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.
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 Impianaor 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
The Portuguese sure like their food. Although a relatively small country, their cuisine is somewhat diversified and distinctive in each of the different regions. They value their meats, their seafood is some of the freshest in the world and their vegetables are cooked to perfection, but most of all – the Portuguese love their desserts. You will never have your plate cleared in a Portuguese restaurant without being asked, “What would you like for dessert?”
For those of you that have visited Portugal, you will have probably noticed that every street has at least one pastelaria (pastry shop), usually occupied by a line of locals and tourists alike who have followed the sweet smells of fresh bread and toasted almonds. Dessert specialities include more than a whopping 200 different types of pastries. This national penchant for sweets seems to have originated during the Moorish occupation; in the 15th century, there was the sugar cane planted in Madeira. Then, sometime in the 17th and 18th centuries, Portuguese convents began to be known for their sweet pastries, including specialities such as “toucinho do céu” (heaven’s lard) and “barriga de freiras” (nun’s belly). The convents would frequently compete to see which could produce the best sweets and desserts. There are even stories of the famous Belém pastries, whose recipe remains a closely guarded secret, or the ‘Abade de Priscos Pudim’, dating back to a 14th century legacy from one of the best Portuguese cooks.
There are simply too many desserts to list them all, but if you have one week in Portugal, this is a list of the best seven Portuguese desserts – one for each day of your stay:
The seven best Portuguese desserts
Toucinho do Céu | Translating to ‘Heaven’s Bacon’, this dessert was originally made with pork lard by convent nuns. These were women who understood the intrinsic ingredients of any good dessert: ridiculous amounts of sugar, a boat load of egg yellows and of course, more calories than you can imagine.
Differing from modern almond cakes, Heaven’s Bacon is extremely moist, rather than battery. You can find Toucinho do Ceu anywhere in Portugal, but for a more traditional (and delicious) version – head north to the city of Guimaraes.
Aletria | You will be surprised to hear the main ingredient for this dessert – a very thin kind of noodle (like vermicelli) that was brought into Portugal when the Moors settled. The Portuguese, sweet-toothed by nature, then turned these noodles into a sugary treat by boiling them in milk and adding butter, egg yolk, lemon zest and a sprinkle of cinnamon, creating something a little similar to rice pudding. A very traditional dessert, no Christmas table in Portugal is complete without a generous tray of Aletria.
Ovos Moles | Another dessert that centres on Portugal’s favourite ingredient combination: sugar and eggs galore. Ovos moles means ‘soft eggs’, which pretty much sums up what this dessert is. Portuguese nuns once used egg whites to iron their garments and create this recipe accidently – so as not to waste the remaining egg yellows. Ovos moles come in rolled cakes, inside traditional clay pots or, more famously, inside light wheat dough in the shape of items that symbolize Aveiro and its river.
Azevias de Mertola | Another dessert with origins inside religious institutions, Azevias de Mertola originates from the southern town of Mertola, where nuns devoted themselves to God and to making heavenly treats. The dessert is made up of fried dough pockets, filled with a smooth and creamy paste made of mashed chickpeas. Don’t worry, it tasted nothing like humous; Azevias are super sweet and extra delicious.
Bolinhos de Amendoa | Aside from sun, white sands and crystal waters, the Algarve is famous for the creative use of almonds. Marzipan is taken to a whole new level by Algarvian sweet makers, filling the almond paste with an egg and sugar concoction known as “fios de ovos” – egg threads. Bolinhos de Amendoa is one of the most attractive sweets in the entire country, being most popularly presented in fruit shapes.
Pastel de Belem |These egg custard tarts are probably one of the most popular desserts amongst tourists. Originating from the area of Belem in Lisbon, Pastel de Belem is found all over Portugal, under the name Pastel de Nata. Pastel de Belem has been elected one of the “7 Wonders of Portuguese Gastronomy” (yes this is a real thing!); people queue up in Belem to taste this cake where it was originally created, served warm straight out of the oven, with a burnt crust on top, a crumbly pastry base and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. This take-away treat is the perfect companion to a cup of coffee or tea.
Bolo Rei (King Cake) | A traditional Portuguese cake that is typically made at Christmas and eaten up to Dia de Reis (the day of Kings). Its shape resembles a king’s crown. Made from soft, white dough, raisins, nuts and crystallized fruit, it is not so dissimilar from an English Christmas cake. When families bake this cake, they usually include a little prize within it and whoever slices the piece with the prize has to either bake or buy the next cake the following year.
Welcome to the the Bikini Files Part One: The Ultimate Bikini Diet Plan. With just two weeks to go, there’s no putting it off any longer; nutritionalist, Stephanie Preston has whipped up a meal plan to help you lose those extra pounds in no time. Find out more in the ultimate bikini diet plan.
You’ve booked your holiday, you’ve bought a bikini, maybe you’ve even started to pack your suitcase, but still you’re dreading hitting the beach. Sounds familiar? Don’t panic! It’s never too late to get into shape, particularly if you have the thought of stripping off on the beach to motivate you.
We’ve teamed up with top nutritionist Stephanie Preston to bring you a bikini diet plan that will make sure you look and feeling amazing.
1. Drink more water. Drinking plenty of water helps to keep skin well hydrated in the sun, flush out toxins, reduce the appearance of cellulite, and even helps the body burn its calories more efficiently.
2. Three meals a day, no snacks. There’s no flexibility on this.
3. No grains – that means no rice, pasta, oats, rye, couscous, wheat, quinoa, bread, pizza, pastries, biscuits or cakes.
4. No beans – so forget lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, hummus and dhal.
5. Restrict fruit. Your maximum is one portion of berries per day.
6. No alcohol. None. Not even on weekends. And no caffeine either. Unless you want to keep that cellulite.
7. 50-100g lean protein at every meal, such as white fish, oily fish, skinless chicken or turkey, lean beef and lamb, eggs, cheese, tofu or Quorn. Try to add nuts,seeds etc into meals to ensure you get your trace elements.
8. Vegetables are unlimited, except for root vegetables such as potatoes, turnips and parsnips and those which are high in sugar, such as beetroot, sweetcorn and sweet potato, which are all banned. Increasing the amount of vegetables eaten overall will ensure you get essential vitamins and minerals as well as aiding weight loss. and try to have a wider variety of foods to ensure getting all the trace elements e.g. nuts,seeds etc
While this may seem quite difficult at a glance, we’ve come up with this meal plan to help you along your way. And remember, if you have more than two weeks, you can loosen up on the rules slightly (include some healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, carrots with dip etc) and include some exercise to keep you toned and fit. But if you’ve left it to the last minute – check yourself into our bikini bootcamp:
Breakfast | Pick one one the following each day:
Mushroom Omelette Thinly slice 100g mushrooms and fry in a non-stick pan with a little olive oil. When the mushrooms are browned, remove and keep warm. Then mix together 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites and cook in the pan. Top half with mushrooms and 25g crumbled feta. Fold.
Yoghurt and fruit Stir 50g fresh fruit – either a combination of berries or melon (no banana) into a pot of live natural yoghurt. Add a squeeze of agave nectar to flavour.
No-grain pancakes with blueberries Mix 50g low-fat cream cheese with 1 egg, then add ½ tbsp vanilla whey protein powder and ¼ tsp baking powder. Pour the batter into a pan and brown underneath, flip, then top with blueberries.
Scrambled tofu with tomato Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a heated pan, and saute garlic and onions for about a minute until the onions start to get wet looking. Toss in some cubed tomato and mix everything together for about another minute so the tomato can get soft. Crumble some extra firm tofu into the pan and mix. Continue to cook until the tofu begins to look reddish from the tomato. Season with black pepper and serve.
Berry smoothie Whiz together 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, 50g blueberries and a cup of water in a blender until frothy.
Lunch | Pick one of the following each day:
Greek salad Unlimited cubed cucumber, tomato, red onion, black olives and green peppers. Add 50g feta and mix, before serving on a plate. Splash with olive oil and black pepper to taste.
Brocolli with soy and Brazil nuts Break the broccoli into florets and steam for 4-5 minutes. Toss with raw baby spinach leaves once cooked. Crush garlic and whisk with sesame oil and soy sauce. Drizzle over warm broccoli and add 5 crushed Brazil nuts.
Raw vegetable crudites with chickpea-free hummus Put 1 medium courgette (peeled and chopped), ½ cup tahini, two cloves garlic, 1 tbsp lemon juice and ¼ tbsp cumin powder in a blender and whiz until smooth. Serve with capsicum, celery and carrot sticks.
Bread-free goats cheese open sandwich Toast a slice of bread-free bread (mix 150g ground almonds, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 eggs; microwave on high, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until firm to touch). Top with 50g slice of goat’s cheese and melt under a grill. Serve with spinach and baby tomatoes.
Chicken and avocado salad Shred a cooked chicken breast (or 50g cheese if you’re vegetarian) on top of ½ bag of mixed leaves. Serve with half a sliced avocado, a generous sprinkling of celery, chopped black olives and balsamic vinaigrette.
Salad nicoise with tofu mayo Cook 100g tuna steak for 3 minutes on each side in a hot pan. Or, if you’re vegetarian, cook 50g of halloumi. Serve on top of ½ small bag of mixed salad leaves, 6 quartered cherry tomatoes and a 3cm chunk of cucumber (sliced). Tofu mayo: in a blender, put 250g tofu, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, juice of ½ lemon and ½ tsp cayenne pepper; whiz until smooth. Serve 1 large tbsp.
Carrot and Cabbage soya salad Grate one large carrot and ½ large Japanese radish into a bowl. Add shredded cabbage and toss thoroughly. For the dressing, whisk 1 tbsp mustard, ½ clove garlic, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar and 3 tbsp soya milk together. Pour over the salad and serve.
Dinner | Pick one of the following each day:
Moroccan lamb with fennel Trim the fat from 200g lamb fillet (or use a Quorn fillet if you’re vegetarian) and marinate in dressing (¼ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp thyme, small bunch mint, juice of ½ lemon, ½ tsp agave nectar and 1 tbsp olive oil – save a little for later). Cut 2 fennel bulbs into chunks and boil for 2 minutes. Drain, coat with remaining dressing and roast at 160°C for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, coat lamb with cooking spray and fry for 10 minutes. Serve with wilted spinach.
Green chicken curry Blend cauliflower to rice texture then cook in bamboo steamer. Fry ½ chopped onion. Add clove of garlic (crushed), 1 tsp grated ginger, ¼ tsp ground turmeric, 1 tsp curry powder and ½ tbsp fish sauce. Add chicken breast cubes (or Quorn), brown, add 200g coconut milk and broccoli. Simmer for 15 minutes.
Fillet steak with cauliflower mash Cut a cauliflower into florets and cook in boiling water until tender, then mash. Add pepper and 1 tbsp natural yogurt. Set aside. Heat a griddle pan, spray 100g fillet steak on both sides (vegetarian option: large portobello mushroom) and cook for 3 minutes each side (or to suit). Onions optional.
Chilli and lime squid with zucchini ‘noodles’ Use a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons from two medium zucchinis. Wilt in a pan of boiling water, drain and set aside. Fry 100g squid rings (or tofu) in a non-stick pan until tender and opaque. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime on top and stir in zucchini noodles with ¼ deseeded and chopped red chilli. Serve with parsley.
Prawn and vegetable spring rolls Mix ½ clove garlic (crushed), ½ red chilli (chopped), 2 tsp agave nectar, juice ½ lime, small carrot (grated), ½ cup beansprouts, 100g prawns (or tofu) and 1 bunch each mint and coriander. Take a sushi wrapper, add 2 tsp prawn mixture and roll. Seal with hot water. Repeat. Serve with dipping sauce.
Tandoori chicken kebabs with sides Cut a skinless chicken breast (or tofu) into chunks, smear with a low-fat marinade and chill for 1 hour. Serve with cauliflower ground to couscous texture with 1 bunch each parsley and coriander, juice of 1 lemon, pepper and 1 tsp cayenne pepper. Grill the chicken on skewers and serve with a dollop of raita.
Prague’s huge popularity was once down to 20p pints and cheap flights on EasyJet. And today, although not the bargain it once was, its appeal continues to grow. A fascinating history combined with a stong architectural credibility, ensures the Czech capital is as compelling a city break as ever. Take the city centre, for example. Here you will find examples of almost every architectural trend of the last two centuries, including Gothic, Renaissance, baroque, neoclassical, art nouveau and cubist. And for those who venture beyond the medieval lanes of the Old Town and the Castle District, a hub of modern culture fashions the landscape, from lively bars and beer gardens to clubs, live music venues, and cutting-edge art galleries.
However, Prague travel does have its negatives. The good places are often the most difficult for an unknowing tourist to scope out; too many people, serious traffic jams and heaps of tacky commercialism mean Prague’s secret treasures are less ‘hidden gem’ and more Mission Impossible. In fact, many travellers return from Prague considering it nothing more than ‘Magaluf in a city break’. With this in mind, we wanted to create a Prague travel guide that would seek out the best of Prague, so you won’t waste any valuable holiday time and can avoid getting ripped off with the crowds.
Czech in: the sights worth visiting in Prague
This spectacular 15th century bridge is the connecting structure between the ‘Lesser Town’ and the old town. Adorned with 30 statues of saints and lined with old fashioned lanterns, it is the perfect spot for a romantic stroll.
Purple Tip: Avoid visiting during the middle of the day when the crowds flock across the bridge to grab some snaps of the ‘entertainers’ and craft stalls that line the bridge.
The Astronomical Clock
The striking astronomical clock of the town hall, which also features a calendar painted by the famous Czech painter Josef Manes, and the procession of the 12 apostles who appear through the wooden doors that open at the top, is a must-see in Prague. The clock displays four times: central European time, old bohemian time, stellar time and Babylonian time.
Purple Tip: Visit early (9am is best) to avoid the crowds and make sure you arrive on the hour to view the show of the apostles.
The John Lennon wall
One of the more unusual sights in Prague is the graffiti-covered, featuring an image of John Lennon’s face. Despite having never visited Prague, he became a hero to young Czechs, anti-communists and peace activists, particularly after his murder in the 1980s when western music was banned here. Since the collapse of communism, visitors from all over the globe have added messages of peace, creating an impactive statement set against the soft palette of the more traditional buildings of Prague.
Purple Tip: You can find some really fascinating messages on the wall if you look closely.
The Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. Having survived invasions, fires, wars and rebuilds, the castle displays a striking mix of architectural styles. It is currently the seat of the president of the Czech Republic, and every hour, on the hour, visitors can witness the changing of the guard.
Purple Tip: If you catch the changing of the guard at midday, you can see the military fanfare, too.
The harrowing story of Prague’s Jewish community begins as far back as the 13th Century, when the Jewish Quarter was created. Jews had extreme restrictions placed upon them and were not allowed to live in any other area, causing it to become known as The Prague Ghetto until 1781. Important historical buildings, including synagogues, The Jewish Town Hall and the Jewish cemetery remain on the grounds.
Purple Tip: The Jewish cemetery is a must-see for history fanatics. It is the oldest burial ground in the world, and where some 12,000 graves are piled on top of the one other.
Kampa Island and Kampa Museum Opened in 2002, the Kampa Museum holds an extensive, permanent collection of Central European art, as well as some impressive temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Situated on Kampa Island, on the left back of the Vltava River, the modern gallery is the home of a large chair sculpture by artist, Magdalena Jetelova, which is situated outside the museum and is a prominent landmark visible from across the Vltava.
Purple Tip: Include the visit into your exploration of the Lesser town and enjoy lunch in the museum’s elegant riverside café.
Czech these out: things to do in Prague
Grab a coffee
Prague’s chicest and most atmospheric cafes are mostly all on the first floor, meaning great views and fewer tourists. Expect to find a picturesque setting of period interiors, such as in the Grand Café Orient above the Cubist Museum, where the coffee is dependably wonderful and the cakes are decorated with love. Similarly, the Café Louvre, with its abundant natural light, numerous elaborate mirrors, fine pastel shaded walls and light furniture, was a favourite with Kafka and Einstein. Try one of their legendary hot chocolates, so thick that you can stand a spoon up in it.
Have a wild night out
Clubbing and anarchy goes hand-in-hand in Prague; with almost no safety regulations or political correctness, you can expect bar-top stripping, grungy interiors and rampant stimulant use in many of the capital’s bars. Venue such as Staré Mêsto on a Friday night, hip art bar Cross Club and live music venue, Bordo, all organise seriously cool events, such as short film festivals, experimental rock nights and 90s throwback tributes. Újezd is a smoky three-storey madhouse, filled with badly amplified rock and a young dreaded Czech crowd and Wakata, a true teenage wasteland, houses art exhibitions and live bands.
Czech, please: the Prague food scene
In a country where the national dish is roast pork, dumplings and sauerkraut, you better leave your diet at home. Traditional Czech meals are not only heavy, but also on the salty side, however, they are always tasty. There’s also some serious pig lust going on here, so vegetarians – do your research (and see below). Here’s our pick of the best places to get your fill in the capital:
Clear Head is a vegetarian restaurant located in a 15th-century house on what is said to be the shortest street in Old Town Prague. This welcoming former teahouse serves a rotating menu of feel-good foods, including hearty soups, Indian-influenced cuisine and colourful entrees.
Recommended by the NY Times, this bagel joint is life-saving for anyone craving something familiar amongst the midst of menu items you cannot pronounce. Bohemia Bagel serves up bagel sandwiches, burgers and diner classics like huevos rancheros and pigs in a blanket.
Serving up frill-free French cuisine, this wavy riverfront building designed by Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunic, resembles a couple – often called Fred and Ginger – in midstep. Gwendal Le Ruyet, the head chef, who spent five years working with Alain Ducasse, uses mostly local ingredients and intense flavours. The top floor of the building provides unparalleled views of the Vltava River and Prague Castle.
For unrivalled Italian cooking in Prague, head to the Four Seasons Hotel. Although a little on the pricey side, chef Vito Mollica’s seasonal dishes are worth emptying your pockets for. Expect dishes such as slow-roasted veal with Alba truffles and aged Modena balsamic vinegar.
Enjoyed our Prague travel guide? Visit Prague on a great value city break in 2014 with Purple Travel. Visit our website for more or call 02079939228.
A few of my male friends even started their own ‘Burrito Wednesday’, touring the London Mexican haunts each week, with testosterone in abundance and Coronas in hand. Whilst I didn’t even know what an avocado was in my childhood, I now consider myself somewhat of a guacamole connoisseur and chips and dip is a regular ‘can’t be bothered to cook’ staple. Yet aside from the obvious burritos, enchiladas and huevos ranchos, how much do we really know about Mexican food?
‘New Mexican’ can be both gastronomically glorious and a culinary confusion. Is chile with an ‘e’ still chilli? Do you know your pintos from you black beans? Does the word chimichanga connote some kind of hallucinogenic to you? Get your head around the lingo, with our gringo’s guide… to the best Mexican Food.
Chili Peppers (Photo credit: camknows)
Achiote-Annatto: a spice used in the Yucatan region Albondigas: meatballs. Atole: a thick, hot gruel made from corn. Biscochitos: an anise-flavoured cookie. Burrito: a white flour tortilla, filled with meats, beans, cheese, or a combination of these, and rolled, served smothered with chile sauce and melted cheese. Capirotada: a raisin and walnut pudding. Carne Adovada: cubes of pork that have been marinated and cooked in red chile, garlic and oregano. Chalupas: (little boats) corn tortillas fried into a bowl shape and filled with shredded chicken, and/or beans, and topped with guacamole and salsa. Chicharron: pork skin, fried crisp. Chile con queso: chile and melted cheese mixed together into a dip. Chiles Rellenos: roasted, peeled and stuffed (often with cheese) chiles, usually dipped in a batter and fried. Chimichanga: a burrito that’s deep fried, and smothered with chile and cheese. Chorizo: a spicy pork sausage, seasoned with garlic and red chile. Cilantro: a pungent green herb used in salsas, etc; the seeds are coriander. Curtido: pickled vegetables, typically cabbage, carrots. similar to cole slaw Empanada: a turnover, filled usually with a sweetened meat mixture or fruit. Enchiladas: corn tortillas filled with meat, beans or cheese, and either rolled, or stacked, and covered with chile sauce and cheese. Fajita: strips of grilled steak or chicken that come with tortillas, sautéed peppers and onions, and other side dishes to make do-it-yourself burritos. Flan: caramel custard dessert. Flautas: tightly rolled, fried to a crunch, enchiladas. Frijoles: beans. Guacamole: mashed avocado, usually with chopped onion, tomatoes, garlic, lime and chile. Habanero: Extremely hot pepper Horchata: a delicious rice beverage Horno: outdoor, beehive-shaped ovens. Huevos Divorciados: Two eggs, one covered in green salsa, one in red, with tortillas in between Huevos Motulenos: eggs with black beans, cheese, often ham, peas, plantains and picante Huevos Rancheros: corn tortillas, topped with eggs, usually fried, smothered with chile and cheese. Jalapenos: small, fat chiles, very hot, frequently used in salsa. Mancha Manteles: a stew with turkey, chorizo, pork, pineapple, apple, chiles cinnamon, lard, tomatoes Menudo: a soup made with tripe and chiles (known as “breakfast of champions”). Nachos: tostados topped with beans, melted cheese, sliced jalapenos, sometimes served “Grande” with ground beef, or shredded chicken, guacamole and sour cream. Natilla: soft custard dessert. Pico de Gallo: salsa with chopped fresh chiles, tomatoes, onions and cilantro. Posole: a thick stew made with hominy corn simmered for hours with red chile and pork. Quesadilla: a turnover made of a flour tortilla, filled with cheese or other ingredients, then toasted, fried or baked. Refritos: beans that have been mashed and fried, most often in lard. Salsa: generally an uncooked mixture of chile, tomatoes, onions. Sopaipilla: Puffed, fried yeast bread, eaten split and filled with honey-butter. Tlacoyo: toasted masa cakes stuffed with various items, similar to pupusas Taco: a corn tortilla either fried crisp, or just softened, and filled with meats, cheese, or beans, and fresh chopped lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Tostados: corn tortilla chips, also, a open face corn tortilla covered with refried beans, salsa, cheese, and chopped lettuce and tomato.
If you’re stuck on what to give Dad for Father’s Day — and his chest of drawers simply cannot accommodate one more pair of personalised ankle socks — this might be the year to give him the gift of travel, well kind of. Send him on a journey through the Middle East, the member’s clubs of old England or even to Timbuktu (if he’s really doing your head in), all at the wallet-friendly price of around 50 quid. You’re welcome. Read More
Off the beaten track: Getting high (tea) in Amsterdam cafes
Slowly, slowly the Dutch are beginning to appreciate a good ol’ cuppa. If you’re over the brownies, hate the smoke of the coffee shops and just want to enjoy a proper cup of tea, then let Purple Travel help you out.
True tea rooms are hard to find in this, ahem, coffee focused country. Too often do the Dutch serve up some questionable green concoction in place of your well-deserved PG Tips. While tea in Amsterdam is may seem like the boring option, we can safely say that the below venues are helping to polish tea’s image and finally set it free from its dull reputation.
What: A traditional English tea room offering a selection of Grand cru loose leaf teas from De Eenhorn. Don’t leave without: Ordering Eggs Benedict, just because you can – Greenwoods are responsible for Amsterdam’s first ever cooked English breakfast.
Best bit: Greenwoods can provide picnic baskets for customers on request. Either take out on a hired boat for the day or impress a date in one of Amsterdam’s many parks. All freshly made on the day and with a choice to suit your tastes.
Price: Pot for one is €4,95, pot for two is € 7.95.
What: A cute spot in Haarlemmerdijk serving up real deal teas, all arranged in transparent boxes where you can scoop the tea of preference in a little bag. Don’t leave without: Trying at least three of their 60 flavours, which range from the standard Earl Grey to the spiced grandma’s apple-pie. This place puts England to shame. Best Bit: The organic cookies to dip in. Price: Reasonable – but depends on which tea you would like.
The Amstel Hotel in Amsterdam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
AMSTEL HOTEL What: A royal setting to enjoy a proper high tea. Don’t leave without: Getting a slice of cake too. Best bit: The beautiful setting, the handmade shrimp croquettes and the excellent explanation provided about each of the teas. Price: High tea will set you back a small fortune and even just a tea is pretty pricey at €7,50, but you do get a full pot..
HILTON HALF MOON LOUNGE What: A large, traditional English-style living room that overlooks the Hilton Marina and garden. Don’t leave without: Giving into the burgers – they’re something else, seriously. Best bit: Proper tea with actual leaves and large sofas – a perfect place to relax, read or catch up on emails. Price: It’s the Hilton, need I say more?