Above are the ingredients to the Wilson Farms fall harvest soup, which I’ve often prepared for Thanksgiving gatherings at home. Food and the loving care with which we prepare it is a common theme across all countries.
From the clearest of water and freshest of fruits in Fiji, to a sixteen-course meal in the Republic of Korea, to a homecooked presentation of dougha, dolma and tandir chorek in Azerbaijan, and a very large halibut in Scotland, please enjoy…
Close to home is Helen’s diner, founded by an immigrant family and now run by the grandchildren here in Massachusetts. California was my last stop in the US, where my cousins treated me to peaches straight from their backyard. While we enjoyed a light summer beef and rice dish that Robbie prepared, we experienced an earthquake! Magnitude 4.3, with the epicenter only 12 miles away. Let the adventures begin…
We literally circled the island of Viti Levu, a road trip throughout which we enjoyed many dishes rich in local fish, vegetables and fruits. From Port Denarau to Suva and a feast on Bau Island…
The special water of Fiji… The water is distinctly different here. I first noticed this when coming out of a pool at the Anchorage Hotel, and for once put a comb through my wet hair without any knots or tangles. Fijian water in general is so soft and clear, it’s no wonder that they’ve bottled it to share with the world…
Republic of Korea
Seoul is a Foodie’s paradise, as I had the opportunity to experience the most wonderful dishes both in terms of taste and appearance. At one meal, we were presented with sixteen different dishes (small, like tapas), each having their own unique combination of flavors that came together as a harmonious combination. Also delightful and a welcome treat on a hot day: a large serving of pineapple shaved ice. Even the simplest treats are pure magic in the Republic of Korea.
One tourist guide suggested that Mongolia is not a place for finding a great variety of foods… I found the opposite to be true, especially in its vibrant downtown section of Ulaan Baatar.
In Kyrgyzstan, my first meal featured the delicious okroshka, a soup served cold with a salted, milky base and a selection of chopped vegetables. On a stroll through Bishkek, we sampled the national drink shoro, and enjoyed lunch at Arzu for a selection of traditional Kyrgyz foods including boorsok (fried dough), manty (dumplings filled with meat, chives, or pumpkin), and lagman (noodles with meat and vegetables). We went further into the countryside to visit Supara Chunkurchak, home of Legend brand water and the Supara resort with its own amazing offering of dishes such as the traditional beshbarmak. How appropriate to finish off the visit to Kyrgyzstan with coffee and dessert at Lenny Kenny’s in downtown Bishkek.
There were so many treats in Kazakhstan, from ice cream at Zheka’s in Almaty on a very hot day to an elegant meal at Qaimaq on a cool and beautiful evening. Most special was a fine dinner at Abay, overlooking Almaty while witnessing an amazing sunset.
I spent only a few days in this country, but had the pleasure of tasting so many wonderful dishes. My host’s mother welcomed me with a selection of home-cooked foods: dougha (a yogurt-based soup with vegetables, eggs, and rice), dolma (grape leaves wrapped around a mixture of beef, rice, and mint), and tandir chorek (bread typically prepared in a stone oven). On to downtown Baku and the Mado Café, for jasmine tea, cherries in a sugar syrup, and a stack of gelato flavors! Heading out into the countryside, we had lunch at a winery called Abqora, where I enjoyed a cherry salad, kebab with the most tender meat, and a dry red wine that was truly wonderful. In the village of Lahich, I saw an amazing selection of spices, near where we stopped for tea. On my last day in Baku, we stopped first at Mangal in the old city, where the waiter delivered an elegant presentation of Shah Pilaf. And finally, we visited friends at the 145 Club where I ordered a dish of fruit to share…
While I was sadly only passing through Paris, I met my friend at Ladurèe for a wonderful meal, coffee, and a dessert I could not resist, although they are most well known for their selection of macarons.
Visiting many friends here, I was treated to many home-cooked meals. We did, however, make a special trip to O’Hazar restaurant in Menen and also St Sixtus Abbey in Vleteren (for their famed Westvleteren beer). It was very nice to finish the visit with mussels, fritte and Orval trappist beer.
Beef pie at home, followed by tea, and Victorian Sponge Cake as we strolled through hidden alleys while touring Dunster.
In these photographs, I share selections from the Hamersay House hotel on North Uist, including a before & after of a wonderful preparation of halibut
Iceland(air)… the airline
This airline deserves an honorable mention, for making airplane food worthy of the foodie page