10/01/15 12:19pm


Spanish cuisine is world renowned for its delicious tapas, fresh seafood and steaming plates of paella. Aside from these iconic dishes, there are plenty of regional specialties which offer an authentic taste of the Mediterranean. Here’s a selection of the best and most popular amongst the locals.

Empanada gallega
Galicia in the northwest region of Spain is home to this savory pie which comes in all shapes and sizes. A variety of delicious fillings include sautéed chicken, minced pork or seafood in a slow cooked onion sauce which gives a rich depth of flavor. Empanadas may be popular in Latin America and across the world, but we think the original is by far the best.

Summer in a bowl, this cold soup has long been a favorite in the southern regions of Spain. It’s most commonly prepared with tomato, stale bread, cucumber, wine vinegar and garlic. Many restaurants serve with their gazpacho with ice cubes and some include chunks of ham and vegetables. In the charming town of Alfarnatejo, this famous dish is celebrated each year with its own festival. It’s a good opportunity to sample some of the best gazpacho in the country and enjoy a traditional flamenco show. (more…)

04/30/14 10:07am

The world’s best banh mi sports tomatoes and plenty of chili paste.

I’ve been following the social media exploits of my pal Jenny Miller whose trek across Southeast Asia has included stumbling into a Cambodian prison and spying such delightful venues as Chuck Norris Dim Sum. In this guest post she recounts discovering the world’s Vietnamese sandwich in a most unlikely setting.

Hoi An, Vietnam, is not a place that screams “authenticity.” After this tiny former trading town, with its neat streets of wooden shophouses situated charmingly at the mouth of the Thu Bồn River, proved irresistible to visitors, it’s been virtually theme-park-ized in recent years, so that every single business in the center of town now caters to tourists and an admission ticket is required to see the main attractions. In case you fail to get this memo, there are loudspeaker announcements several times a day informing you of this and other rules.

Disappointed with the town itself, I figured I’d spend my two days there focused on eating—always a good backup plan in Vietnam. After hitting the main market for the local specialty, cao lao (chunky gelatinous noodles, thin-sliced fatty pork, fried wontons, and greens in a tiny bit of broth), I did a some digging and decided I’d try a banh mi shop that was recommended on several different traveler’s blogs. (more…)

02/03/14 12:02pm

Elyse Pasquale digs into a Filipino balut in Woodside.

I’ve gone on record before as saying that I’m not a fan of the word foodie, preferring such designations as “good eater” and even the pejorative “glutton.” All that said there is one person who for whom my hatred of the F-Word does not apply, my good friend, Elyse Pasquale, aka Foodie International. She was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule, which includes everything from eating reindeer hearts and scorpions to harvesting her own olive oil and slaughtering pigs, to answer Seven Questions.  

Where did you learn to use chopsticks?
In my bedroom, in high school. I grew up on a horse farm outside of Philadelphia. There wasn’t much diversity in the area when it came to food. In high school, a take-out Chinese joint opened in the same strip mall as our grocery store. Let’s just call it the year of Lo Mein . . . I was determined to perfect my chopsticks skills, so I followed the directions printed on the wrapper and practiced in my room. I think my execution might be a little unorthodox, but I can hold my own in any Tokyo ramen shop. For the record, I also tie my shoes counterintuitively, but my bows still turn out looking like bows. (more…)