Category - Foodie Corner

We want to give you the low-down on the best restaurants, bars and nightlife in destinations all over the world so you have the best holiday possible – Purple Travel

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Foodie Corner: Istanbul Food Guide
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Foodie Corner: Food in Lisbon
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Purple Pick: Great American Road Trips
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Foodie Corner: Where to find the best gelato Rome
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Amazing Days Out: Heart Attack Grill
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What to order in Andorra
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Foodie Corner: Cheap eating Koh Samui
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The new foodie museums
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Peru Named a Foodie’s Haven
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Goan Grub : Six of the best Goan Dishes

Foodie Corner: Istanbul Food Guide

The minute you land in Istanbul you’ll be amazed by its magical atmosphere and beauty, as well as (more importantly?) the smell of spices drifting through the air. The good news is, it’s not difficult to find something tasty to eat in this superb city, we’ve got the the insider’s guide to the best kept foodie secrets in the Turkish capital. Be prepared, the best places to eat are found in dark narrow alleys, on the fourth floor of abandoned looking buildings, without any signs of life. Enjoy our Istanbul Food Guide. And remember, if there’s something we’ve missed please let us know in comments.

Image by @ lwy

Click here to read where to eat like a local: Ibiza and Athens editions.

Kebab

The first and foremost (m)eating you have to taste is the infamous kebab (this is found in a variety of dishes, consisting of grilled or broiled meats, usually lamb or beef, on a skewer or stick). You’ll probably find numerous kebab corners all around the city, but we reckon the best place is to enjoy this delicious meal overlooking the magnificent Golden Horn, Bosphorus and Galata areas. Head for Hamdi Restaurant in Eminonu which has been serving mouthwatering Turkish dishes since the late 60s.

Tip: Make sure that you book a table on the top floor near the big glass window to enjoy the panoramic view.

Manti

These tiny pasta treats (kind of Turkish dumplings) are served with a generous spoonful of yoghurt, melted butter and ground-up red pepper. One of the best places to savour manti is at Marko Pasa restaurant in Taksim. There, the manti are freshly made, right before they’re cooked.

Tip: Highlight of the restaurant is the making of the food in the front window, so that people can watch how they are cooked.

Mussels

Wandering around the city, you’ll find it tough to find a place NOT selling these treats from the sea. It is a cherished treat and that’s something all Turks agree with. Eat them fried with garlic sauce or, even better, stuffed with spicy rice, pine nuts and more rarely with raisins. Mussels are brought to you by a waiter that grates the zest from a lemon right on your dish as it is served. Head for the fish market, Balik Pazari for the tastiest.

Tip: Buying mussels from street vendors is not recommended, because you might be unlucky to experience some side effects, you can probably imagine what we’re getting at.

Baklava

Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. This divine pastry is available in every confectionery, but for the ultimate baklava go to Gulluoglu in Karaköy. There you can taste as many of the twelve different original recipes as you like.

Tip: Ask the shop owners to let you watch the ritual of baklava making. The baklava masters start making the filo pastry by taking an oath on baklava, which is really funny!

Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee is a ritual. Made in a special pot called a cezve, finely ground coffee is boiled, usually with sugar and served in a cup where it’s allowed to settle. (This is a very important bit!) Coffee and drinking it is so important in Turkey, breakfast is known as Kahvalti, literally meaning “before coffee.” While walking to Eyüp, a stop at Pierre Loti café is a must. Have an aromatic Turkish coffee and admire the view over the city and Golden Horn.

Tip: To find your fortune, all you need is a simple cup of coffee. When you’ve finished your cup, tip over the residue onto your saucer and read what the future holds for you.

Ps. If you’re feeling adventurous, the Kokoretsi (actually a Greek speciality, but also served in Turkey) is definitely one to try. Made mainly from goat or lamb intestines, it’s usually wrapped in offal and filled with whatever bits and pieces are available, we’re talking hearts, lungs and kidneys.

Click here to book your cheap holiday to Turkey today.

Foodie Corner: Food in Lisbon

From the best in codfish to the ultimate veggie buffet, we’ve got the low-down on the best places to eat food in Lisbon. Visit some of the best restaurants in beautiful Lisbon with Purple Travel.

Portugal’s capital Lisbon isn’t simply scenic surroundings, romantic atmosphere and livin’ it up, it’s also a foodies’ paradise. It’s where you can savour mouth -watering delicacies like fresh codfish or perfectly cooked meat.

It’s related to Mediterranean cuisine, but the traditional Portuguese gastronomy is influenced by lots of spices, a habit left over from the colonial age, when Prince Henry the Navigator ordered his ships to bring back as many exotic fruit and vegetables as possible from the New World. However you might be more familiar with the famous piri-piri flavour that permeates Portuguese dishes, as well as black pepper, cinnamon and saffron.

So, if Lisbon is planned to be your next city break, here are some top foodie picks from your friends at PurpleTravel to fascinate your palate.

Cozido a Portuguesa Even if the original recipe was once considered the rich man’s stew, people around the countryside soon discovered cheaper methods. When it comes to a stew with veggies and as many types of meat as possible, the sky and the cook’s imagination are the only limits.

Solar Dos Nunes found at Rua dos Lusiadas, 68-70, Lisbon 1350-868, has some great traditional, earthy, rural flavours and offers meaty stews, and delicious seafood, like ameijoas alentejano (clams cooked in a wine, chilli, coriander and garlic sauce with pork).

Trempe on Rua Coelho da Rocha 11/13, Estrela is a delicious restaurant with a flavour from Portugal’s biggest region, Alentejo. A rustic style eaterie, it has plenty of tasty treats like Dog fish soup and fried pork with clams.

Caldeirada is another traditional dish. It is basically a stew, with lots of fresh fish and vegetables thrown in. The secret is a little white wine and – of course – the spices. Piri-piri, black pepper, ginger, garlic, all combine to create a mouth watering flavour.

Tavares Restaurant at Rua da Misericordia, 37, Encarnacao, Lisbon 1200-270 is an excellent choice. It is said to be Lisbon’s oldest restaurant which opened back in 1784. Here your palate will be thrilled by the genuine Portuguese cuisine in grandeur style.

Veggie If all that meat sounds a little much, don’t worry, there are plenty of veggie options in Lisbon too.

Try Paladar Zen, Avenida Barbosa du Bocage 107 C, Avenidas. This is an all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet, not something that you usually hear about. For €12 you can eat whatever you want from the first class cookery on offer here.

Pasteis de Nata deliciously soft, sweet, custard tarts are a cult in Lisbon. And one place is the undisputed master of making them.

Go to Antiga Confeitaria de Belem, Rua de Belem 84-92, for the ultimate in pastries. Here you’ll find heavenly, sugary treats made from eggs and cream sugar. The recipe is 170 years old and absolutely top secret, only three chefs learn it at a time. The result is a perfectly cooked taste of Lisbon.

Wine Bars in Lisbon

Whether red, white or “green”, wine is the traditional Portuguese drink. Introduced to the area by ancient civilizations, such as the Carthaginians and the Greeks, some might say that today’s Portuguese wine is the result of a centuries-old tradition. As a matter of fact, Portugal has been a major wine exporter since the Roman Empire!

So, once in Lisbon wine-lovers should take our advice and head for one of the following.

Binhoteca Rua das Padarias 16, 2710, Sintra is where you will find over 150 wines on offer. It is a great place to go wine tasting with a little help from some experts.

Bairru’s Bodega, Rua da Barroca, no. 2, Bairro Alto, this is a place where locals go to enjoy a drink or two, it’s a really relaxed cafe with great Portuguese music and friendly staff.

Miradouro’s Wine Bar Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara, 1250. This might have the best view in the whole city, overlooking the Carmo convent, Castle, Cathedral and neighbourhoods of Alfama and Graca. By day, it’s calm and relaxed, at night the top bar opens with lively music, while the Wine Bar is a calmer, romantic affair.

You should read… Incredible Portuguese Desserts

Purple Pick: Great American Road Trips

The Deep South in the USA is known for its hospitality, big personalities and as the birthplace of Elvis, the most famous jazz clubs that side of the Atlantic and food that is out of this world. Join us as we go one of the Great American Road Trips through the Deep South.

Start in Atlanta, Georgia an energetic city that’s home to world class southern hospitality. Rent a car, hop in and get some travellin’ tunes to get you on your way. Visit the High Museum of Art, or hike the Infamous Appalachian Trail to kick-start your adventure. As you pass through you’ll probably recognise bits of it from movies like Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes and, erm, Deliverance.

In Tennessee, you’ll find Graceland, where Elvis spent the last years of his life. It’s an intriguing and moving place to visit. Fans make the journey from all over the world to pay their respects to the man known as ‘The King’. Sun Studios is like taking a step back in time and blues, gospel, country and rock ‘n’ roll fill the air.

You couldn’t go on a Deep South road trip and not visit Sweet Home Alabama. If there’s time, dip across the border and head for FAME or Muscle Shoals sound studios. These hosted some of the best acts in the world like Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones and Otis Redding. If you go even further, just outside Birmingham a stop by the Talladega Superspeedway will leave your head reeling, in a good way. A stop in Scottsboro at the Unclaimed Baggage Center, where airline lost luggage is unpacked and sold could give you a couple of bargains or something totally weird, so don’t say we didn’t warn you. Don’t forget to order grits for breakfast and ice tea with lunch to fit in, in Alabama.

A stop at the Country Music Hall of Fame and discovering the Grand Ole Opry makes Nashville a great addition to the trip. There is excellent live music in bars throughout the city ‘til late and Biscuits at Loveless Cafe are something an institution. The Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis will have you tapping your foot in no time and the city is known for some of the best BBQ, with hundreds of places for a pitcher of beer and some broiled ribs or pulled shoulder pork.

Mississippi’s Highway 61 is called the cradle of the Blues. At the crossroads between 61 and 49 you’ll find the spot where Robert Johnson is said to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for phenomenal guitar playing skills. Clarksdale is home to the Delta Blues Museum and the Ground Zero Blues Club juke joint is within touching distance. The Shack Up Inn is a real taste of southern hospitality.

Head for Jackson and eat at the infamous Two Sisters Kitchen, a buffet style in a traditional 1903 home. The all-you-can-eat price includes okra, cheese grits and skinless fried chicken. After a refuelling like that, the great outdoors might beckon; there are hiking trails, horse riding and activities in the gorgeous countryside around or you could visit your first ever rodeo at the Dixie National Livestock Show.

Continue your road trip to Louisiana to tickle your taste buds with a bowl of gumbo (everywhere has a difference recipe) or alligator sauce picante in Thibodaux. Then on to Lafayette, one of the best known music towns in the States, filled with Creole dancehalls, Cajun rhythms and zydeco music.

Finish up in New Orleans the legendary city of jazz on the Louisiana Delta. There are dozens of clubs to discover in the Big Easy, there are no closing times, so you can stay all night. And with jazz and blues, Latin, R&B, gospel, rock, cajun and everything in between you could stay for months without discovering it all. Go in February or March when you’ll find Mardi Gras, in April there’s jazz and international festivals, while in October there is the Angola Prison Rodeo and Art Festival.

Images used under Creative Commons via @ Garyjwoord @ Rob Westbrook @ IanLoic and via Pinterest.

Foodie Corner: Where to find the best gelato Rome

This is not simply going for ice cream, this is gelato. It’s a much richer and smoother treat that the ice lollies we’ve all had as children. It’s made by churning, it’s not whipped and the richness brings out the flavour for an intense ice creamy experience.

Oh, and it’s not just available in any old shop; you have to make a trip especially to a gelateria. It’s nice to go in the evening (but of course any time of day suits us!) Take a passeggiata stroll, choose your flavours and let your taste buds thank us later.

Gelato

Get licked with our 7 picks for the best gelato Rome

Della Palma, Via della Maddalena 19, 00186 Rome

With flavours you might not even know existed, Della Palma is a firm favourite amongst tourists and locals alike. It’s not just serving delicious gelato in a magnificent setting, but is an absolute feast for the eyes too.

San Crispino, via della Panetteria, 42, 00187 Rome

San Crispino’s delicious gelato incorporates diverse flavours like whiskey and meringue. So popular, it’s actually spawned its own franchise around the city, so this one won’t be hard to find.

Giolitti, Via Uffici del Vicario 40, 00186 Rome

If politicians in Italy stop for ice cream, this must be where they do it. A stone’s throw from the famous Pantheon, it’s practically next door to the chambers of the Italian parliament. Proudly open 365 days a year until 1.30 in the morning, you’ll be able to visit whenever you’re next in Rome.

Gelateria I Caruso, Via Collina 13/15

This might be Rome’s best kept gelato secret! You’ll likely find a queue trailing right out the door, even early in the morning when suited business men and women flock for the pistachio flavour, which gets rave reviews. It even had a visit from Michelle Obama when she took her daughters out for ice cream during the G8 summit.

Palazzo del Freddo Giovanni Fassi, Via Principe Eugenio, 65, 00185 Rome

Claiming the title of the oldest gelateria in Italy, the traditional shop first opened its doors in 1880. It’s well worth a visit for the great prices and generous portions. The ice cream is made in the traditional way and the memorabilia on the walls tell a great story as you wait your turn being served the best gelato Rome.

Al Settimo Gelo, Via Vodice 21a, 00195 Rome

This is usually included in lists of best gelato in Rome and it’s easy to see why. The staff are friendly, they roast and grind their own nuts and other ingredients on site and it’s all organic. You’ll find the usual flavours like strawberry and caramel, but we think the chocolate mixed with hot peppers is the one to go for.

Fatmorgana, Via Lago di Lesina 9/11, 00199 Rome

These gelatos pack a punch with their flavours. Not only have they perfected the traditional chocolate or vanilla ones, but makers at Fatmorgana go the extra mile with pear and gorgonzola cheese, or celery and lime gelatos.

So, when in Rome…

Gelato image via @ Fortes

Amazing Days Out: Heart Attack Grill

QuadrupleIf your idea of heaven is a burger, topped with cheese, onions and bacon, and another burger topped with cheese, onions and bacon… and another burger, topped with cheese, onion and bacon and so on, then a trip to the calorific Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas is the place to be.

This is a merciless assault on the arteries, offering Single Bypass Burger®, Double Bypass Burger®, Triple Bypass Burger®, Quadruple Bypass Burger®. The biggest, (the quadruple) is made of four half pound meat burgers, eight slices of cheese and 16 slices of bacon. Oh and the bun is layered in lard. The name might have started jokingly, but people have actually had heart attacks eating here.

The restaurant is a kind of play on the infamous over-consumption found in the States and its founder, John Basso says it’s “nutritional pornography… food so bad for you it is shocking.”

Heart Attack Grill

Image via @ ejh

The whole place is kitted out like a hospital, complete with busty waitresses dressed as nurses who hand out prescriptions and for anyone who can’t quite make it through their huge orders, they’ll smack their bottoms with a wooden paddle. We are not even kidding! Some of our Purple Travel staff visited last year and saw it with their own eyes.

In April 2012, the Guinness World Records awarded the HAG with the official title for the … Most calorific burger Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas includes in its menu the 1.444kg (3lb 2.94oz) Quadruple Bypass Burger® packing 9,982 calories. It is 6.91 calories per gram (195.95 calories per ounce) makes it the world’s most calorific burger as verified by Guinness World Records. How do they celebrate? By developing new burgers, like the Octuple Bypass Burger™ as well as other treats like the Coronary Dog™, Butterfat Milkshakes™.

YouTube Preview Image

You’ll find Heart Attack Grill at 450 Fremont Street, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101.

What to order in Andorra

A guide to Andorra cuisine

While the cuisine in Andorra is often likened to the Catalan cuisine, with its added bonus of French flavours and unique cooking methods, it does deserve a category in its own right. The exclusively traditional, mountain-style gastronomy famed in the Pyrenees has been enriched in Andorra, with much more variety. Set between two countries well-known for their gastronomic products and reputation, you can expect to find hundreds of cheeses, wines, foie gras, Iberian ham, baby squid, piquant potatoes, octopus Galician style, and much more.

The region has cleverly married the best of these local products and traditional recipes with new techniques and experiences. While in the mountains, you can take a meal in a typical rural inn called a borda, and be welcomed warmly by hospitable staff and homely decor or you can try some haute cuisine in one of the many exclusive restaurants offering unique gastronomic experiences. Find your way round the menu with our guide to Andorran cuisine.

So what’s on the menu?

The status of escargots – called, in Catalan, “cargols” – approaches that of national dish in Andorra. Snails are typically served as an appetiser and charred in wood or coal ovens, sometimes sauced, but usually kept plain.


Catalan spinach is particularly delicious in Andorra due to its mountainous location. At its simplest, it is sauteed greens with raisins and pine nuts and a little black pepper.

One of the most famous and popular dishes in Andorra is Trinxat, which is basically an alpine take on ‘bubble and squeak’. As is the standard in a mountainous climate, the locals learned to make the most of what crops grow best on poor soil and at altitude, so potato frequently features in Andorran dishes. Equally, so does pork, as the mountainous landscape also means that grazing land for cattle is at a minimum. Trinxat, meaning chopped in Catalan, is then a hearty mash of potatoes and cabbage, fried in a skillet-sized cake and garnished with fat back or smoky bacon.

The most surprising thing about Andorran food is the emphasis on seafood.Mountains always mean trout, so that’s a given, but the rest of the seafare on the menu seems more attuned to the coast than to the stream. Squid and octopus – “calamar i pop” – are very popular, as are cod (“bacallà”), and anchovies (“seitons”), the Atlantic staples.

Foodie Corner: Cheap eating Koh Samui

Koh Samui and Thailand in general is home to some great food and it’s safe to say you’ll never go hungry there. A big plus is you can eat really well for very little, so, go for a run, empty your belly and get hungry for a lip smacking Thai holiday, with our guide to cheap eating Koh Samui.

Thai restaurants

The cheapest way to eat in Koh Samui is to enjoy the local fresh food. There are some fantastic Thai restaurants on the island where you can enjoy local dishes for as little as 50THB a dish. Bear in mind that Thai people understand that we are not as used to food as spicy as they have it and most will ask you how hot you like your food.

Eat on the beach in Chaweng at the Impiana or indulge in a local Thai favourite at Zazen.

All you can eat BBQs

These are an amazingly good value choice. These hot pot restaurants are scattered around the island and you can eat for as little as 109 BHT.

Once you sit down a small BBQ will be brought over to your table. You will be provided with some stock to pour into the moat around the BBQ itself and you cook your own meat or seafood (basically whatever takes your fancy!) You will find unlimited vegetables in the buffet area to put into your broth as well as garlic, chilli, spices and seasoning. The buffet offers a huge selection of different meats and fish to BBQ and you will also find a salad bar, French fries, Spring Rolls, fried rice and other tempting treats to feast on.

All-you-can-eat BBQ’s in Koh Samui also include tea, coffee, cakes, fruit and ice cream that make it one of the best value meal deals in Koh Samui.

We like Mae Nam for quality and price.

Thai temple fairs and markets

Another great place to try something new and for only a few THB is at the Thai temple fairs and markets. Many of the local markets do amazing fried chicken for around 25 THB/ piece that comes with sticky rice and sweet chili sauce.

There is a walking street market in Meanam on Thursday nights and one in Bophut Fisherman’s village on Fridays, both have some great food stalls with all sorts of some of the most deliciously cheap eats in Koh Samui.

Temple parties are good fun and also offer lots of wonderful foods, sounds, sights and smells of Thailand.

Street Vendors

No visit for cheap eating Koh Samui is complete without trying something new. There are lots of street vendors who all offer clean and fresh food as well as noodle soup shops that offer delicious noodle soup for as little as 40 THB.

The new foodie museums

At Purple Travel, we’ve noticed a trend emerging around the world and it’s about as random as you can imagine. Without further ado, enjoy the new foodie museums.

For those who turn your nose up at the high-brow artefacts on display the Louvre, the Vatican or the Hermitage, these museums may be just the thing for you. Enter the food museum, an unexpected answer the prayers of women all over, who want nothing more than to enjoy their food without gaining weight.

The story begins in Italy; located just outside of Bologna, a €1.5m ice-cream museum details the rise of gelato. Taking visitors on a tour from gelato’s initial incarnation as a chilled delicacy for Roman emperors, to the sweet treat we know today that’s seen on every corner of Italy, this free museum is located at the headquarters of Carpigiani, a gelato machine maker founded in Bologna in 1946.

Across the pond, in the neighbourhood of Fishtown (!) in Philadelphia, America’s first pizza museum has just opened its doors. A veritable shrine to the popular fast food, ‘Pizza Brain’ is part museum, part restaurant. “We thought it was a funny idea, and we started doing some research,”owner Brian Dwyer believed, “And when we discovered that nowhere on earth was there a physical place, a monument built to pizza, we said, “This is going to be huge.””

While you may have already sectioned Dywer under the Mental Health Act, strangely enough, there are a number of like-minded individuals who have opened similar museums around the world in recent years, ranging in focus from currywurst to Jell-O, from a museum of burnt food to one about vinegar. There’s the International Banana Club and Museum in California, which claims to be the world’s first and largest museum dedicated entirely to the banana, and is home to some 17,000 banana items (and also Ken, the “Top Banana” and Glenn, the “Banana Man”). If bananas aren’t your thing and you’re not so keen on fruit-suited men either, head to the Spam Museum in Minnesota.  This 16,500-square-foot museum is dedicated entirely to canned-meat enthusiasts. If you’re curious as to why SPAM (which turns 71 years old this year) deserves its own museum, let us refer you to the website: “SPAM is the cradle of civilization. It is the ultimate culinary perfection. Within these walls, all of life’s questions will be deliciously answered.”

Riiiiiiiiiight.

And if you thought that was weird, check out this of food (word of warning: do not peruse on an empty stomach).

Museum of Burnt Food, Arlington, Mass.

Bionic Burger Museum, Online

The Currywurst Museum, Berlin, Germany

The Jell-O Gallery, LeRoy, N.Y.

International Vinegar Museum, Roslyn, S.D.

The Potato Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Also check out FoodMuseum.com, which has a great roundup of food museums around the world.

Peru Named a Foodie’s Haven

South America is famed for its cuisine, but the award for the region’s Leading Culinary Destination has been handed to Peru. Beating off stiff competitions from countries such as Argentina, Chile and Brazil, Peru was presented the accolade at the Caribbean and The Americas ceremony at the World Travel Awards, set up to ‘acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry’. The winners are voted for by consumers, who nominate from a list compiled by travel experts.

Peruvian cuisine, which includes quinoa, a staple with health enthusiasts – is growing in popularity on the world’s gastronomic stage. The country’s eclectic cuisine has migrated to become favourites around the world, but the best Peruvian specialties are still found in their home country. Here are PurpleTravel’s top five dishes to try in Peru:

CEVICHE

Due to the icy Humboldt Current that flows through the Pacific Ocean just off Peru’s coast, the country benefits from one of the world’s most bountiful sources of seafood. Ceviche comprises raw fish, citrus-cooked by marinating in Peruvian lime juice, raw onions, and chilli. . The acid in the fruit “cooks” the fish, giving it a delicate flavour and slightly chewy consistency. It is usually accompanied by some corn (on or off the cob) and a slice of sweet potato, which provides almost perfect balance to the acidity of the leche de tigre – the citrus marinade.

CAUSA

Visit any market in Peru and you are sure to find two things—hundreds of varieties of potatoes and piles of the biggest avocados you’ve ever seen in your life. A traditional Peruvian causa layers these two ingredients into what could be described as a sort of casserole, only sliced and served cold. Bright yellow mashed potatoes seasoned with lime and aji is layred with tuna, shrimp, or crab and topped with avocado and a creamy cocktail sauce, making for the ultimate comfort food.

AJI DE GALLINA

Aji de Gallina is a hearty chicken dish gets its enticingly yellow hue from the spicy ají amarillo chilli pepper, which adds its colour and mild kick to several dishes in Peruvian cuisine. This rich, velvety stew is made with chicken and condensed milk that is thickened with de-crusted white bread. The heat of the peppers is softened by the liberal dose of evaporated milk. For a vegetarian alternative, the ubiquitous papa a la huancaina, boiled potato is often used.

ANTICUCHOS
Anticuchos are skewers of grilled, marinated beef hearts (much like shish kebabs), which trace back to the days when Peru’s Spanish conquerors would consume a cow’s choicest cuts and leave the organs for their slaves. They are served all over Peru, from the high-end restaurants that offer them as appetizers to the street-cart vendors that sell them slathered in a garlicky sauce. These Peruvian kebabs are extremely rich – and tasty – but more than one might have your temperature rising through the roof.

LUCUMA

Lucuma is a tree fruit that looks like a little like a mango, but tastes more like custard, with a hint of maple syrup. While Peru’s cuisine is mostly famous for its spicy and savory dishes mains, the Peruvians themselves adore desserts and often use this fruit as a flavouring in cakes and drinks. Try lucuma ice-cream, lucuma parfait or lucuma smoothies for the best of this delicious native fruit.

Goan Grub : Six of the best Goan Dishes

Like the country itself, Goa food is a mix of east meets west, being both spicy and flavoursome. Its strong history has influenced its food dramatically, meaning dishes are frequently divided into two groups: Goan Hindu cuisine and Goan Catholic cuisine.

Hindu cuisine is less spicy, less oily and centres around ingredients such as lentils, gourd, pumpkins, shoots, bamboo and root vegetables. Goan Catholic cuisine on the other hand, is highly influenced by Konkani, South Indian, Portuguese (who colonised the area in the 18th and 19th centuries), British and Saraswat cuisines, focusing mainly on onion or garlic flavours, with plenty of seafood and meat. However both cuisine types share a reputation for taste and freshness, with presentation being paramount as Goans often share their food with neighbours.

You should read… Insider’s Guide to Goa

While the techniques and recipes of Goan cuisine have changed several times over the years, the primary ingredients have remained the same. Coconut features heavily in many of the dishes, along with more unusual ingredients such as breadfruit and papaya, which give a distinctive flavour. In general, Goans have a very diverse serving of food types ranging from prawns to sausages, chicken to beef, and numerous vegetarian dishes.

Technique is equally important to producing the famous taste of Goa food; if you visit any rural area, the locals can be seen cooking in the clay pots on firewood – the source of the smoky flavour of many Goan dishes. Over time, cooking methods have been blended together and allowed to simmer, producing an authentic selection of delicacies. Here are our pick of the six best Goan dishes:

Sorpotel

This pork-based dish is perfect if you like your food to be spicy. Pieces of boneless pork are first parboiled, then finely diced, before being cooked in a sauce infused with two types of chilli, turmeric, cumin, ginger, garlic, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, vinegar and onion. You’ll typically find sorpotel served with sanna, a rice and coconut cake that often accompanies Goan meals instead of bread. Sorpotel usually tastes better on the 2nd and 3rd day, after it has had time to mature.

 

Fish Curry

Fish curry

As you might expect from its coastal location on the Arabian Sea, seafood is a staple part of the Goan diet. You’ll find all manner of fish curries on the menu, with many featuring a coconut milk sauce. Xitt coddi is a yellowish-red curry, due to the presence of chillies and turmeric in its sauce, while Ambot Tik can be served with either fish or prawns, and has a sweet and sour flavour.

 

Chicken cafreal

Chicken cafreal

Chicken cafreal consists of fried or grilled chicken in a spicy coating, often served with a green salad or some plain rice. This specialty is heavily influenced by the Portuguese, with the marinade used on the meat strongly resembling peri-peri sauce. This sauce is made from coriander, lime, green chillies, peppercorns and mint.

Khatkhate

Khatkhatem

This is a mixed vegetable curry, featuring carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and French beans in a sweet and sour curry sauce. A vegetarian’s favourite – this dish is a hotpot of rich flavours.Enjoy Khatkhatem with steamed rice to allow the various spices to come through as you enjoy your meal.

Bibinca

Bibinca

One of Goa’s most famous desserts, bibinca first appears to be a layered cake, but when you take a closer look, you’ll discover its layers are thick pancakes made from egg, coconut milk, sugar and ghee. Cooking a perfect bebinca is considered an art form and a huge amount of patience is needed to prepare it correctly. The next layer can only be added once the previous layer has been cooked in the oven until it has a light fudge consistency. Bibinca can be eaten hot or cold and is traditionally served at Christmas.

Feni

Feni

Feni is a kind of liqueur made from either the juice of a cashew fruit or the sap from a coconut palm. The best-quality feni is distilled at least two, and normally three, times, making it quite strong, but don’t worry, you don’t have to drink it neat, it’s often served with a mixer like tonic or lemonade. The word ‘feni’ derives from the word ‘fenn’, which means froth. In fact, a good feni, when poured in a glass produces a little froth, which is an indication of the superior quality of the product.

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