Tag Archives: food
August 15, 2013

Clean and Scenic Beaches in Maine

Maine’s southern coast is home to some of the world’s most picturesque beaches. Each beach is different than another. Some are soft and sandy, some are a riot of tidal pools and others are composed of smooth stones.  The water tends to be colder at the north end of the state and even a little too warm for some as you go south.  You also have your choice of visiting a wild, secluded beach or one that comes with amenities such as change rooms and snack bars.

 

Orchard Beach is one of the most famous beaches in the world that has a long scenic stretch of silty white sand. It boasts amusement parks, food and games. There are many well-placed parking lots and the beaches are always well guarded by a vigilant staff of well-trained life guards.

 

The north end of the beach is a bit quieter and is also known as Pine Point Beach.  It is surrounded by majestic towering white pines.

 

This beach is known for it’s warm water and soothing gentle surf. The mild character of the ocean here makes it popular with families. There are also lots of lifeguards on this site.

 

If you feel that you want to get away from the crowds and kids, this beach is attached to Footbridge Beach that is less populated but just as pretty. To get to it you cross a small footbridge over a tidal creek. It is easy to examine marine life when the tide is out in this area.

 

This is a three-mile expanse of sand at the mouth of the Kennebec River that is full of tidal pools that are perfect for exploring. However it is often a very windy beach that can boast dangerously high waves or sand in the eyes. If you like surf and boogie boarding then this would easily become a favorite beach for you.

 

This is one of the most beautiful pebbled beaches in the state. It is located very near Popham Beach and the town of Bristol. It is more secluded and wild in nature than neighboring bitches.

 

This is a smaller wilder beach located in Bar Harbor in Acadia National Park. It is notable because it is surrounded by two huge rock walls.  The water is really warm because the each has a perfect southern exposure. It also is well known for its beautiful view.

 

No matter what your vision of the ideal beach is you are sure to find it among the scores of resort areas that line the Maine Coast.

 

August 7, 2013

Enjoying Traditonal New England Cuisine

New England cosine encompasses delicious dishes made in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. For the most part these places are known for their traditional recipes that incorporate such indigenous ingredients as clams, maple syrups and beans.  Just follow along the state highways and stop at the many inns and bed and breakfasts to sample the best of what this state has to offer.

 

However lately the food in New England has gotten even more delicious and adventurous. If you thought New England is just about the clam chowder you are wrong!

 

These seaside states are famous for their clam chowders and there are as many recipes for it as there are grandmas, inns and spas. The Three Stallion Inn serves up delectable Corn Tarragon Chowder. The Wachusett Village Inn serves up both Smoked Salmon Chowder and Lobster chowder sprinkled with oyster crackers.

 

The entire state is known for homemade breads. If you like banana bread you will love the Chocolate Zucchini bread served at the Cabernet Inn. The Oatmeal Molasses bread served at the Rabbit Hill Inn is rustic and healthy for you.

 

Traditional raspberry scones are served up at the Old Tavern at Grafton. For a more decadent baked good try the Strawberry White Muffins or the Triple Chocolate Muffins at the Glynn House Inn.

 

In New England you find Maple Syrup on everything from pancakes to squash to ice cream. You will also find it in fudge, cookies and candy. However one of the most gourmet uses for it is in the recipe for Apple Chicken served up at Wachusett Village Inn. This is a chicken breast stuffed with apple and cheese soaked in maple syrup.

 

Lobster is a dietary staple in New England. Buttered lobster is found everywhere in restaurants along the coast. However, these “fruits of the sea” are now found in exotic gourmet dishes such as the “Grilled Lobster Tails with Foraged Fiddle Head and Leek Risotto found at the Inn by the Sea.

 

New England is also known for Inns serving special cocktails AT the Trapp Family Lodge a hot red wine drink known as Gluehwine is served.

At the Sebasco Harbor Resort there is a unique cocktail served called the Sebasco Lobster Bake, which is basically a vodka-based Ceaser with Horseradish and Lobster claw meat as a garnish.

When it comes to food there is a lot to discover in New England!

 

August 4, 2013

The Cuisine of Monterey County

As the food from the nearby Salinas Valley is so fresh and so is the seafood, Monterey County is a food-lover’s paradise. Furthermore the county is known for it’s ethical organic growers as well as its numerous vineyards along the coastline and in the hills near Salinas along Highway 101

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There are scores of very highly Zagat rated restaurants along the coast of Big Sur that offer wonderful views of the ocean along with great seafood.  These cliff-sitting restaurants offer delicious fare such as artichoke ravioli, roasted rabbit, organic rib-eye stake and creamed Diver Scallops.

 

Pacific Grove is also known for it’s fine cuisine and in particular, it’s wonderful seafood restaurants.  Many of the restaurants in Pacific Grove are quite tony and cater to the rich and famous in the area. Food is prepared with calories, nutrition and creativity in mind.  Organic prime steaks, fowl and lamb shanks are on this type of menu along with creatively done vegetables like asparagus fries and oyster salad.

Carmel-by-the-Sea is also a food Mecca that used to be a bohemian paradise. The food here is more European inspired and features Italian, French and Mediterrean fare alongside Mexican and Spanish influenced foods.

 

Spa food is very popular in Carmel Valley, which is famous for it’s very healthy, calorie-wise Cal-French cuisine. These five star spas serve up such delights as sweet corn succotash served with black truffle vinaigrette, rabbit loin with onions and apple and lamb stew with morel mushrooms and garlic.

On the cheaper side, Carmel and the surrounding area is also very famous for it’s gourmet pizza made with fresh vegetarian ingredients.  There are also many affordable oyster and wine bars in the area.

 

Moss Landing is one of the most famous destinations for fresh seafood in the country. It is a favorite haunt of Iron Chef star Bobby Flay.  The place is actually an old wharf that combines restaurants and seafood shops with antique shops and art studios.  This old wharf has been around since 1866.

 

Salinas has one of the largest Chinese populations in the country so it is not surprising that it is home to so many wonderful Chinese restaurants.  Seafood prepared in black-bean and ginger sauces and loaded with plenty of garlic are a specialty in this city.

 

Wine tasting is also very much where it is at in this California County and you can find wine-tasting rooms in most malls, hotels and along shopping board-walks near the sea. You can also take scenic wine tours by bus to winery after winery in the hills and valleys near Salinas.

June 29, 2013

Castroville – The Artichoke Capital of the World

Castroville, the Artichoke Capital of the World, is located nine miles northwest of the city of Salinas.  It is called this because this small city, that only has a population of 6,742, supplies seventy-five percent of the artichokes sold in the United States.

 

One of the most notable events held every year in this pleasant rural town is the Castroville Artichoke Festival, which takes place on Memorial Day. Every year, the Festival crowns a King and a Queen.  In February of 1948, Marilyn Monroe was crowned Artichoke Queen and William Hung (the American Idol contestant) was  crowned  Artichoke King in 2006.

 

The Castroville Artichoke festival also features a parade and an art competition in which competitors make sculptures from artichokes and other vegetables.  Foodies also flock from miles around to sample the treats produced by the produce and wine vendors in the area. There are usually cooking demonstration, arts, crafts, theatrical and musical performances and visits by celebrities.  There is also an antique car show that takes place as a component of the festival as well.

 

This old town was founded by Juan Bautista Castro in 1863. Aside from artichokes it is known for it’s wonderful mix of Victorian and Spanish architecture. The original old school house and post office, both built in the 1860s, are still there.

 

A wonderful, eccentric landmark is The World’s Largest Artichoke which was a sculpture commissioned in 1963 for a road-side stand. The artichoke is twenty feet tall and twelve feet across and stands on Merrit Street in downtown Castroville.

Culinary-wise this town is known for its dishes and street food based on artichokes.

 

A specialty of restaurants in the area are deep-fried artichoke hearts. These are artichokes dipped in batter, fried in a vat and then served up with all kinds of delicious sauces.   Hot and cheesy artichoke dip is also a specialty of many local restaurants, especially when the artichoke is in season.  These types of treats go well with the wines that are grown in nearby vineyards along Highway 101 and just south of the hills of the city of Salinas.

 

As the town is so small there are not many hotels to stay in during the Artichoke Festival. However the towns of Salinas, Seaside, Marina, Watsonville and Monterey are not that far away and are home to many beautiful hotels that often run shuttle buses to and from the Artichoke festival.   This spares you the problem of driving along California highways inebriated from enjoying the many California wines that are often offered with the artichoke delights offered at the festival.

June 8, 2013

What to See in Curitiba, Brazil

Curitiba is known incredible European architecture and excellent food. It is also known as the ecological capital of Brazil as it enforces many programs to protect the environment.

 

In fact one of the Curitiba Brazil attractions are the twenty parks that boast bicycle paths that make it very easy to get around the city. Curitiba is great for single people both young and old because it has a very social park called the Parque Bariqui that is very laid back.  It is a great place to hang out with locals, roller blade or ride a bike.

 

The reason that the architecture in this city has such a European flair is because it is mainly populated by Ukrainian, Polish, German and Italian immigrants. The food that is offered in this city reflects this cultural diversity and there are many all you can eat style restaurants.  Most of these ethnic restaurants are located in an ethnic area of town called Batel.  The place also attracts a lot of German and Italian tourists each year.

 

This city, which is also about three centuries old also boasts a giant open market that is open every Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm.  This fair also features musicians and performers that wander through the streets.

 

This city is on the edge of a lush rain forest and tours of the Amazon are conducted on a bus that travels on a paved road called the Estrada da Graciosa through the lush greenery.  You can also book tours to the Guaraquecaba Environmental Protection Area, which is a Nature Reserve.

 

The city is also near the Parque Estadual de Vila Velha. This State park lies 52 miles from Curitiba. It contains twenty-two extraordinary rock formations dating from three hundred million years ago.

 

It also boasts some affordable luxury hotels such as the Parthenon hotel, which is located one kilometer away from the city center. There is also a Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, which has a spa. Many people come here to luxuriate in the sun and enjoy the five star treatments.

 

From Curibita you can also travel to gorgeous Honey Island, which is a place where no cars are allowed and there is nothing but small ramshackle homes, a few restaurants, humble hotels and miles of glorious beaches with warm calm water. You will have to travel 2 hours by bus and 30 minutes to cross the Paranagua Bay Channel but the trip is worth it as it like visiting a little bit of Eden.

June 5, 2013

Don’t Miss the Amazon Cuisine of Brazil

If you travel to Brazil then make sure you to travel to the lush jungles of the Amazon, where a very distinctive cuisine is served up by the villagers that live in the regions. These are dishes created by the hand of the cabocas and some the humble recipes have been handed down for generations.  Amazon cuisine is unlike any other type of cuisine you will find in Brazil or the rest of the food. It is made of specific fruits and liquors and fish that are indigenous to the Amazon forest in Brazil.

 

Some of these dishes are more elegant than any chef could serve up. A good example is pachica. This is a type of stew made from turtle blood and parts that is served up in the turtle shell itself. It is seasoned with chili and chicory and lemon.

 

As there is no wheat or any other substance to make flour with in the Brazil Amazon, the cabocas make flour out of fish. This fish flour is called piracui.  It is made out of a fish called acari, which is gutted, salted and dried.

 

The favorite fish of the cuisine is from a very fatty piscine found in the Amazon River called the pirarucu. This fish is so rich that it is not advisable for people with health states like pregnancy or diabetes. This fish is often fried or dried and is the main dish featured in many of the cabocas celebrations.

 

There is also a special casserole called the tambaqui, which is a fish stew that is made with parsley, shallot, chives, tomato, onion and a little palm oil or olive oil.

 

Yet another unique feature of this cuisine is the luscious fruits that are just served raw with it or made into ice cream, juice, desert, liquor, chocolate, salamis and wine.

 

You cannot travel here without sampling a pupnha. It is almost like bread it is so common in the Amazon. It is a big orange fruit somewhat like a papaya. A tucuma the fruit of a palm tree and has 1000 times more Vitamin A then an avocado. The jenipopo is a sweet purple fruit and is used to make wines. It is also used in celebrations that involve body painting.

 

If you are lucky you may be able to try cupuacu, which contains caffeine and theobromine. It’s juice is served everywhere in Brazil as a special drink and it is still used as a sacred drink in special ceremonies.