far the largest city with more than one quarter of the entire population of Peru living there.  For our fellow beach goers, the Miraflores district presents the traveler with wonderful views of rocks and tides.  One of the highlights for the museum enthusiast will be the Museo Larco.  This Museum is known globally for its Erotic Gallery.  The gallery is dedicated to erotic sculpture art which date over a thousand years old.  And to let you in on how popular Erotic Art in Peru is, you will find reproductions of the art all around Peru. 

Quick tip time: Cash is defiantly the king compared to card.  The currency in Peru is called “Nuevo Sol.”  Even though, shops might have an old credit card sign in the window does not mean they are still accepting them.  So bring your cash.  Preferably carry smaller bills for those bargains.  Another tip is keeping your bills clean and wrinkles free.  Like many South American countries, some places will take your cash.  But if it is ripped or old they might think it’s fake.

Let’s talk food and drink. 

When in Rome you do as the Romans.  When in Peru it’s all about Pico! Pico is a brandy which is made from the grape and is appreciated all over the Peruvian coast.  There are those who believe that the neighboring coastal country of Chile was the true birthplace of the nectar of the gods.  Guess what?  We don’t care where the origins of this particular nectar originated from.  What we care about is that it’s good and good for your spirits.  When we talk about Chile, we will say it’s from their country because that’s what the locals will tell us.  The most popular cocktail on the South American Pacific is Pisco Sours.  If you are not into the spirit of things, you might want to have a local brew.  Cusqueña is where you want to direct your brew thirst.

Does your food run the house or do you run around your food?  That’s right.  We are speaking of the traditional dish of cuy.  In many regions of the world, cuy is referred to as guinea pig.  That’s right.  Guinea pig.  Cuy is usually prepared whole, roasted or grilled, with the head on.

Cuy

Cuy

Like many South American coastal regions, ceviche is a big deal and almost on everyone’s plate. 

We heard Phil talking about the many varieties of potato that grow in and around Peru.  But, Peru also has very large avocado and they are not afraid to use them.  These two ingredients make up a traditional casserole dish called Causa and is served cold. 

Phil also talked about the Chinese immigrants.  The Chinese settlers created a dish called Lomo Saltado,which is a stir-fry consisting of beef, tomatoes, peppers, and onions mixed in with potatoes and soy sauce served over rice.  The Chinese culinary influence can also be found in a very popular dish called Pollo a la Brasa which is a Peruvian style roasted chicken using soy sauces marinade that have been infused with peppers, garlic, and cumin for a salty – smoky taste.

For those who love their meats, peruvians dish it up…more like skewer it up.   Anticuchos are marinated skewers of meat grilled to perfection.  You can find them in many locations from restaurants to street carts.

Speaking of meat, how about some alpaca?  That’s right.  Like many other animals, these are not only used for their wool.   We have never tried the alpaca llama but we understand that it’s similar to buffalo or grass fed beef that’s more on a gamier side.

Let’s not forget that Peruvians have a sweet tooth.  One of the favorites in the country is the lúcuma.  Lúcuma is a fruit that resembles the mango.  Its custardy flavor is comparable to maple syrup.  Many recipes call for the fruit for flavoring a dessert. Yum!

 

We would like to leave you with some Peruvian recipes:

The Potato cheese dish Phil was talking about is called Papa a la Huancaína – Potatoes in Spicy Cheese Sauce.

Huancaína Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Cup chopped onion
  • 3-4 Yellow aji amarillo chile peppers
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Cups white farmer’s cheese (queso freso)
  • 4 Saltine crackers
  • 3/4 Cup evaporated milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Remove seeds from yellow chile peppers and chop into 1 inch pieces.  Sauté onion, garlic, and chile peppers in the oil until onion is softened, about 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool. 

Place onion/chile mixture in a food processor or blender.  Add evaporated milk and blend.  Add cheese and crackers and blend until smooth.  Sauce should be fairly thick.  Thicken sauce with more saltines or thin sauce with milk if necessary.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Potato Preparation and Serving the dish:

Ingredients:

  • 8 yellow or while potatoes
  • Huancaína sauce
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 8 large black olives, halved

Directions:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling and add the potatoes.  Boil potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork.  Drain water from potatoes and let cool.  Slice potatoes and arrange on top of the lettuce leaves. 

Pour huancaína sauce over potatoes, and garnish with slices of hard-boiled egg and black olive halves.

 

Another dish we would like to share with you is Anticuchos de Carne – Grilled Beef Anticuchos

Ingredients:

  • 12 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup mild chile pepper paste (aji panca, if available)
  • 1/2 cup vinegar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2-3 pounds steak (sirloin, tenderloin)
  • Wooden skewers

Directions:

Cut beef into 2 inch chunks and place in a nonreactive bowl or dish.  Mash the garlic with a rock, or with a mortar and pestle. 

Make the marinade: in a bowl, mix the crushed garlic, ¼ cup of the vinegar, ¼ cup chile pepper paste, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper.

Pour the marinade over the beef and mix well.  Marinade beef overnight in the refrigerator.

Prepare the grill.  Place the beef onto the skewers (about 4 pieces of beef on each skewer).  Make a basting mixture of ½ cup vegetable oil, ¼ cup vinegar, and a pinch of cumin. 

Grill the skewers for about 5 minutes on each side, or to desired finish. Baste beef several times during cooking.

Thanks again Phil for your time and invigorating conversation.  Thank you to all the readers of the Traveling Foody.  Remember to keep you minds and stomachs open and your.  Keep on exploring and we will see you soon.  We leave you with a few more photos from our good friend Phil.

Pan y marmalade breakfast

Pan y marmalade breakfast

Roasting Chocolate Beans

Roasting Chocolate Beans

Cuy

Cuy

Coca leaves

Coca leaves

Eggs with Cilantro Sauce

Eggs with Cilantro Sauce

-The Traveling Foody

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The Traveling Foody – North Oregon Coast Unveiled

Welcome wonderful travelers and food enthusiasts to this week’s blog.   This week we visited some amazing towns on the North Oregon coast.  Between the diversity of the culture and of the coastal line, the coast does not disappoint.  The winter time is a wonderful time to visit the Oregon coast.  Not only is it off season but, the beach offers an array of visual stimulation.  The ocean has drastic features that will insist that you are watching.  The weather was mild during our visit.

We first arrived at our wonderful cottage at the Hillcrest.  The main reason we stayed at the cottage was it’s location to Broadway and the beach.  I didn’t want anything right smack in the middle of everything and we were not disappointed.  Even though the cottage was not directly on the beach it was a small block away.  The staffs at the Hillcrest are amazingly accommodating.  They offered us a few tips at some foodie places and were spot on.  Although, there are many places to stay on the prom in Seaside, there are few that give you that old style 1970’s beach apartment feel.  You know, the type of “Three’s Company” vibe and structure where in one of the two bedrooms the closet has a doorway to the closet in the living room.

Our trip takes us through Seaside, Ecola State Park, CannonBeach, Oswald State Park, through Wheeler, Tillamook Bay and into Tillamook.  Seaside is a popular destination with travelers and food and family attractions throughout the year.  One of the many highlights was waking up about 7am, drinking a cup of coffee, and walking on the beaches while watching the sunrise.

Bumper what? Bumper cars! That’s right.  Bumper cars.  Funland facilitates indoor electric bumper cars which twist this way and that.  Funland hosts hundreds of games to choose from and some really good pizza. Over 21?  Have a beer!  The 12 year old in you will come out when visiting Funland…. Either that or the good beer kicked in.

Ranked at seven on the Travel Channels “World’s Best Beaches,” CannonBeach is unlike most beaches in the world.  The beach is flat and goes on forever where the Northwest Territory stops right at the edge of the sand.  The rivers and streams from the mountains feed the Pacific Ocean with fresh cold water.  The monoliths are some of the largest in the world.  Haystack is the most famous of the monoliths and we captured some amazing footage for the Traveling Foody.   Some of our best footage was in and around Ecola State park where one location had a sizable film crew.   I then found myself describing the scenery using the best David Attenborough impersonations I could possibly do and many laughs were had.  That being said, Haystack and Astoria (a town north of Cannon beach), was the set location for “Point Break” and “Goonies.”

One morning we decided to head south and visit the town of Tillamook.  Tillamook is a well known place for their dairy and cheese making so we couldn’t wait to visit the factory.  Squeaky cheese and a homemade Tillamook grilled cheese sandwich were amazing.  The factory offers the visitors views of the cheese making processes and packaging.  While some were destined to try out their large selection of ice creams others were there for the jerky… That’s right.  They are also known for their jerky.  Down the street from the Tillamook factory was the Blue Heron French cheese company.  The farm is known for their brie.  The country story in front offers wine tasting, sandwiches and various products to experience.

You can’t travel without tasting the food and drink.  Here are a few places that are a must when visiting the areas.

Foodie places:

  • Norma’s Ocean Diner was amazing with their chowder.  The right balance between their clams and diced potatoes.
  • The Stand in Seaside provided an exciting Hispanic grilled infusion of flavors for the palate.  This was one of my highlights.
  • Tora Sushi Lounge satisfies your mind, body and taste buds.
  • Bill’s Tavern and Brewery in Cannon beach was amazing.  Normally I don’t find myself drinking stout but I was adventurous and it paid off.

“Wake up.”

“Check!”

“Go to Beach!”

“Already there.”

The Oregon coast is captivating fun and wild.  It will pull you into its canvas and before you know it you are a part of the scenery.  Pictures speak louder than words I hear.  Here are a few that we snapped in and around the areas.

423648_306307059490623_618809278_n574920_306307096157286_125760225_nseaside-eola-park-cannon-beach-2012-256.jpg12614_306304009490928_244190973_n33863_306317476156248_1266126072_n282930_306307802823882_34838365_n421068_306303516157644_286764196_n66458_306306266157369_986148331_n542971_306305319490797_406311863_n602927_306304926157503_570903805_n

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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The Traveling Foody – The land of Fire and Ice – Iceland

Komið þið sæl og blessuð.  Welcome everyone to The Traveling Foody’s travels through Iceland.  Known as the land of “Fire and Ice,” where hot molten lava flows throughout the crevices of the mountains and downward through the valleys, coming to an abrupt halt with the freezing glaciers into the final stages of its flow.  Not only is the landscape beautiful but so are the people who carry a live and let live outlook of utmost liberalism mixed with the pride of town and country; makings for a truly amazing culture.

Many people still might ask why?  Why Iceland and why would you go this time of year?

One of the reasons the Traveling Foody family visits Iceland is for the Iceland Airwaves Festival in Reykjavik.  The past week has been a fantastic experience at the Iceland Airwaves Festival in Reykjavík, not only for our family but for others all over the globe.

The first Iceland Airwaves Festival was held in an airplane hangar in 1999, and since, the festival has been one of the leading and most sought after annual platforms for new music.  Some of the world’s most thrilling artists perform at this festival.  This year’s festival had many mind opening artist performances and highlights.  Some of our favorite artists were Hjaltalín, Sigur Rós, Ásgeir Trausti, Sereo Hypnosis; they had amazing grooves.  The Apparat Organ Quartet had a cool Euro pop feel.  Úlfur had an amazing sound and an amazing set.  For the fellow metal fanatic, Atrum did not disappoint.  The artist we love to jam to and watch for years has been GUS GUS.  They definitely did not disappoint us fans.  Bottom line, the music was flowing like the Schnapps which also warms the body on a cold winter’s night.  So many artists at the festival were on their fun “A Game.”

There is more to Iceland Airwaves that just music.  Let’s take a trip back into time to try and grasp a little essence of the land and culture.

Iceland is a Nordic European island which is located in between the North Atlantic and ArcticOceans on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.  The largest city and the capital is Reykjavik.  With a plateau of sand, lava fields, mountains and glaciers, the island offers various characteristics of the topography that consistently changes making the country an adventurous place to visit.  Compared to other OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, Iceland has lower taxes, while maintaining a Nordic welfare system which provides tertiary education and universal healthcare.  Since the 1990’s, Iceland has become one wealthiest, most developed and one of the most productive nations per capita.  In 2008, like many countries, the banking system failed.  Even though Iceland is still in recovery, the country still ranks high in economics and political stability.  Having an egalitarian society and a smaller population, Icelandic pride is distinguished in their culture.  The roots of the Icelandic culture lie in the Nordic, Celtic and Scandinavian connection and background.  Many Icelanders venture outdoors to enjoy hiking, fishing, swimming and living in the moment.  Some of the most amazing apparels we see have come from Iceland and one of our personal favorite apparel items we have seen are the hoodies, sweaters and gloves.  If you get a chance, do an internet search on some of Icelandic weaves.  You will then see why we wrote about them.

Like many of Iceland’s historical roots, lamb, fish and dairy are a part of their cuisine.  Some of our favorite foodie items are kleinur (Icelandic fried pastry), skyr (yogurt) and hangikjöt (smoked lamb).  The quality of the ingredient is the emphasis that the best chefs and cooks have always concentrated on.  Icelandic chefs are up there to the top when it comes to local and fresh ingredients.  So the majority of great dishes specialize in seafood.  If you get a chance, attend the Food Fun competition.  This competition consists of chef’s competing in innovating dishes with fresh ingredients produced only in Iceland.

We have found that Reykjavík is an amazing city to host many arts, music and food festivals all year around.  An opened armed welcoming to all travelers.  Reykjavik has got to be one of the most amazing and distinctive natural beauty cities in the world.  We met lots of performers and many new friends.  Meeting people and sharing music, art, ideas and food is what keeps our Traveling Foody family traveling all over the globe.  I hope that many of you will continue to be a part of our Traveling Foody family.

If you get a moment email and share with us any tails of travels and food at thetravelingfoody@gmail.com

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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The Traveling Foody – Oktoberfest!

Welcome travelers and food lovers to this week’s blog.  It’s a rocking Oktoberfest.  We have been very busy towards the end of this year so some of our blogs you will notice a week gap here and there.  We are gearing up to finalize the Foodie Pet book which has been a blast but taking up more of our time due to our high standards in our product.  That being said, let’s rock this Oktoberfest.

Our own Traveling Foody’s David Dewey, will be experiencing some amazing American Oktoberfest parties in Leavenworth, Washington.  Although not as big as Munich and other cities throughout America, Leavenworth does not disappoint with its beautiful Bavarian style village and surrounding mountains.  In America, the larger festivals are held in various areas of Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  The largest festival in the world is held in Munich, Germany.

What is the true story behind Oktoberfest?  Well, Oktoberfest is a 16 day festival also known to the locals in Munich as “die Wiesn” – named after the fairgrounds in where it is held in the Bavarian city of Theresienwiese.  It all started back on October 12th 1810, when Crown Price Ludwig – later to become King Ludwig I – was to marry Princess Therese Charlotte Luise of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The people of Munich were all invited to the festivities which were held in the fields by the city gates.  The fields were then named after the Princes and have kept their name ever since.  The festival was later moved into September to allow for better weather conditions.

Only the beer conforming to Reineitsgebot standards (Purity laws), can be served at Oktoberfest.  The beer is required to be brewed within Munich’s city limits and the breweries that can produce must do so under particular criteria.  We salute the following breweries for making world class biers:

Augustiner-Brau

Hacker-Pschorr-Brau

Lowenbra

Paulaner-Brau

Splatenbrau

Staatliches Hofbrau-Munchen

 

Some fun facts and tips for you:

  • The marquees get very crowded.  You need to purchase vouchers in advance in order to get a place to eat and drink.
  • Over 6.6 million liters of beer is consumed.
  • Be sure to book your hotel room 1 year in advance.
  • Food in the marquees is more expensive than the stands in other parts of the park.
  • Landlords are able to charge their guests for using their toilets.

 

Today we leave you with one of our favorite German treats: Kartoffelknödeln  This recipe and others can be found purchasing at http://www.amazon.com/Damien-T.-De-Witte/e/B0080YZEU4 both in hard copy and Kindle format.

 

Kartoffelknödeln (Potato Dumplings)

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 8 medium potatoes
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • Flour

Directions

Peel the potatoes.  Place them into a large pot and fill the pot with enough water to cover them.

Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 20–30 minutes).  Drain the potatoes well in a colander, place them in a bowl, and mash them, using a hand mixer or potato masher.   Add the egg yolks, cornstarch, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.

Rinse out the pot and refill it with water and heat to boiling.  While the water is heating, shape the potato mixture into golf-ball sized dumplings.  Roll the dumplings in flour and drop immediately into boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes.  Serve with butter and salt.

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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The Traveling Foody – Tailgating

Hey there travelers and foodie fans.   Welcome to this week’s adventure.  It’s that time of year when Americans gather for two things; Tailgating and the various sporting events that follow.   Not everyone can get into the stadium to experience the game and oddly enough, many don’t even want to.  Those are the hardcore tailgaters.  They are the ones who arrive early to the party and thrive off the divine showing of their flare.  That’s right, Tailgaters.  It’s all about the crazy social event packed with amazing vehicles which strap on and let loose the power of the party.  Between the grilling madness, TV’s and sound systems battered off the generator, and the various alcohol infused fun, a tailgating party is like no other party.

If there is one person you need to answer any questions about tailgating, it’s this man; Joe Cahn, the self-declared Commissioner of Tailgating.  This guy is the epitome of hardcore and the Traveling Foody team has so much respect and love for the man.  He has traveled all over the United States tailgating and sharing his love and passion for the event by sharing food and stories with various fans.  We here at the Traveling Foody salute you, Joe Cahn.

When your vehicle is parked and tents and grilling apparatuses are ready, it’s time for a few games to work up that appetite.  Some of our favorite games to play at a tailgating party are beer pong, flip cup, corn hole and ladder toss.  We will leave you to investigate the explanation of the game titles.  Now that you have played the game and have created that appetite, it’s time to eat.  The old style tailgating brought you some great foods such as hamburgers, hot dogs, coleslaw and potato salad.  With modern technology, bringing the house to the tailgate is easier than ever. Plus it’s a convenient way to show you’re off your rig and cooking skills to the masses.  If you are lucky you could find yourself participating, watching or tasting the wonders of a tailgating cook off.

I like to leave you with a couple recipes this week that will surely impress the hardest of the hardcore tailgating foodie.  First, a Black Bean and Granny Smith Salad that will rock the tailgaters taste buds.  The recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc… And finally we have the Grilled Mussels with Red Pepper Relish.

Thank you all for stopping buy and I look forward to your wonderful likes, reposts, responses and emails each and every week.  Keep on traveling and exploring food and cultures!

 

Black Bean and Granny Smith Apple Salad

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook and stir the onion and red bell pepper in the hot oil until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes; season with cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Scrape into a mixing bowl; stir in the black beans, apples, lemon juice, and cilantro.  Refrigerate until cold before serving.

 

Grilled Mussels with Red Pepper Relish

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 3 slices of bacon
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 24 mussels, cleaned
  • ½ head red leaf lettuce

Directions:

Roast the bell peppers on the grill over high heat for 4 – 7 minutes, rotating so that all sides get toasted.  Put the pepper into a plastic or paper bag for 8 minutes.  Peel away the skin, discard the seeds and stems, and chop the peppers finely.  Cook the bacon in a pan on the stove until crisp, crumble, and combine with peppers.  Toss the mixture with the vinegar. 

Grill the mussels over heat until they pop open, 3 – 5 minutes. Put a spoonful of the relish in each mussel and serve over the lettuce leaves.  Do not eat any unopened mussels.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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It’s Berrylicious!

 Hejsan and Välkommen travelers and foodie fans.  Well, The Traveling Foody family has finally returned home in Seattle and we have been picking all our black berries, strawberries and blueberries.  We had noticed that many others are doing the same all around the globe and are also preparing for all the amazing berry festivals.  Growing up in Northern Orange County in the United States around Knott’s Berry Farm -strawberry fields galore- and being exposed to family farmers who jammed the wonderful treats everywhere from Minnesota, to our families from Europe, then moving to Washington where I was surrounded by blackberries.  The love of the berry runs deep in my family and friends’ way of life.  My grandmother would have my mother and my aunts sterilize the jars while she prepared her wonderful jams to sell at the rummage sale where people would pre-order a full year supply of her jams.  I’m in the process of learning her secrets so that we can continue the traditions.  Berries, like many other treats of the land, bring out the best in people.  People come together and become connected to one another by enhancing and indulging in the sweet treats that Mother Earth produces.  Berries, that are edible, provide us with fiber, vitamins and cancer –fighting antioxidants.

 

The Traveling Foody family would like to introduce you to a few of berries from around the world that might be familiar, or not.  I know we left many berries out but I figured we would present the more unfamiliar types.

 

Acai berry: Found in the Amazon jungle located in South America, the Acai berry is dark purple fruit which grows in the palm trees and is high in fatty acids, proteins and antioxidants.

Boysenberry: Boysenberries were developed in California in the 1920’s by crossing the raspberry, blackberry and logan berry.   Walter Knott and his wife grew the fruit.  Mrs. Knott made the berry farm famous for her preserves and later made a chicken pie shop due to the amount of people who traveled all over to try the preserves.

Bearberry: Bearberries are found in arctic and subarctic zones around the world.  The bearberry produces red berries.  

Bilberry: Bilberries are similar to blueberries; these tasty berries grow wild throughout northern Europe.

Currant: Currants thrive in regions with cool, moist conditions like England.  The round fruits may be translucent white, purple or red with a tart flavor used for preserves or wines.

Cowberry: Cowberries grow wild throughout Canada and Northern Europe.  The berry produces a tart red fruit like cranberries.  Many people use it for backing and preserves.

Elderberry: Elderberries are comparable to currants.  The berries are dark red to purple and make fine wine and preserves.   The plant grows well in moist, cool regions.

Farkleberry: Farkleberries are related to the blueberry.  Also known as sparkleberry, farkleberries are black and grow wild throughout the Midwest.  Birds mainly enjoy this type of berry.

Indian Plum: This blossoming shrub or petite tree is native to the Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascade Mountains.  The fruit is reddish and enjoyed mostly by birds.

Logan Berry: Logan Berries are a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry and has a distinct taste.   The berry is used mainly in jams and juices. 

Persimmon: Persimmons are botanically classified as a berry like the tomato.   These round orange fruit were formed initially in the Middle East and Asia and are grown today throughout the Southern United States. They have an acidic taste and somewhat mealy texture.

Tayberry: Tayberries are a hybrid which is a cross between a loganberry and a black raspberry which produces a sweet, red fruit.  The berry is grown in moist, fertile soil and is more frost hardy than blackberries.

Thimbleberry: A cousin of refined raspberries, thimbleberries grow from Alaska to northern Mexico.  The berry is softer and more perishable than raspberries.

Wintergreen: This plant grows on vines throughout Canada and the Northern United States.  The berries have an acerbic taste that get better by chilling.

Youngberry: Youngberry is a hybrid cross between a dewberry, raspberry and a blackberry in 1905.  The berries are mainly grown in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

 

Fun Facts:

  • There is a strawberry museum in Belgium.
  • Blueberries are one of the few natural foods that are originally blue.
  • Strawberries naturally contain salicylates which is an ingredient found in aspirin.
  • Over $3 Billion in berries are sold a year.
  • Blackberries contain Vitamin E, which is good for the heart.
  • Berries strengthen blood vessels, reduce heart disease and protect eyesight.
  • Blackberries and strawberries have high levels of phytoestrogens, which are said to help prevent breast and cervical cancer.
  • Over 80 percent of strawberries grown in the United States are from California.

 

I like to leave you this week with a Berry Breeze beverage, Blueberry Balsamic Rosemary Chicken and a Blackberry Mojito beverage.  Thanks for reading this week’s blog and supporting us.  Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to be a part of the adventure.

 

Berry Breeze

Makes 2 drinks

Ingredients:

  • 3 Ounces Makers Mark bourbon
  • 3 Ounces fresh orange juice
  • 3 Ounces cranberry juice
  • 1 ½ Ounces Cream Sherry
  • 1 Ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ Ounces simple syrup
  • 1 Can lemon lime soda
  • 1 Can club soda
  • 2 Strawberries
  • 2 Sprigs fresh mint

 

Directions:

Combine the bourbon, sherry, orange juice, cranberry juice, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.  Shake and then strain into two tall glasses. 

Top each glass with a splash of lemon lime soda and a splash of club soda and garnish with strawberry and mint sprig.

 

Blueberry Balsamic Rosemary Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts (or 2 pounds chicken legs and thighs)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 Cups Blueberries
  • ½ Cups balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ Cups maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary, coarsely chopped

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter.  Season chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and add to the pan when the oil and butter are hot and bubbly. 

Over medium – high heat, sear chicken breasts until golden brown.  Remove to a baking dish and set aside. 

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter to the skillet and stir in shallots and cook until soft and lightly caramelized.  Add blueberries and cook 1 minute. Stir in vinegar, maple syrup, rosemary, remaining salt and pepper and simmer 10 minutes, or until the blueberries have collapsed. 

Pour the mixture over the chicken and put baking dish in the top half of the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes, until the chicken has cooked through to a temperature of 165°F.

 

Blackberry Mojito

Ingredients:

 

  • 12 Blackberries
  • 12 large mint leaves
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ Cups seltzer water
  • ¼ Cups vodka or rum
  • 6 to 8 ice cubes

 

Directions:

Muddle blackberries, mint leaves, sugar, lemon juice and lime juice in a tall slender glass until berries are mostly crushed.  Add the seltzer, vodka, and ice.  Stir well and serve.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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Love your Avocado!

Welcome back travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s blog.  Seeing that we recently have been traveling in and out of South America and México I figure we would talk about one of my favorite fruits which is the avocado.

The state of Puebla, México is noted for originating the avocado.   Scientists have found avocado growth evidence in Puebla dated back to 10,000 BC.  The agricultural development of the fruit has a long history in South America as well.  One of the more interesting particulars of an avocado is the harvesting of the fruit.  Did you know that avocados do not soften while maturing on the tree?   Crazy right?  The tree in which the avocado grows on can act as a better storage unit than your fridge.  That’s right!  The fruit can actually be stored better on the tree for many months past maturing than the fridge or just sitting around.

Many think an avocado is a vegetable but it is not, it’s a fruit which is related to the berry family.  The avocado is also referred to as the alligator pear due to its green and rough exterior.  Another interesting topic about avocados is the name.  The Aztecs name for the fruit was “ahuacatl” meaning “testicle,” due to the shape of the fruit.  When the Spanish explores came and could not pronounce the Aztec word for the fruit they named it aguacate.  The later, well known term, “avocado” was formed by the Spanish which was formed from the Nahuatl origin of the word of the fruit.  The Spanish have other terms that they obscured from the Nahuatl that coincide with the usage of the fruit such as guacamole.  The Nahuatl term that the Spanish transitioned was ahuacamolli.

Some other fun facts:

  • Spaniards found they could use the juice from the seed for ink.
  • In 1519, Cortez had seen that the avocado was a staple in the native diet.
  • In 1554, Francisco Salazar mentions in his book the New Spain, the avocado being sold in the market place.
  • Seamen in the 1700’s would spread the fruit on their biscuits and call it midshipman’s butter.
  • In 1833 the first avocado tree in Florida was planted.

I like to leave you this week with a couple of wonderful recipes that The Traveling Foody family love to make.  One is an Avocado Fries side dish and the other is an Avocado and Black Bean Salsa.

Also, visit our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TravelingFoody and our wonderful website at www.thetravelingfoody.com for more information and some of our merchandise. Your support sustains the Traveling Foody and all that we stand for and it is greatly appreciated!

Avocado Fries

Ingredients

  • Canola oil for frying
  • ¼ Cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt plus a bit more for taste
  • 2 Large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ Cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 Firm avocados, cut into ½ inch wedges

Directions

Pour the oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches into a medium sauce pan.  Heat the oil to 275°F.  Combine flour and salt into shallow plate.  Put eggs and panko in separate shallow plates.  Dip the avocado wedges in flour, shaking off the excess.  Dip in the egg, and dredge in panko to coat.

Fry avocado wedges in batches, 35 – 60 seconds until golden brown.   Drain on paper towel.  For large batches, place previous fried wedges on baking sheet and place in oven at 200°F until the rest of batch is done.  Sprinkle wedges with additional salt to taste.

Avocado Black Bean Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 Can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Cup corn, thawed
  • 1 Can fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 Garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ Cup packed cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon minced canned chipotles in adobo sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 avocados diced

Directions

Combined all ingredients except avocados.  Blend well.  Fold in the avocado and serve with chips.

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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Welcome to England!

Cheerio and welcome travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s The Traveling Foody adventure in England.  As the 2012 Summer Olympics come to a close in England, I like to honor all the participants; from the athletes who performed their hearts out to the family and fans that have supported them throughout their lives, thank you for your outstanding performances.  Not only have there been ups and downs but many surprises and drama to the 2012 Summer Olympics.  Although, I am an American, I fully respect any great athlete and to see England take the Gold in their country for Men’s tennis… Well that was great to see!  Another highlight for us was watching the Water Polo events.  All in all, this has been a great experience for us and for many others for there was so much passion and determination by all of the athletes, coaches and supporters.

 

There might be a few readers that are unaware of England’s topography, migration and cuisine.  England is located in northern Europe between Scotland and Wales and has a temperate climate which allows farmers to produce a wide range of foods.  Early settlers grew wheat and barley for breads. Later, Romans brought new herbs and introduced farming techniques such as fencing livestock to supplement the hunter-gathering diet.  During the Viking invasions, the Danish and Norwegians brought with them smoking and fish drying techniques.  Many meals after this time were prepared as a stew or pottage.  English cuisine today has retained the heart of its earlier cooking history while utilizing its global shipping hub to incorporate herbs, meats and spices in creating the savory and sweet taste the world has come to know as English cuisine.

Cuisines of England that we love but are not limited to:

·         Toad in the Hole

·         Fish and Chips

·         Yorkshire pudding

·         Shepherd’s/Cottage pie

·         Bangers and Mash

·         Apple Crumble

·         Black pudding

·         Bubble and Squeak

 

I would like to leave you with a Lamb Kebab in Spicy Yogurt Dressing recipe which is featured in the England section of Around the World in 80 Recipes, which can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/Damien-T.-De-Witte/e/B0080YZEU4.  The book also consists of a Shepherd’s pie and Toad in a Hole Recipe.  Don’t for get to visit the website and faceboook page for cool photos and updates.

Cheers!

 

Lamb Kebab in Spicy Yogurt Dressing

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large corn-on-the-cob
  • 8 shallots
  • 5 oz natural yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, skinned and crushed
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ lb boned leg of lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 8 oz zucchini cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 4 tomatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges, to garnish

 

Directions

Blanch the corn in boiling salted water for 1 minute, drain well, cut into 8 pieces and set aside.  Blanch the shallots in boiling salted water for 1 minute, skin and set aside.

To make the marinade, pour the yogurt into a shallow dish and stir in the garlic, bay leaves, lemon juice, allspice, coriander seeds and salt and pepper.

Thread the lamb cubes on to eight skewers with the zucchini, tomatoes, corn and shallots. Place in the dish, spoon over the marinade, cover and leave for 2-3 hours, turning occasionally to ensure even coating.

Grill the kebabs for about 15-20 minutes, turning and brushing with the marinade occasionally.

Spoon remaining marinade over the kebabs and garnish with lemon wedges.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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Surfs Up!

Welcome back travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s The Traveling Foody Blog.  The past 3 weeks we have been up and down the Southern parts of California, in and out of Mexico and South America.   I figure we talk a bit about beaches around the world and the surf culture which it inhabits.  Growing up surfing and being exposed to the beach life, I will always have a place in my heart for such things and a connection to the people, language, fashion, music, sport, food and art.  What does beach life and surfer culture mean to me?  It means I’m free; one with Mother Nature and at home.  Two highlights when I surf are being able to swim with smart and fascinating animals and the meal to replenish the body after a workout with the surf.  I still get slack from friends and people for saying, “Dude” and, “Stoked” in every sentence.  But I don’t mind.  It’s these types of things that make us who we are.

 

The history of surfing is rich in culture and can be traced back to the ancient Polynesians.   The modern popularity and culture of surfing began to burgeon during the 1950’s and 60’s in Hawaii, California and Australia.  Then, the surf culture began to affect fashion, literature, films and music.  Given that surfing on the oceans has a restricted geographical necessity (i.e. the coastline), the culture of beach life often subjected the surfers and vice versa.  In the 60’s, the surf culture of Southern California popularized the bikini, board shorts, the woodie wagon and of course music such as the Beach Boys and Dick Dale.  Surfing has also influenced the creation of new sports such as skateboarding and snowboarding.  When the waves were down, the surfers needed to continue their flow with the sea but they only had asphalt so they attached wheels to a smaller board and called it Skateboarding.

 

I love surfing and chilling around the Southern regions of California and Baja.  Here are a few beaches The Traveling Foody crew loves and recommends:

 

Bells Beach (Victoria, Australia)

Home of the Rip Curl Pro and featured in the movie Point Break and 1966s The Endless Summer.

Lover’s Beach (Baja, California Sur, Mexico)

This hidden cove with rock formations springing out makes for an excellent destination for the romantics.

Byron Bay (Australia)

Byron Bay is not only known for the surf but the pubs, cafés and the music scene.

Pipeline (Oahu, Hawaii)

Known for the reef breaks the beach offers some of the most amazing and beautiful curls in the surf.

An Bang Beach (Hoi An, Vietnam)

An Bang Beach offers soft waves and beautiful white sand.

Southwestern Beach (Koh Rong, Cambodia)

One of top beaches that the Gulf of Thailand with over 5,000 meters of untouched white sand.

Sun Island Beach (Maldives)

Some people might say this would be the best beach.  In the middle of the Indian Ocean this gem will take your breath away with the coral reefs being visible from the beach.

Nungwi (Zanzibar)

The shallow waters of Nungwi’s shores will have you thinking you can walk on water.

 

For more information visit us on facebook or at www.thetravelingfoody.com

I like to leave you with a refreshing Shellfish Watermelon Ceviche.

Shellfish Watermelon Ceviche

6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 navel orange
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice Plus 1 Tablespoon
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup diced seeded watermelon
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 2  teaspoons finely chopped fresh jalapeño
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ lb sea scallops cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ¼ lb large shrimp in shell, peeled, deveined, and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ¼ lb cooked lobster meat, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons chopped fresh mint

 

Directions:

Cut, peel and remove segments of the orange free from membranes. Chop enough segments to measure ¼ cup.  Stir together chopped orange, orange juice, lime juice, watermelon, ginger, onion, jalapeño, and salt (to taste) in a large bowl.  Bring a 1-quart saucepan three-fourths full of water (Seasoned with salt) to a boil and add scallops.  Reduce heat to a simmer and poach scallops until just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer using a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking.  Bring water in saucepan to a boil and poach shrimp the same as scallops.  Drain the shrimp in a colander and transfer to bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Drain scallops and shrimp well and pat dry.  Add scallops, shrimp, lobster, and mint to watermelon mixture and toss to combine, then season with salt.  Covered and chill at least 1 hour.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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South America! Here We Go!

Welcome travelers and foodie lovers to this week’s venture in culture, food and topography.  This week we are visiting various regions in South America and loving every bit.

 

Both North and South America are named after the cartographer and explorer Amerigo Vespucci.  During Christopher Columbus’s exploration, it was Amerigo that thought Columbus ventured to a new world and not Asia.  Following the Feminine names of regions in Europe and Asia, the newly explored area was named America.  Inca, Azteca and Mayan culture were the largest empires in South American history.  The Aztecs were a powerful society until Hernando Cortez, a powerful Spaniard military leader, declared war on them.   The Aztecs were outmatched by the military modernization.  Over 600 years ago the Mayan culture developed until the culture disappeared due to wars and famine.  The Inca built their society high in the Andes Mountains and like the Mayan the Inca battled too many wars, thus over utilizing the supplies of the entire society.  At this point the majority of South America was ruled and occupied by Spain.

 

In the old world, many of the South American natives knew how to grow and harvest a large variety of various plants.  South American land is as diverse as is its culture.  Like Mexico, when European settlers arrived, they incorporated native dishes with their own fare.  Like North America, South America is comfortably nestled between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.  The numerous fruits and fresh fish are a true staple in the Amazonian region.  The large mass of Argentina and the long coastline of Chile provide the region with lamb, venison and fresh food from the sea.  Peru is known for their llamas and for the over 4,000 varieties of potato and sweet potato.  Feijoada, which is a bean, beef and pork stew and is made all over Brazil.  One can spend a lifetime exploring the various cuisines and culture of South America.  It’s easy to see the love and passion come out in the many cultures and foods of South America.

 

Many people now have heard stories about the cowboys of North America, but very few people and movies have been made about the cowboys of South America.  The Cowboys are named Gauchos and are famous for their horsemanship.  Most of South America is mountainous creating topography hard to travel on land.  Brazil leads plane manufactures in South America in production due to the size and shipping accessibility.  Another great topic is coffee.  Columbia is the largest coffee producer in the world. The beans are dried and roasted to bring us morning and late night coffee pleasure.   One last cultural that is a must when visiting South America is to make your way to Brazil 46 days before Easter.  It’s CARNAVAL!  Carnival, or Carnaval is a celebration in Brazil.  Rio de Janeiro is the capital of the festival, and although we will not be in that area next year we will have our fellow traveling foody reps reporting and photographing next year.

 

I like to leave you this week with yet another recipe from one of my books.  Around the World in 80 Recipes can be purchased on Kindle or Paperback at http://www.amazon.com/Damien-T.-De-Witte/e/B0080YZEU4.

Have a wonderful week and I look forward to exploring with you.

 

Feijoada

Serves 10 to 12

Ingredients

  • 3 strips of raw bacon
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 lb smoked sausage
  • 1 lb boneless beef (any cut of meat)
  • 1 (14-oz) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 4 cups canned black beans
  • salt and pepper

 

Directions

Cut the bacon strips into big pieces.  Fry them in a large pot over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, stirring often.  Turn the heat down to medium.  Cut the onion in half.  Peel off the skin and outer layer.  Chop both halves into small pieces.  Peel the cloves of garlic. Chop them into small pieces.  Add the onions and garlic to the bacon in the pot.  Stir until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes.  Cut the sausage and beef into 1-inch pieces.  Add them to the onions and garlic.  Cook until the meat is brown on all sides.  Add the stewed tomatoes (with juice), hot water, yellow mustard, and some salt and pepper.  Turn the heat down to simmer.  Cover the pot.

Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring often.  If it looks too thick, add more water, ¼ cup at a time.  Add the black beans (with liquid).  Cover the pot, and cook for 10 more minutes.  Serve in a bowl.

 

-Damien – The Traveling Foody

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