Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Pille

eG Foodblog: Pille

Recommended Posts

Tere õhtust (that’s „Good evening“ in Estonian)!

I’m very, very, very excited to be doing my first ever eGullet foodblog. Foodblogging as such is not new to me – I’ve been blogging over at Nami-nami since June 2005, and am enjoying it enormously. But this eGullet blog is very different in format, and I hope I can ’deliver’. There have been so many exciting and great food blogs over the years that I've admired, so the standard is intimidatingly high! Also, as I’m the first one ever blogging from Estonia, I feel there’s a certain added responsibility to ’represent’ my tiny country :blink:

A few words about me: my name is Pille, I’m 33, work in academia and live with my boyfriend Kristjan in a house in Viimsi, a suburb just outside Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was born and schooled in Tallinn until I was 18. Since then I've spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student, four years studing in Tartu (a university town 180 km south), two years working in Tallinn and seven years studying and working in Edinburgh, the bonnie & cosmopolitan capital of Scotland. All this has influenced my food repertoire to a certain degree, I'm sure. I moved back home to Estonia exactly 11 months and 1 day ago, to live with Kristjan, and I haven't regretted that decision once :wub: Edinburgh is an amazing place to live, and I've been back to Scotland twice since returning, but I have come to realise that Tallinn is even nicer than Edinburgh :rolleyes:

I won’t be officially starting my foodblog until tomorrow (it’s midnight here and I’m off to bed), but I thought I’ll re-post the teaser photos for those of you who missed them in the 'Upcoming Attractions' section. There were two of them. One was a photo of Tallinn skyline as seen from the sea (well, from across the bay in this case):

gallery_28661_5138_17211.jpg

This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline :biggrin: A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view :)

The second photo depicted a loaf of our delicious rye bread, rukkileib. As Snowangel already said, it’s naturally leavened sour 100% rye bread, and I’ll be showing you step-by-step instructions for making it later during the week.

gallery_28661_5138_5722.jpg

It was fun seeing your replies to Snowangel’s teaser photos. All of you got the continent straight away, and I was pleased to say that most of you got the region right, too (that's Northern Europe then). Peter Green’s guess Moscow was furthest away – the capital of Russia is 865 km south-east from here (unfortunately I've never had a chance to visit that town, but at least I've been to St Petersburgh couple of times). Copenhagen is a wee bit closer with 836 km, Stockholm much closer with 386 km. Dave Hatfield (whose rural French foodblog earlier this year I followed with great interest, and whose rustic apricot tart was a huge hit in our household) was much closer with Helsinki, which is just 82 km across the sea to the north. The ships you can see on the photo are all commuting between Helsinki and Tallinn (there’s an overnight ferry connection to Stockholm, too). Rona Y & Tracey guessed the right answer :rolleyes:

Dave – that house isn’t a sauna, but a granary (now used to 'store' various guests) - good guess, however! Sauna was across the courtyard, and looks pretty much the same, just with a chimney :raz: The picture is taken in July on Kassari in Hiiumaa/Dagö, one of the islands on the west coast. Saunas in Estonia are as essential part of our life – and lifestyle – as they are in Finland. Throwing a sauna party would guarantee a good turnout of friends any time :)

Finally, a map of Northern Europe, so you’d know exactly where I’m located:

gallery_28661_5138_29580.jpg

Head ööd! [Good night!]

I'm off to bed now, but will be back soon. And of course, if there are any questions, however specific or general, then 'll do my best trying to answer them!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, that's an impressive skyline. Gothic spires and "onion" domes made me think of Eastern Europe but I did not guess Estonia. I am particularly interested in learning more about your country since my great grandfather came from Kihelkonna, Estonia (250 km SW of Tallinn) to Canada before WWI. I have one photo of him but know very little except his grandfather Peeter Vonalderslaven apparently has a statue in the town square.

Looking forward to the food!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, Pille! I'm really looking forward to following your foodblog.

This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline  :biggrin:  A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view :)

I'll take your word on it! I do hope that you'll give us a few snaps of the interior of that supermarket. I'm also hoping we'll get to see a cloudberry or two, pre-jam!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every Foodblog opens my eyes to a whole different world!!

I'm very excited to see your side of the world and what your life is like. I'll be 33 in October, so we're very close in age.

Thanks for taking time to show us your side of life!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

too, cool, pille

we have a local restaurant whose owner/chef is latvian.

any good(read exotic for most) meats? red deer/ caribou? or for johnnybird any salmon?

what do you miss most about scots food that you can't get where you are now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm so jazzed about this blog from Estonia and the Baltic Sea -- romantic, beautiful and so much to learn. (Don't forget the fridge and pet shots!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tere hommikust!

Thank you for all your kind welcoming words!

I thought I'll share some typical breakfasts with you over the week. I'm sure lots of Estonians have cornflakes or other cereal for breakfast, but it's not typical. We've got Kellogs K Red Berries in the house, which we sprinkle on yogurt every now and then. Having a hot cereal for breakfast (alias porridge) is much more traditional, and this morning Kristjan made a semolina porridge - mannapuder. We have it about once a week, I think. It's a real childhood porridge - my mum used to make it often. It's not as nutritious as oatmeal or mixed cereal porridges, so we try not to have it too often.

For two portions, he heated some butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, added 500 ml milk and brought it almost to the boil. Then he added 50 ml (alias 3 heaped Tbsp) of semolina (known as Cream of Wheat in the US, I believe), stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. After 10 minutes, he added an egg yolk whisked with 2 tsp of sugar and a pinch of salt. Stirred, until combined.

Here's today's breakfast table:

gallery_28661_5138_52095.jpg

There's no table in the kitchen, so this is our dining table both for weekday and festive occasions. There's a bowl of apple slices on the left - that's our snack bowl these days - we get lots of apples from my mum. Our cafetiere is a basic Bodum one, mugs are Moomin mugs - I love them both :rolleyes: The small jar of red jam is wild strawberry one, the stripy bowl of yellowish jam is an apple and flowering quince jam (NOT quince jam).

We drink Finnish Paulig President coffee as our regular coffee. It's 100% Arabica, quite light roast and acidic mixture of Kenian and Ethiopian mocca beans (no, I don't know this by heart, just read it on Paulig's website) :raz:

Behind the cafetiere are some small jars and pots we keep on the table for easy access. There's Maldon sea salt, demerara sugar, sugar crystals, pot of honey, and a tiny jar of flowering quince extract for sweetening teas (you can see it on the photo below). The brown cookie tin contains various crispbreads.

Here's a closeup of my porridge - served with a generous dollop of wild strawberry fridge jam (you can read more about the jam here):

gallery_28661_5138_120835.jpg

We left house 8.15am this morning. Kristjan drops me off at work in the mornings, and it's usually a 20-minute drive to the city centre. As as we ended up in a traffic jam, it took us 35 minutes. The route is very scenic - we drive along the coast a lot of the time, and the teaser photo of Tallinn skyline is taken on the way. We both have quite flexible schedules, so we usually leave home a bit later, around 9ish, to avoid being stuck in traffic.

Now, work. I'm a sociologist by training, specialising in multiculturalism and national identitites. Both my BA and PhD are in Sociology, with MSc is in Nationalism Studies. I work as a research fellow at Tallinn University, and my office is in on the sixth floor of this newish building from 2005 (ignore the unsightly and unofficial parking area in the foreground):

gallery_28661_5138_3673.jpg

The university is a ten-minute walk from the city centre. There are quite a few reasonably priced nice cafes in the neighbourhood, so having a decent lunch is easy. I'll try to have lunch in different place every day, so as not to bore you :cool:


Edited by Pille (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, Pille, so nice to see you blogging! You've already made me homesick, with your mannapuder which sounds just like what I think of as Christmas Porridge, because when I was briefly an au pair in Sweden it was what we left out for Santa, and your Moomin cups. When I went to Finland almost the first thing I did was visit the Moomintroll museum.

We've just moved to France for a while, which you can read about at French Letters where there's no bread like your sour rye, so I'll certainly be following along with you making a loaf of my own.

I'm really looking forward to your blog!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time for some feedback, I think :laugh:

I am particularly interested in learning more about your country since my great grandfather came from Kihelkonna, Estonia (250 km SW of Tallinn) to Canada before WWI. I have one photo of him but know very little except his grandfather Peeter Vonalderslaven apparently has a statue in the town square.

That's exciting, Peter-the-eater! Kihelkonna is on Saaremaa/Ösel, the biggest island of Estonia (you can see it on the map above). Too bad I'm not able to trace down the statue for your great-great grandfather! :sad:

I'll take your word on it! I do hope that you'll give us a few snaps of the interior of that supermarket. I'm also hoping we'll get to see a cloudberry or two, pre-jam!

Yes, there will be a cloudberry photo - though not taken this week, as the season is over - and I'll be making at least one cloudberry dessert during the week, so stay tuned! :raz:

Every Foodblog opens my eyes to a whole different world!!

I'm very excited to see your side of the world and what your life is like.  I'll be 33 in October, so we're very close in age.

Thanks for taking time to show us your side of life!

I'll do my best, Shelby!

too, cool, pille

we have a local restaurant whose owner/chef is latvian.

any good(read exotic for most) meats?  red deer/ caribou?  or for johnnybird any salmon?

what do you miss most about scots food that you can't get where you are now?

I don't know much about Latvian cuisine, though I suspect it's quite similar to ours, as the cultural influences have been more or less the same (at least re: Russian and German influences). I imagine Scandinavian/Nordic elements are more prominent in Estonian cuisine..

Re: exotic meats - that's a tricky one. I don't think pork, beef and wild boar count as exotic at all :biggrin: I could go for some bear meat at Olde Hansa medieval restaurant, but not sure I'll have time during the week :wink: I will try, however, to use some little known fish in my cooking this week.

And I'll get back to the topic on Scots food soon. Tomorrow, probably..

I'm so jazzed about this blog from Estonia and the Baltic Sea -- romantic, beautiful and so much to learn. (Don't forget the fridge and pet shots!)

Thanks :rolleyes: There will be a fridge shot, but as we've got no pets, then none of those. Unless I can snap a photo of one of those numerous cats that pass through our garden during their hunting trips - I saw 2 different cats with freshly caught mice over the weekend!?!

Wow, Pille, so nice to see you blogging!  You've already made me homesick, with your mannapuder which sounds just like what I think of as Christmas Porridge, because when I was briefly an au pair in Sweden it was what we left out for Santa, and your Moomin cups.  When I went to Finland almost the first thing I did was visit the Moomintroll museum.

We've just moved to France for a while, which you can read about at French Letters where there's no bread like your sour rye, so I'll certainly be following along with you making a loaf of my own.

Abra - I'll be checking out your French foodblog with great interest. Kristjan and I had our first proper date in France (Paris, obviously), and we're thinking of spending a week or so in Souther France later this autumn, time permitting..


Edited by Pille (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pille - I'm also really looking forward to your blog. One of the things I'd like to do in life is to travel Europe and your blog will be a nice introduction to your country. :biggrin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very excited about this blog, and learning about a country reasonably close by that I know absolutely nothing about, food-wise. And nami-nami looks great too...

Blog on!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pille - I'm also really looking forward to your blog. One of the things I'd like to do in life is to travel Europe and your blog will be a nice introduction to your country. :biggrin:

Very excited about this blog, and learning about a country reasonably close by that I know absolutely nothing about, food-wise. And nami-nami looks great too...

Blog on!

Thank you, Domestic Goddess & Markemorse!! I'm glad to hear that you liked my non-eG foodblog :rolleyes:

gallery_28661_5138_109822.jpg

I had lunch at one of the university cafes today. The atmosphere is very nice, but the food is nothing spectacular. The choice is limited to salads, cakes, pastries, and the larger cafe also has a soup and a stew every day. I was in the smaller one, and had a salad with smoked chicken, iceberg lettuce, tomato, cucumber, creamy dressing for lunch, accompanied with a coffee. Coffee comes with a nice chocolate truffle (I'm a real chocoholic :raz: ).

gallery_28661_5138_64693.jpg

I need to dash off now. I started a cookery diploma course last week at one of the vocational schools here in Tallinn. It'll run until mid-December, so I'm busy every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4pm until 7pm with that course. Today is our first hands-on kitchen practice class, and we'll be making soups.

There's soup for dinner tonight as well. Stay tuned!

[Edited to add photos]


Edited by Pille (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great start! I know that I'm going really enjoy this blog.

Unfortunately, I never made it across the strait from Helsinki, but I still have hopes to get up your way.

Thanks for the kind remarks about the Apricot tart. Also, you were kind about my guesses.

Does your sauna ritual differ much from that of the Finns? Are Estonian linguistic roots similar to those in Finland? Or are they more Germanic as in the other Scandinavian countries?

Finally, are Estonians as nutty about crayfish as the Swedes & Finns?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been fascinated with Estonian culture since my husband started conducting composer Veljo Tormis' Forgotten Peoples musical cycles with his (American) choir. It has been a fantasy of mine for years that we will go to Estonia and interview Tormis and have a chance to check out the local cuisine. Thanks for giving me a taste!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Very excited about this blog, and learning about a country reasonably close by that I know absolutely nothing about, food-wise. And nami-nami looks great too...

Blog on!

What markemorse said. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this week!

MelissaH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really looking forward to following this along. I would suspect that my German husband would love that bread!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Pille,

I dated a woman (American) who lived in Tallin for a few years. She said the Estonian diet is very pork heavy. Will we be seeing some interesting pork dishes this week?


Edited by mojoman (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where else but eGullet would there be so many people interested in Estonia, and its food. A month ago it was only a place across from Helsinki to me. Then we booked a boat trip on the Russian Waterways, with a couple of days in Tallin at the end. The more I read about it the more charming and interesting Tallin sounds.

I already know I want to go to Olde Hansa (maybe from your other blog?) and I always like a city with lots of cafes. When you are a packaged tour tourist you usually get one day of included touring to the highlights. Then you have either an optional (extra cost) tour , or a free day. It is tough to find the neat places with so little time to plan and to get your bearings. BUT I will know WAY MORE after this week. What great luck!

Thanks, Judy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really looking forward to this blog. The photos so far have been very scenic; I hope you'll include more location shots throughout the week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back home after our first hands-on cooking class, where I made one soup and tried nine different soups! I should have thought of that when making soup for us over the weekend. Kristjan should be at home within an hour or so, and we'll have a light dinner together.

Here's the soup I made at the class:

gallery_28661_5138_64946.jpg

Vegetarian sauerkraut soup (sauerkraut, carrots, onion, pearl barley)- very homey and typically Estonian (though a pork version would be more common). The teacher approved :smile: My classmates were in charge of making 2 different solyanka soups, a lentil and bacon soup, a farmer's soup (beef, onion, potato, carrot, tomato, sweetcorn, peas, celery), minestrone, cabbage & pork soup, borsch, fish frikadelle soup. It was fun - though I didn't enjoy the fact that we had to clean the whole kitchen spotless afterwards :laugh:

Just to clarify: I don't plan a career change - I'm pretty happy with my job as a sociologist - but I did think a diploma might come handy with some of the plans I have with my Estonian language recipe collection. I've had this site (also called Nami-nami) since 2000, and it currently hosts about 8000 recipes. I'm planning a major redesign there (the design is from 2000, too :unsure: ) and hence the thrice-weekly evenings at the cookery school.. The woman who was in charge at the kitchen today has been teaching cookery for 46 years, so it's pretty old-school stuff. No nouvelle cuisine whatsoever :raz:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the kind remarks about the Apricot tart. Also, you were kind about my guesses.

Does your sauna ritual differ much from that of the Finns? Are Estonian linguistic roots similar to those in Finland? Or are they more Germanic as in the other Scandinavian countries?

Finally, are Estonians as nutty about crayfish as the Swedes & Finns?

Dave - well, that apricot cake was delicious, so it was easy to be kind about it!

Estonian & Finnish sauna rituals are pretty much the same. Sitting naked in a hot steamroom, beating oneself with dried & soaked birch branches, then running out of the sauna and jumping into a cold lake/soft snow, depending on the time of the year. The usual, you know :biggrin:

As far as crayfish parties are concerned, we're definitely not as nutty. I think that's unique to our Nothern neighbours.

And language. Estonian is a Finno-Ugric language, just like Finnish (and Hungarian, though more distantly). It's spoken by about 1 million people. Finnish and Estonian are very similar, though not as similar as, say, Swedish and Danish (I speak the latter and can therefore also read Swedish and Norwegian). People in the Northern Estonia usually understand Finnish easily, but then we were able to watch Finnish television even during the Soviet years. You need to have some contact with the other language and understand how to understand (does that make sense? :wacko: ) Estonian is a phonetic language, there's no future dense, no grammatic gender (there's only one word to describe she/he - tema), we don't use prepositions*, but we've got 14 cases to compensate for that (you need to use one of the 14 various options for every noun, depending on what you're saying). Estonian Institute has a good article on eesti keel. A difficult, but very melodic language with lots of vowels.

* That's the main reason behind my wrong use of prepositions. :unsure:

I've been fascinated with Estonian culture since my husband started conducting composer Veljo Tormis' Forgotten Peoples musical cycles with his (American) choir. It has been a fantasy of mine for years that we will go to Estonia and interview Tormis and have a chance to check out the local cuisine. Thanks for giving me a taste!

If you only knew how many times the people I had just met in Scotland would tell me about their love for Arvo Pärt and/or Veljo Tormis!!! I used to sing in a choir when at school & uni, and Veljo Tormis was always such fun to sing!

What markemorse said. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this week!

MelissaH

Thank you!

I'm really looking forward to following this along. I would suspect that my German husband would love that bread!

I bet he would love that rye bread, Annecros!

Hello Pille,

I dated a woman (American) who lived in Tallin for a few years.  She said the Estonian diet is very pork heavy.  Will we be seeing some interesting pork dishes this week?

Mojoman - yep, it's pretty pork heavy, apart from the coastal areas, where fish would be more common. We don't eat much meat at all in our house, but I'll make sure there's a typical pork dish featured somewhere..

Where else but eGullet would there be so many people interested in Estonia, and its food.  A month ago it was only a place across from Helsinki to me.  Then we booked a  boat trip on the Russian Waterways, with a couple of days in Tallin at the end.  The more I read about it the more charming and interesting Tallin sounds. 

I already know I want to go to Olde Hansa (maybe from your other blog?) and I always like a city with lots of cafes.  When you are a packaged tour tourist you usually get one day of included touring to the highlights.  Then you have either an optional (extra cost) tour , or a free day.  It is tough to find the neat places with so little time to plan and to get your bearings.  BUT I will know WAY MORE after this week.  What great luck!

Judy - well, I hope to give you plenty of necessary prior information. And yes - Olde Hansa is a must. It may be touristy, and it's definitely not a gourmet place, but it's such a great venue (and yes, I've mentioned it on my other blog on several occasion). I've taken all my visiting friends there, and they've all enjoyed it. Mmm. Let me know if you need a dinner partner, I might be available :raz:

I'm really looking forward to this blog. The photos so far have been very scenic; I hope you'll include more location shots throughout the week.

Jensen - thank you! I'll make sure to include more location shots. Hope you don't mind some shots from the Old Town? It's the best preserved medieval town in Northern Europe, and there's loads of picturesesque views to be taken. Incidentally, I'm meeting a friend in one of my favourite courtyard cafes in the middle of old town tomorrow afternoon :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

farthest from the mark is pretty normal for me......but I liked that cyan on the building.

Will we see some dumplings? I'm not even certain of the naming for them in Estonia. This is exciting, as it's a part of the world we hear so little about.

But, whatever you cove, I know it'll look good (as good as it tastes!).

Cheers,

peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The soup looks wonderful. i would absolutely love that cooking class. I am looking forward to your blog this week, and learning about Estonia's culture and food.

I'm Polish and love rye bread so I'm looking forward to the recipe. I hope I can do it justice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
farthest from the mark is pretty normal for me......but I liked that cyan on the building.

Will we see some dumplings?  I'm not even certain of the naming for them in Estonia.  This is exciting, as it's a part of the world we hear so little about.

But, whatever you cove, I know it'll look good (as good as it tastes!).

Cheers,

peter

Mmmm. Dumplings. I'm afraid that's more Eastern/Southern European thing. We've got something called pontšikud, which are deep-fried curd cheese 'dumplings', but I doubt I'll be eating them this week. I promise lots of nice looking cakes and pastries, however! :cool:

The soup looks wonderful. i would absolutely love that cooking class. I am looking forward to your blog this week, and learning about Estonia's culture and food.

I'm Polish and love rye bread so I'm looking forward to the recipe. I hope I can do it justice.

I'll blog about the rye bread in a few days. And I'm quite enjoying the cooking class, too. It's heavy stuff, however - 220 hours of various theoretical, practical and internship classes. I won't have any free and relaxing evenings in the near future!!!

Ok. Kristjan is back home, and ate his dinner alone, as I realised I was simply too stuffed after all that soup tasting at the cookery school! He ate a large plate of vegetarian borsch (remember the title of Alinka's great food blog from Moscow? :smile: ) I had made the soup last weekend, thinking that I'll be too tired to cook tonight after work. Soups like that are life saviours during busy periods, as you can make them in advance and their flavour only improves over the next few days.

You'll find a recipe for the soup here earlier today, and I also give you a picture taken during the weekend, as the light is so much better on that photo than on anything I could take at 9.30pm. Hope you don't mind :cool:

gallery_28661_5138_96747.jpg

Monovano - is this similar to Polish beet soups at all?

I did some baking tonight, however. I thought it would be nice to have something 'cakey' for breakfast tomorrow morning, so I quickly made one of my staple apple cakes. It takes 5 minutes to assemble (plus the time it takes you to core and chop the apples. I never peel the apples from my mum's garden, so it's a quick task). I got so many apples from my mum last weekend that if we'd want, we could eat only apples for the week and still get all the necessary calories!!!

Again, I've posted a recipe for this easy and delicious (and typically Estonian) cake on here on my non-eG blog, so I won't reprint it here. I actually made this cake last week, too, to take along to my grandma's 86th birthday party. She loved it :rolleyes:

gallery_28661_5138_78952.jpg

It's easy: mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt (top left corner). Melt the butter, whisk in kefir and eggs, mix with dry ingredients. Fold in the apples, pour into a tin, sprinkle with pearl sugar, bake and cut into chunks. I just had two squares with a cup of herbal infusion, Kristjan had four.. We're not very good in exercising self-restraint :biggrin: Luckily, there's still some left for breakfast..


Edited by Pille (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Similar Content

    • By Mullinix18
      I'm thinking about starting a blog featuring the recipes of antoine Carême that I've translated from 1700s French? No English versions of his works exist and his work is hard to find, even though he is the greatest chef who ever lived. After I get through his works I'd add menon, la Varenne, and other hard to find, but historically important masters of French cuisine. 
    • By Duvel
      Prologue:
       
      Originally, we intended to spend this Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. We have travelled a lot last year and will need to attend a wedding already next month in Germany, so I was happy to spend some quiet days at home (and keep the spendings a bit under control as well). As a consequence, we had not booked any flights in the busiest travel time of the year in this region …
       
      But – despite all good intentions – I found myself two weeks ago calling the hotline of my favourite airline in the region, essentially cashing in on three years of extensive business travel and checking where I could get on short notice over CNY on miles. I was expecting a laughter on the other side of the line but this is the one time my status in their loyalty reward program paid out big time: three seats for either Seoul or Kansai International (earliest morning flights, of course). No need to choose, really – Kyoto, here we come !
       

    • By Tara Middleton
      Alright so as of a few months ago, I decided to take an impromptu trip to Europe--mostly unplanned but with several priorities set in mind: find the best food and locate the most game-changing ice cream spots on the grounds of each city I sought out for. One of the greatest, most architecturally unique and divine cities I have visited thus far has gotta be Vienna, Austria. But what in the heck is there to eat over there?! (you might ask). 'Cause I sure as hell didn't know. So, I desperately reached out to a local Viennese friend of mine, who knows and understands my avid passion for all things edible, and she immediately shot back some must-have food dishes. Doing a bit of research beforehand, I knew I had to try the classic "Kasekreiner". Please forgive my German if I spelled that wrong. But no matter how you say it- say it with passion, because passion is just about all I felt when I ate it. Translated: it basically means cheese sausage. Honestly, what is there not to love about those two words. Even if that's not necessarily your go-to, do me a favor and give it a shot. Trust me, you won't regret it. A classic Austrian pork sausage with pockets of melty cheese, stuffed into a crisp French Baguette. No ketchup necessary (...and as an American, that's saying a lot). YUM. Best spot to try out this one-of-a-kind treat?! Bitzinger bei der Albertina – Würstelstand. Now here's a shot of me with my one true love in front of this classic Viennese green-domed building-- Karlskirche. Now, go check it.
       
       

    • By KennethT
      OK, I'm back, by popular demand! hehe....  After being back for 2 days, I'm still struggling with crazy jetlag and exhaustion - so please bear with me!
       
      This year, for our Asian adventure, we went to Bali, which for those who don't know, is one of the islands in Indonesia.  Bali is a very unique place - from its topology, to the people, language, customs, religion and food.  Whereas the majority of people in Indonesia are Muslim, most people in Bali are Balinese Hindu, which from what I understand is a little like Indian Hinduism, but has more ancestor worship.  Religion is very important to many people in Bali - there are temples everywhere, and at least in one area, there are religious processions through the street practically every day - but we'll get to that later.
       
      Bali has some food unique to it among its Indonesian neighbors, but like everywhere, has seen quite a bit of immigration from other Indonesian islands (many from Java, just to the west) who have brought their classic dishes with them.
       
      Basically all Indonesians speak Indonesian, or what they call Bahasa Indonesia, or just Bahasa, which, anyone who has read my prior foodblogs wouldn't be surprised to hear that I learned a little bit just before the trip.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to use any of it, except a couple times which were totally unnecessary.  When speaking with each other, most people in Bali speak Balinese (totally different from bahasa) - many times when I tried using my bahasa, they smiled and replied, and then tried to teach me the same phrase in Balinese!  As time went on, and I used some of the Balinese, I got lots of surprised smiles and laughs - who is this white guy speaking Balinese?!?  Seriously though, tourism has been in Bali for a very long time, so just about everyone we encountered spoke English to some degree.  Some people spoke German as well, as they supposedly get lots of tourists from Germany.  As one of our drivers was telling us, Bali is heavily dependent on tourism as they have no real industry other than agriculture, which doesn't pay nearly as well as tourism does.
       
      While there are beaches all around the island, most of the popular beach areas are in the south of the island, and those areas are the most highly touristed.  We spent very little time in the south as we are not really beach people (we get really bored) and during planning, decided to stay in less touristed areas so we'd have more opportunities for local food... this didn't work out, as you'll see later.
       
      So, it wouldn't be a KennethT foodblog without photos in the Taipei airport and I-Mei Dim Sum, which we called home for about 4 hours before our connection to Bali...
       
      Beef noodle soup:

       
      The interior:

       
      This was the same as always - huge pieces of beef were meltingly tender.  Good bite to the thick chewy noodles.
       
      Xie long bao (soup dumplings) and char siu bao (fluffy barbeque pork buns):

    • By KennethT
      Recently, there was a thread about stir frying over charcoal, which immediately brought to mind memories of eating in Bangkok in July 2013.  At that time, I hadn't gotten into the habit of writing food blogs, and considering that I had some spare time this weekend (a rarity) I figured I would put some of those memories down on paper, so to speak.  Back then, neither my wife nor I were in the habit of taking tons of photos like we do nowadays, but I think I can cobble something together that would be interesting to folks reading it.
       
      In the spirit of memories, I'll first go back to 2006 when my wife and I took our honeymoon to Thailand (Krabi, Bangkok and Chiang Mai), Singapore and Hanoi.  That was our first time to Asia, and to be honest, I was a little nervous about it.  I was worried the language barrier would be too difficult to transcend, or that we'd have no idea where we were going.  So, to help mitigate my slight anxiety, I decided to book some guides for a few of the locations.  Our guides were great, but we realized that they really aren't necessary, and nowadays with internet access so much more prevalent, even less necessary.
       
      Prior to the trip, when emailing with our guide in Bangkok to finalize plans, I mentioned that we wanted to be continuously eating (local food, I thought was implied!)  When we got there, I realized the misunderstanding when she opened her trunk to show us many bags of chips and other snack foods.. whoops...  Anyway, once the misconception was cleared up, she took us to a noodle soup vendor:


      On the right is our guide, Tong, who is now a very famous and highly sought after guide in BKK.... at the time, we were among here first customers.  I had a chicken broth based noodle soup with fish ball, fish cake and pork meatball, and my wife had yen ta fo, which is odd because it is bright pink with seafood.  I have a lime juice, and my wife had a longan juice.
       
      This is what a lot of local food places look like:

       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×