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Category: Spain

Why Eat Asparagus? Health Benefits and History

Asparagus, a delicate, spear shaped green shoot may not have a massive fan following like cacao or berries, but come summer, European foodies go gaga over the unassuming vegetable.

From being considered an aphrodisiac to its use as a diuretic, asparagus has had a long, rich and colourful past spanning more than 2000 years. Ancient Egyptian held it in high esteem as they offered it to their gods. (more…)

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21 Inspirational Movies about Food and Chefs

Food and movies appeal to your main senses. One uses flavour, aroma and touch to captivate you, while the other captures your imagination with vision and sound.

When you combine these two themes, you get something surprising and dynamic. A good food movie lets you enjoy the visual feast, even as it showcases different realities in people’s lives.

If you’re in the mood for some soul-searching or romance the foodie way, this guide offers a buffet of 21 movies. This could change the way you feel about food, love and life.

1. Big Night by Stanley Tucci & Campbell Scott (1996)

Available here

Italian food, bickering siblings, floundering family restaurant, and the one celebrity meal. This movie has all the right elements to move its audience. You’ll be craving some carb food at the end of it.

2. Haute Cuisine (Les Saveurs du Palais) by Christian Vincent (2012)

Available here

Based on the true story of a chef from a small French town who joined the Presidential kitchen. The plot is as much about the elegance of French cuisine as it is about a lady who carves a place for herself in the male bastion.

3. Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? by Ted Kotcheff (1978)

Available here

Unlike family, romance or fun themed movies in the list, this is a mystery-thriller. A food critic tries to track the killer behind explores a series of murders of master chefs, before time runs out.

4. Like Water for Chocolate by Alfonso Arau (1992)

Available here

A magical realism movie that showcases the power of food over anyone one who eats it. A parallel track revolves around the young girl who cooks these intense meals and her forbidden love.

5. The Hundred-Foot Journey by Lasse Hallstrom (2014)

Available here

Based on a bestseller novel, this movie explores various concepts like people’s opposition to new ideas and how multiculturalism elevates cooking to a new level. When French cuisine meets Indian, there is bound to be fireworks.

6. Eat Drink Man Woman by Ang Lee (1997)

Available here

A touching story of a Taiwanese chef-father stuck in a traditional world and his modern, strong-willed daughters. He tries to find common ground with his three children over extravagant Sunday dinners.

Lee’s Chinese movie inspired spinoffs including Tortilla Soup (2001) and Soul Food.

7. Soul Food by George Tillman Jr. (1997)


Available here

This one takes a slightly different route with an African American setting. It has three married sisters (and their troubles), a matriarch and elaborate Sunday dinners with extended family.

8. Ratatouille by Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava (2007)

Available here

A rat (cooking genius) and a garbage boy cook up succulent meals that reverse a hotel’s fortunes and touch the heart of a callous food critic. A movie that will have you reaching for the untouched recipe book.


9. The Chef by Jon Favreau (2014)


Available here

This movie is about a spiritual and culinary journey of a respected chef who loses his job in a fancy restaurant. He ends up with a food truck business where he focuses on creating simple and economical for the ordinary folk.

10. Tampopo by Jûzô Itami (1985)

Available here

A Western-styled Japanese movie with interconnected stories based on food. From the chef who dreams of his own noodle bar to his trucker aide, all the characters reveal their love for a hearty meal.

11. Babette’s Feast by Gabriel Axel (1987)

Available here

An Oscar winning Danish movie is about a French woman who holds a feast in the memory of a pastor-mentor after winning the lottery. The heart-warming story revolves around the preparation for the great banquet.

12. Mostly Martha by Sandra Nettelbeck (2001)

Available here

When the world of workaholic and demanding Martha collides with the avant-garde Mario, something’s gotta give. This German movie brings the clash between traditional and modern styles in the restaurant business to the fore.

If you’re looking for an American remake, then check out No Reservations (2007).

13. A Touch of Spice by Tassos Boulmetis (2003)

Available here

A touching story of a boy from Istanbul and his grandfather who teaches him to cook. When the chef’s return to his homeland 30 years later, will he find the missing spice in his life?

14. The Lunchbox by Ritesh Batra (2013)

Available here

A lonely widower, a neglected homemaker, and homemade lunches shared by mistake. This Indian movie portrays loneliness and life truths with food as a backdrop.

15. Waitress by Adrienne Shelley (2007)

Available here

Can the coming of a stranger and baking pies for a contest help you escape an unhappy marriage and a small town? Watch this flick about a pregnant waitress and her penchant for pie baking to find out.

16. The Trip by Michael Winterbottom (2010)


Available here

Fancy a trip as a food critic checking out eateries in Northern England for the Observer? Imagine travelling with a friend who shares your love for comic impressions.

If your enjoyed this, you’ll like the sequel The Trip to Italy (2014)

17. Chocolat by Lasse Hallstrom (2000)

Available here

A single mother with a young daughter opens a chocolate shop in a conservative French town. Set in the 1960s, the story has leading lady winning over the community with her cocoa based treats.

18. Julie & Julia by Nora Ephron (2009)

Available here

A movie with parallel stories based on real lives of renowned chef Julia Child and a blogger. Julie recreates each one of the chef’s recipes to turn her dreary life into something meaningful.

19. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory by Mel Stuart (1971)

Available here

Dahl’s classic was first brought to life in 1971 and again in 2005 with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If you love the glitzy version, watch the Johnny Depp starrer. For a taste of pure entertainment, stick to the original.

20. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (2009)


Available here

When a genius scientist creates a machine to turn water into food, he isn’t really prepared for things that follow, includes food raining down the sky. A groovy animation for kids and adults alike. This one has got a sequel too.

21. I Am Love by Luca Guadagnino (2010)


Available here

An elegant and bored Russian wife of a powerful Milanese businessman falls for a young chef and his amazing creations. Life not only gets interesting but sets her up for a showdown.

To whet your appetite for more movies with food themes, check out this list.

Have these food movies increased your craving for a tasty snack?

Order from your neighbourhood takeaway joint, cook up some treats from your favourite recipe book, or better still, embark on a food tour!

Online Cooking and Nutrition Courses:

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Top 28 Food and Travel Bloggers to Follow in 2017

Do you enjoy browsing through recipes online and swooning over enticing food images? Is it curiosity about other cultures or thrill of armchair exploration that finds you spending countless hours on travel sites?

Food and travel experiments enable you to see places, culinary traditions and culture from a vantage point – local point of view.

This immersive experience leaves you with a keen understanding of food, customs and people. We’ve attempted something similar with this top list of food-loving travel bloggers.

You’ll find bloggers who enjoy a variety of foods, experiment with local and exotic cuisine on their journey across the planet. The travel bloggers in our listicle showcase their adventures and experiences, while musing on food, dining spots and tourist activities.

1. Migrationology
Author – Mark Wiens

Probably the most famous food and travel blog out there, a creation (and passion) of Mark Wiens. More than through the blog itself, Mark became famous thanks to his You Tube Channel, that features food on camera from all over the world. It is an absolute must-follow for people who travel for food.

2. Legal Nomads
Author – Jodi Ettenberg

Jodi Ettenberg, a former lawyer, quit her job to travel and ended up creating a completely new career for herself, inspiring readers with her powerful story-telling. She shares her culinary adventures from places she visits, sprinkled with beautiful photography, resources and personal tips.

3. Bacon is Magic 
Author – Ayngelina Borgan

What started off a female solo-traveller’s chronicle has morphed into a culinary and travel blog about meals, people and places. With the contribution of her husband Dave, who is a professional chef, the blog features fascinating food guides and recipes – and don’t miss all the fantastic video food guides on their You Tube Channel!

4. Nomadic Boys
Authors – Stefan and Sebastian

The London-based gay couple has travelled to 25 countries so far. You’ll find an entire section on local food recipes, in addition to culture stories and travel advice on their site.

5. 2foodtrippers 
Authors – Daryl and Mindi Hirsch

This married couple combine their love for food and travel (over 30 countries all together and 38 States in the US) into a fact-filled website. You’ll find tips on cuisine, dining spots, accommodation and food festivals.
6. With Husband in Tow 
Authors – Eric and Amber

For this couple, adventure lies in food-related events from tasting local foods to exploring new cuisines, as they are experiencing the world through food and wine travel. Don’t forget to check out their delicious You Tube Channel.

7. Authentic Food Quest
Authors – Claire and Rosemary

Claire and Rosemary, who are both family, and business partners, set off on a mission through 32 countries and 29 US States to showcase authentic local food to the world. They want to inspire other travellers to experience other countries and cultures through culinary experiences.

 

 

8. Once in A Lifetime Journey
Author – Mar Pages

Having travelled to 90 countries so far, Mar reveals more about little-known places in the world, their cuisine, restaurants and her amazing experiences there.

9. Funnelogy Channel
Authors – Gabriella Zanzanaini and Nicolas Petit

These bloggers are foodies at heart searching for new recipes from local kitchens abroad – as they say, there is not better universal language than food! Their website has food and culture stories from their journey through Eurasia.

10. A Little Adrift
Author – Shannon O’Donnell

Shannon, who was named “Traveller of the Year” by National Geographic, has been exploring the planet from 2008. Her site has expanded to include guides on food, culture and sustainable tourism along with beautiful photography.

11. Eat Your World
Authors – Scott and Laura Rosen

Travel is all about immersing in new cultural and food experiences for this couple. Their blog documents and local foods and travel stories from 125+ cities, focusing on foods and drinks that are native and traditional.

12. Boy Eats World
Authors – Aleney and Raffles

A food-travel blog with a difference! Along with travel anecdotes, you’ll find restaurant reviews, food notes by mom, and special reviews by 8-year old Raffles.

13. A Table for Two
Author – Billy Law

This Masterchef Australia participant has been living his culinary travel dream. His posts cover tasty restaurant meals from around the world with drool worthy images.

14. Mrs. O Around the World
Author – Ana Silva O’Reilly

Do luxury settings figure in your travel essentials? This blog with travel tips, reviews and best lists of places, hotels and food will feel like home.

15. A Taste of Travel
Author – Jenny

Jenny’s love for new sights, delicious flavours and luxury travel spaces is evident from her food and travel stories – and it all started in Italy, but since then she’s been eating her way throughout the continents!

 

 

16. Food Travelist
Author – Sue Reddel, Diana Laskaris

Sue and Diana call themselves “ambassadors of food travel” and they’ve been touring the culinary world since 2011. They also specifically cover experiences that “offer welcoming comfort to the LGBTQ community”.

17. The Wandering Gourmand
Author – Bryan Richards

A stay-at-home dad, a craft beer and food blogger and a travel writer, Bryan takes you on a food and beer hunting journey across five continents.

18. Lonely Palate
Author – Jessica Rigg

Jessica shares food secrets gleamed from locals and chefs on her travels, along with details on food trends and eateries.

19. The Travel Bite
Author – Rachelle Lucas and Pete Wallace

Rachelle’s and Pete’s passion for exploring food and places is visible in there posts as they searches for tastiest meals on her travels. Through her writing and recipes collected from all around the world, she inspires people to explore the world of culinary vacations.

20. Cook Sister
Author – Jeanne Horak-Druiff

Jeanne, a South African food, wine and travel blogger, brings you restaurant reviews, travel tips and cuisine advice interspersed with gorgeous images of markets and delicious food.

21. Ever in Transit
Author – Cassie Kifer and Kevin Adams

California-based duo, Cassie and Kevin, takes you on a culinary journey across continents, featuring unusual foods, global recipes, beers and wine from all around the globe. Explore their (mostly) vegetarian foods and enjoy their travel tips!

22. Travel Bites Deep
Author – Jessica Colley

The bloggette takes you on a journey across Europe exploring food, luxury settings and locale, while sharing unique tips with readers.

 

 

23. A Cook Not Mad
Authors –Tim and Nat

When a photographer and a chef decide to share their travel stories, you’re sure to find tantalising tales of food and culture among the pages.

24. The Culinary Travel Guide
Author – Laura Goyer

This Culinary Travel Professional shares top food experiences with her readers. You’ll find news, reviews, and personal food reminiscences on this magazine-style website.

25. Travel This Earth
Authors – Mica and Mike

Mica and Mike have been living all around the world since 2007. When they’re not busy volunteering, this duo explore the rich culinary scene in their destinations and share them with their readers.

26. The Food Pornographer
Author – Cynthia Chew

This Australian food-and-travel aficionado showcases her culinary experiences, restaurant reviews and market tours with beautiful images.

27. Will Fly for Food
Authors – JB and Renee

The traveleaters, as they call themselves, talk about their culinary exploits on the road. Their website also provides guides on dining spots and local food.

28. Deliciously Directionless
Author – Prachi Joshi

This India-based traveller’s site is filled with restaurant reviews, food notes, interesting recipes, and travel anecdotes.

Bonus blog!

Food Perestroika
Author – Floran Pinel

Floran writes about authentic recipes from East European (Eastern bloc) cuisines and restaurants serving them. You’ll also find travelogues from countries like Armenia and Moldova.

Did you enjoy this round-up of food-based travel blogs? Ready to embark on your own culinary cum exploration trip?

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Red or White: How to Choose the Right Wine for Your Dish


 

Red wine goes with meat, white wine goes with fish – A myth or reality?

Our lives are all about important choices and decisions that we make on a daily basis.  Some of them are easy to make, others take more time to consider. To pick a good bottle of wine to match your dinner is certainly one of them. And I bet that at some point we all have relied on the advice that red wines go with meat and white wines go with fish. So is it a myth or reality? It is one of the most popular questions I’ve been asked through my wine career and tasting experience.

When it comes to wine one can never give a definite answer. Many world famous sommeliers would even say that it’s a complete nonsense. At the same time such a notion does exist and can be fairly useful. For example rich red wines are able to make fish have metal taste. And delicate white wines can lose their charms at the presence of a good steak.

What are the basic rules of pairing?

Let’s try to look more closely on the menu and the wine list to see how they can work together. Albeit the best pairings are those selected during your own tasting experience, there are certain rules that I will recommend to follow.

 – Don’t try to make wine taste the same as your food. Take into consideration how heavy and acid to your palate the wine is, or if it’s oaky or crispy. If you are about to enjoy a delicate food, don’t pair it with oaky and powerful Shiraz as it’s going to kill the food taste. Pinot Noir would be a better choice in this case. Fatty meal will go very charmingly with crispy white wines like good Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.

 – Always consider sauce as an important part of your dish. When you pick a wine think of what kind of sauce it goes with.  For example, grilled or oven baked duck/goose will go fine with rich whites from Alsace region, mature Bordeaux and Burgundy reds. Fatty marinated duck pairs with young tannin Bordeaux, Californian Cabernet and Merlot, as well as some white wines like Alsace Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris. Duck with apples and oranges with sweet sauce will go interestingly well with some sweeter whites like Riesling Auslese and Sautern.

More pairing examples

 – Best wines to pair with chicken

Grilled or baked chicken has a great variety of both red and white matches: white Burgundy wines, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, light red wine from the North of Italy, Bordeaux, Spanish sparkling wine and easy going Champaign.

 – Best wines to pair with red meat

Full bodied, tannin red wines are perfect with rare beef, lamb, and steak with fruit or sweet & sour sauces. Grilled lamb is great with red Bordeaux, New world Cabernet Sauvignon, Spanish Rioja and Ribero del Duero wines, if lamb has herbal or spicy sauce it makes a wonderful match with Pinot Noir.

Kebab goes well with Zinfandel, Shiraz, Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon. But if it has intense garlic sauce try Sauvignon Blanc.

If you choose to enjoy a burger with a glass of red wine, it will match with young Beaujolais, Chianti, Zinfandel, or light Cabernet.

 – Best wines to pair with fish

This may come as a surprise to you, but salmon makes a perfect match with elegant red wines like Pinot Noir, Merlot, light Bordeaux. If you look for more conservative marriage on your palate then treat it with white Burgundy: Mersault and Chablis, Rieslings, Chardonnay, especially from New Zealand.

Red mullet is a Pinot Noir delight as well as most good full bodied whites. Sardines go well with white Greek wines, Soave, Verdicchio.

Somber (mackerel) pairs wonderfully with Sauvignon Blanc, English whites, white Rioja.

Remember that delicate fish demands delicate whites like those from Burgundy, Rieslings from Alsace and Mosel areas.

Fish and chips find its fans as well. As a matter of fact it’s quite liberal in terms of wine matching. You can start from simple whites to more interesting ones like Sauvignon Blanc, Gavi or Pinot Blanc. Or simply go for sherry or beer if we are in an English mood indeed!

It is all about following your own palate

As you can see when it comes to wine there is always a choice that is unlikely to be limited. Red or white the choice is yours. Follow your own palate. We gave you a range of recommendations and food pairing examples that you can fire away with.

The food is able to influence and even alter the taste of wine, it can make it taste better and worse that’s why a thoughtful concept of food and wine relationship can promise a pleasant marriage with a good aftertaste. We’ll continue speaking about it next time.

Bon appetit!

Disclaimer: Remember that wine contains alcohol that is bad for your health

 

Svetlana_Kasparova

This article was written by Svetlana Kasparova, a wine expert who has been working with wine estates across Europe for over eight years. She is a graduate of the famous wine school “Entoria” and a Wine Games medalist.

Svetlana runs an online course “Become a wine expert in 3 days”, you can learn more about it here:

 
 
Become a Wine Expert in 3 Days | Online Introductory Wine Course

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Tomato Festival in Spain in Pictures (La Tomatina)

Most of the festivals around the world involve harmless fun and bonhomie, despite the huge crowds they draw. If you want to experience the blood splattered look of a war zone, or simply improve your target practice, you’ll feel right at home in Buñol in August. This town in Eastern Spain plays host to the sauciest and juiciest food festival in the world – La Tomatina – the tomato throwing festival. (more…)

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Chilli for Dummies: 13 Types Every Foodie Should Know

“Philosophers have often looked for the defining feature of humans–language, rationality, culture and so on. I’d stick with this: Man is the only animal that likes Tabasco sauce.”

Dr. Paul Bloom, Psychologist

(more…)

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How Churros are Made and Eaten Around the World

Churros are one of the most famous desserts in the world given their sweet and crunchy taste that leaves the consumer always wanting more! What is it about Churros that we love so much? Perhaps it is in their perfect warm temperature that goes ideally with a warm chocolate sauce or their intense cheese and fruit fillings that vary according to geographic location. Regardless of the reason, the Churro is one of the most debated desserts in the culinary industry due to its complicated family tree that exists in a plethora of cultures around the world.  (more…)

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