Australian Bush tucker: Lets put on a barbie

22 September, 2007

Australians are very fond of their ‘bush tucker’. Bush tucker is associated with food cooked outdoors either on camping sites or at out-of-station trips.

These usually include cooking or rather, barbequing meats of their iconic animals such as Kangaroos, Emus (a flightless bird), Barramundi (fish) and yabby (crayfish).

The famous Aussie slogan, ‘Let’s put on a barbie’, cannot emphasize their love of cooking outdoors anymore than this.

Their modern-day, but traditional food items include vegemite (a black yeast spread); meat pie (minced meat pie); Tim Tams (chocolate coated biscuits); Anzac Biscuits (large wheat biscuits).

Then there Vanilla Slice (a custard pie slice topped with vanilla icing); Lamingtons (pieces of sponge cake coated with chocolate and any other flavoured icing and coconut); and Peach Melba (slices of peach served with whipped cream and sometimes with a scoop of ice cream).

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Preston: A market town with a historic past

21 September, 2007

Preston, a small cosmopolitan city has always been a center of trade and commerce – even during the Middle Ages.

Located halfway between London and Glasgow, the city is still carrying out its commercial duties acting as not just as a shopping center for the whole Northwest England region but also as an exporting center, trading goods, with many mainland European countries.

Preston, a small town with a population of 129,000 souls started out as what can easily be described as a Church Town, or as historians would have us believe, Priest Town; hence, the name, ‘Preston’.

Situated on River Ribble, Preston is the administrative center of Lancanshire and was recently inducted in the ‘city hall of fame’, when it became the nation’s 50th city. This honour was bestowed in 2002, the Golden Jubilee Year of Queen Elizabeth II accession to the throne. Since then, the city is known by its new title, “Queen’s Golden Jubilee City”.

Preston has always been a significant town during the ages. In the Roman times, a major road ran just north from the then city. In 1179, the village of Preston, received the Royal Charter, and thereafter became a town. The Middle Ages saw the town developed into a major commercial center as it sat on a main route from England to Scotland, contributing to its growth.

Then later on during the 16 and 17 centuries, it got embroiled in a political situation due to which it became the scene of the last major civil war fought in England in 1715. Aptly named, ‘Battle of Preston’ took place when Preston town-folk, sympathizers of Scottish Army loyal to James III of Scotland and England took on English army who were against his accession.

Preston during the ages, has not just been a commercial centre but also a tourist destination. It is more so evident as mentioned by an 18 century writer who visited it and described the city as a pretty town with lots of rich people.

Preston has a lot to offer to visitors. It’s main attractions are St. Walburge’s Church, Miller Arcade, Town Hall, Harris Building, St. John’s Minster, former Corn Exchange, Fishergate Baptist Church and beautiful Georgian buildings at Winckley Square.


Delectable South African Cuisine

25 May, 2007

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South African cuisine is a rich combination of many cultures, with three main cultures of Africa, Netherlands and India dominating it.

Being an African country, it is only natural that its staple diet would consist of local agricultural products such as dishes made of corn, ground maize and whole grain.

Though, Africans usually keep cattle as a sign of progress and wealth, they usually slaughter them on special occasions. But nowadays, cheaper meat like chicken is becoming more and more popular as the main dish.

Some of the few dishes that are popular in this part of the world is ‘bobotie’ – a delicious baked meatloaf; ‘bredie’ – a tomato stew; ‘melktert’, which is a cinnamon flavoured custard tart; koeksisters, similar to donuts; and ‘malvapudding’ – a brandy soaked sponge cake.

And then there are the staple and well-known Indian dishes like biryani, samosas, chutney and rusks, which has now favoured intensely by the locals and visitors alike.


Gastronomic Turkish Delights

23 May, 2007

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Without doubt, all the dished mentioned below are among the most famous and ‘most-turkish’ of all Turkish dishes. And no matter which even country you visit, if there is a sizeable population then you will definitely come across these Turkish delights.

Turkish Coffee: Known locally and even in literature, both regional as well as nation, as ‘Kahve’ it is literally not for the mild taste buds.

Meze: This is mostly a starters dish and consists of hummus, feta and stuffed grape leaves. It is served with an anise-flavoured drink call ‘raki’.

Doner Kebab: This is more of a sandwich with thin leaf of meat, including (upon choice) of either beef, chicken or lamb served in either a flat bread or a bun with yoghurt, sauces and salad.

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Baklava: This sweet pastry stuffed with all kinds of dry fruits and cooked in syrup, literally, melts in your mouth.


Puerto Rico – A typical Caribbean destination

19 May, 2007

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One of the many island nations occupying the Caribbean Sea region, Puerto Rico is one of the larger ones.

Part of the Greater Antilles Group, Puerto Rico is also its smallest island nation. Itself an archipelago, the island nation contains various large and small islands, called the keys.

Apart from the main island of Puerto Rico, the other significant ones are Mona, Viegues, Culebra, Desecheo and Caja de Muertos. Other than the main island, only the Culebra and Viegues are inhabited year-round. All the others are basically populated during the tourist season.

Lying south of the mainland US, with Miami being the nearest US port, some 2000 kilometres away, Puerto Ricans are US citizens by birth. This is due to the reason that their country is an ‘Unincorporated Territory’ of the US Government, meaning that only certain US Government rules and regulations apply to the locals.

Being in the Caribbean region, Puerto Rico is virtually a tourist paradise. And believe it or not, here, you can literally, travel on a road towards Paradise.

Puerto Rico offers the best of both worlds – natural, such as scuba diving among some of the world’s richest underwater flora and fauna. They can visit coffee plantations, go off the beaten track on various hiking or biking trails along the coast, visit a few of many waterfalls.

Those seeking the more urbane kind of pleasure, well, they can taste some of the wonderful local cuisines at roadside cafes; visit the local bazaars for those charming little trinkets to take back home.


Gourmet food at Carmel-by-the-sea, California

24 April, 2007

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A beautiful seaside and serene town, Carmel-by-the-sea or just Carmel in short, is a place, which once visited, a visitor may never want to leave.

Apart from its many scenic beauty spots, a visitor can have the following five choices of restaurants to enjoy a good, hearty meal.

The Covey
8205 Valley Greens Dr. (Carmel Valley Dr.) , Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club, Carmel, CA 93923
Cuisines: Contemporary, Californian
Price range*: $30-75
Special features: Romantic, Outdoor seating

Village Corner
Sixth Ave. & Dolores St., Carmel, CA 93923
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Seafood
Price range*: $20-35
Special features: Romantic, Business, Child-friendly, Outdoor seating

Portabella
Ocean Ave & Monte Verde St, Carmel, CA 93923
Cuisines: Mediterranean
Price range*: $20-35
Special features: Romantic, Child-friendly, Outdoor seating

Flying Fish Grill
Sixth Ave. & Dolores St., Carmel, CA 93923
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Seafood
Price range*: $20-35
Special features: Romantic, Business, Child-friendly, Outdoor seating

Le Coq D’or
Mission St & 5th Ave, Carmel, CA 93923
Cuisines: French, German, Continental
Average price*: $35
Special features: Romantic, Child-friendly, Outdoor seating


Fine Dining in Positano, Italy

20 April, 2007

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If you are passing through Positano, then it is advised, as well as good sense, to stop by to taste some of the finer elements of the great Italian local cuisine. And those finer elements are easily available at these places.

Da Costantino
A family owned restaurant, not very fancy, in fact lacks a proper ambiance. Prices are reasonable. It is out of way, so you would need to call them up for directions. It can be reached via Montepertuso 107.

La Sponda
Situated in Le Sirenuse Hotel, it is very pricey but the food’s serving is very inventive and quite fresh. Price range from 30 euros for starters, and main dishes are somewhat 40 odd euros. Deserts will be another 20 euros each.

Donna Rosa
A beautiful restaurant with a couple of dinning rooms and a terrace, this small restaurant is also a family business. The head chef is the owner’s wife. Dinner at Donna Rosa for a couple can cost up to 100 euros, including starters, entrees, deserts and drinks.

Il Ritrovo
The great service that this restaurant provides a pick and drop service for its patrons. It is too, an home-styled establishment, with accompanying atmosphere. The food is quite delicious and a bit cheaper too, costing some 70-80 euros for a couple.