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Food/Wine

Fun & Artisanal Ice Cream Goes Quirky In Brooklyn

July 31, 2014 by  

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The first thing that will jump out at you when visiting Brooklyn’s OddFellows Ice Cream Co. website is their array of quirky flavors. It isn’t everyday you see flavors like Tobacco Leaf Smoked Chili Huckleberry; Beet Pistachio Honey Goat Cheese; Coconut, Cream Cheese & Carrot Cake; and Sesame Kumquat Pumpernickel. That being said, what makes OddFellows isn’t just their atypical offerings, but their methods of production. Opened in June 2013, OddFellows Ice Cream Co. caused a stir from the beginning. Within two months of opening, they’d been voted Best Ice Cream in New York. So, what makes OddFellows so addictive? “We’re making ice cream from scratch which is a very rare thing,” explains co-owner Mohan Kumar. “Not too many people are doing this in the country and only a handful are in NYC. Typically people who claim to sell homemade ice cream are buying their ice cream base from a creamery or farm and are adding in things like chocolate chips. We’re going the extra step and making our own base ice cream. Our dairy comes from New York-based Battenkill Valley Creamy, and we source produce locally as much as possible.” inside oddfellows Not surprisingly, chef and co-owner…

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All Things Tea in Japan’s Kansai Region

July 30, 2014 by  

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  bento box From the high-quality green tea of Uji to the rich soba culture of Izushi to Osaka’s hearty soul food, Japan’s Kansai Region is made to be explored through the tongue. While many may associate Japanese food with rice, sushi and miso soup — which are all important parts of Japanese cuisine — it’s not as simple as that. And if that’s all you eat during your travels, you’re missing out on a slew of delicious opportunities. Here’s what Epicure & Culture suggests: Local Guide Recommendation: For a certified Japanese, English and Spanish speaking guide Epicure & Culture recommends Michiko Moriwaki (moriwaki.michiko (at) gmail (dot) com). Not only is she extremely knowledgeable on the Kansai Prefecture, her upbeat demeanor and passion for showing guests a good time lead to an extremely enjoyable experience. green tea Green tea. Photo courtesy of Barta IV.

Green Tea In Uji

While you’ll find green tea all over Japan, Uji, located on the outskirts of Kyoto, is particularly well-known for the curative drink. You can take the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) Nara Line to Uji Station, and from there it…

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New York City for Foodies: Restaurants Without the Snob Factor

July 30, 2014 by  

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    The Ellington New York City gets a bad rep for having some pretty pretentious restaurants. But the truth is, there is an array of delicious venues offering sophisticated settings with inviting atmospheres. Whether you’re looking for a great date spot, a memorable meal or a place to spend time with friends, the following NYC restaurants offer the aesthetics without the stuffiness.

The Ellington

For a truly unpretentious dining experience that also features delicious food, The Ellington offers a country kitchen–meets–shabby chic ambience and a menu of homemade dishes. The owners felt that the neighborhood had been waiting for a bar and kitchen that could offer a mix of American comfort food and European cuisine. Because owner Glenda Sansone’s family background is a mix of European and American, it was easy to meld the flavors of the two cultures. Dishes are simple—a scotch egg served with chilled English mustard; a flatbread with homemade fig jam and fresh ricotta; cumberland sausage with mashed potatoes, onion gravy and braised red cabbage—and add to The Ellington’s cozy neighborhood hangout ambiance. It’s the type of place that isn’t trying to top the trends, but rather create a space…

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The Diversity You’ll Find Across Jordan

July 29, 2014 by  

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Dana Biosphere Reserve

1. Its Capital Has A Very Modern Downtown

Amman is a city of contrasts. While they have the Old City with the 6th century Roman Amphitheater, ancient citadel, Abu Darwish Mosque and traditional souk, there’s also a modern downtown — with the hub being Rainbow Street — with upscale hotels, swanky rooftop bars and an array of local and international restaurants. You can enjoy sipping handcrafted cocktails on candlelit terraces, sampling sustainable cuisine with a view and smoking fragrant shisha. Amman

2. The People Are Genuinely Friendly

While you’ll find friendly locals in many countries, often they want something from you, for example, money or for you to purchase something from them. In Jordan, people will invite you for tea to chat or give you a local gift for free so you have something to remember Jordan by. Schoolchildren will ask you your name to practice their English, and both young and old will ask to have their photo taken with you in excitement. They genuinely want to get to know you and tell you about their country.

3. Jordan Isn’t All Desert

While over 80% of…

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The Discover Chocolate Festival in the Saint Lucia

July 29, 2014 by  

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  st-lucia_jade_chocolateJade Mountain Resort — with more than 1000 cocoa trees on the resort estates — is Saint Lucia’s only bean to bar, organic, single estate boutique chocolate maker. For the past three years, Soufriere’s Jade Mountain has hand-crafted Emerald Estate Chocolate. With the opening of its chocolate laboratory, guests are now able to not only taste but participate in the making of the chocolate. Those staying at Jade Mountain and at its adjoining “sister” property Anse Chastanet can now choose from a variety of chocolate infused activities like chocolate sensory tastings, educational estate trips and truffle making classes. Chocolate lovers will be further enticed by chocolate inspired dishes, cocktails and body treatments in the resort restaurants, bars and spa. If you’re really a chocoholic,schedule your visit during their annual Discover Chocolate Festival from October 10 through 14, 2014.
(Photo of a chocolate drink courtesy of McKenzie News Service)


Be Greeted With Warmth & Organic Food at the Darang Tea Estate in Dharamsala

July 28, 2014 by  

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027The privately-held Darang Tea Estate, roughly midway between Palampur and Dharamsala, is synonymous with warmth, hospitality and heavenly home-grown, home-cooked organic food. For pretty much every ingredient that goes into your meals comes freshly produced from their farm:  fruits, vegetables, juices, dairy products, you name it. The gracious hosts, Neeru and Naveen, leave no stone unturned to ensure your stay is 025completely comfortable. They are assisted in no small measure by their three friendly canines: Layla, Simba & Brandy. And that lovely machaan that Naveen has built for his grandchildren is bound to be a big draw for other kids, too. All meals are served in the family dining room in the main house, though guests are welcome to enjoy a cuppa in the veranda, or snacks around a cosy fireside. Neeru’s finger-licking cakes, sandwiches, jams, pickles, preserves and cereals are the kind legends are made of. As accommodation, the 70-acre estate offers two quaintly rustic cottages with two bedrooms each, as well as, one room in the main house that justifiably claims heritage status. A tiny old-fashioned factory, woodlands, forested hillsides, tea-gardens, and…

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Chilaquiles for Breakfast in Mexico’s Riviera Maya

July 27, 2014 by  

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  chilaquillesSure you can have a breakfast taco or a breakfast burrito or huevos rancheros, but why not opt for a dish that’s a favorite from Tex-Mex restaurants north of the border and all the way south into Old Mexico? Yes: chilaquiles. Its what Mexican moms have been serving up every morning that leftover tortillas and salsa have turned up in their larders. The basic ingredients are these: sliced or quartered corn tortillas, salsa (green or red), queso blanco, maybe some onions, fresh coriander and sour cream — all topped by scrambled or fried eggs. Try the La Cueva del Chango in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico in the Riviera Maya. Their chilaquiles (pictured) hits all the right taste markers with the added fillip of avocado slices. Heaven! Especially when served with a cup of their signature cappuccino.


Tasting the Best of New York State, Washington & Oregon Wines

July 27, 2014 by  

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pinor noir vines “Did you know that every state in the US makes wine?”   willamette valley Willamette Valley. Photo courtesy of eyeliam.

Oregon

Let’s start with Oregon, whose wine industry dates back to the early 1880s — although it was in 1961 that their modern wine industry really began. According to Mr. Drouet it was at this time that Richard Sommer took interest in the Umpqua Valley’s cool climate and planted riesling. Today, Oregon and its 16 American Viticulture Areas are renowned for their fine small production wines. Oregon focuses mainly on pinot noir and pinot gris. Interestingly, out of all 50 states Oregon is the strictest in terms of varietal labeling, as they. with the exception of cabernet, require the wine to be made with 90% of said varietal. In the USA the requirement for all states is 75%, with states having the option to make the rule more strict — but not less — at their discretion. As I’ve just returned from a trip to the sustainably-focused city of Portland, I’m not surprised to learn that Oregon vintners focus on community, sharing tips and working together…

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