If a classic evening or an indoor picnic don't have enough adventure for your liking, take a culinary tour of the world with your Valentine's Day date. Serve up dishes and cocktails from around the world and create a music playlist to match each course. By the end of the night, you and whoever you've shared this experience with will have bonded over all of your "travels." Here are some ethnic dishes that we recommend.
Whenever you're complaining about the ferocity of Winter, just remember things are much, much colder in other parts of the world. But while Russian Winters may be brutal, they've got plenty of amazing, comforting recipes with flavors designed to take that chill out of your bones. It's time to call up your babushka, put on your copy of Doctor Zhivago, and grab a tall glass of vodka, if you see fit! It's time to get reading about the delicious dishes Russian cuisine has to offer.
- Solyanka: The base of the spicy and sour solyanka soup consists of pickled cucumbers with brine, cabbage, mushrooms, sour cream, and dill. It's either served with meat, fish, or mushrooms.
- Pirozhki : Pirozhki are small buns that are stuffed typically with a savory filling and then baked or fried. Some typical fillings include meat, onion, eggs, mashed potatoes, or cabbage.
- Stroganov: Beef stroganov, or stroganoff, is cooked up in many a cafeteria today, but this recipe originated in Russia. It's typically pieces of beef served up in a sour cream-based sauce on top of egg noodles.
- Blini: These thin, crepelike pancakes are enjoyed with either a savory or sweet topping. As opposed to the French crepe, blinis are made from buckwheat and are part of traditional Russian cuisine.
- Borscht: Soups are a staple of a traditional Russian diet. And borscht is the czar of these soups. While it's served up cold in many restaurants in the US, traditionally borscht, primarily made of beets, is served piping hot.
- Vatrushka: This traditional Russian dessert is a big ring of flaky pastry dough with cottage cheese in the center. Similar to a delicious American-style Danish, it's typically topped off with raisins or bits of fruit.
- Smetana (sour cream): Blinis are topped off with it. Soups utilize its flavor. It's even used in dessert recipes! In short, expect to find fresh and delicious sour cream accompanying just about Russian ration you eat.
- Black bread: The dark, crusty, hearty rye bread is served alongside many a Russian dish.
- Ikra (caviar): Briny caviar is a definite splurge in the US, but in Russia, you can find caviar far more often on a table. It's often served with blinis or atop black bread.
Did I leave anything off? Any Russian foods you love to chow down on? Add your thoughts in the comments!
If you've never been exposed to tasty Thai cuisine, the time to check it out is now. Thai food is known for its spicy, seductive flavors influenced by Chinese traditions, beautifully blended with other cuisines from Southeast Asia including Burmese, Laotian, and Cambodian food. One size does not fit all when speaking about traditional Thai dishes. Vast differences between regions correlate to neighboring states and climate. Interested in learning more about all the tastiness Thai food has to offer? Prepare to salivate as you keep reading.
After our post on Spanish cuisine, we're dreaming of mild white anchovies, serrano ham, and manchego cheese washed down with a glass of wine from La Rioja. So we thought we'd bring together all of our favorite Spanish specialty items that are musts for any Spanish kitchen. With the exception of Padrón peppers, all of of these items can be ordered online, making your Mediterranean fiestas totally attainable.
I constantly crave the flavors of Spain. Though Spanish cuisine varies tremendously across the different regions, they all have one thing in common: the use of fresh, local flavors. Spanish cuisine is heavily influenced by its climate and geography.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the best way to describe Spanish food is the generous use of olive oil and garlic in dishes. Spain is the number one producer of olive oil, so it seems fitting that this ingredient brings together so many delicious elements. Spain has direct and abundant access to some of the best seafood in the world, and the cuisine offers everything from octopus to razor clams. Meat is also an important part of the Spanish diet and culture, specifically cured pork like jamón serrano and beef (eaten more rarely). Wine is a regular part of mealtime, similar to other Mediterranean countries. Fresh ingredients are of the utmost importance in Spanish cuisine, and because of this, dishes tend to be on the healthier side.
In Spain, dinner is typically eaten late at night (beginning around 10 p.m., but some even sit down to eat as late as midnight), which explains why tapas are a very significant part of Spanish culture. Tapas are small little meals, usually packed full of flavor, meant to be enjoyed while slowly sipping wine and conversing with friends. The cultural phenomenon of tapas is an important reminder to slow down and savor all of the flavors of life.
As I mentioned before, regionality is hugely important when it comes to Spanish cuisine. Typical meals in Galicia are vastly different from those in the Basque region or Andalusia. Still, there are a few common dishes and terms you should know about. Keep reading to learn more!
When you taste Cuban food for the first time, you'd swear that Spanish and Caribbean cuisines had a little love child — which isn't too far from the truth. The diversity of Cuban culture is indicative in the rich and varied flavors of the country's cuisine. One of the most thriving Cuban communities in the US is located in Miami, FL (and let me tell you, they've got the food to prove it!). Lucky for the rest of us, there are great Cuban restaurants all over the country that tantalize our taste buds with recipes that pack a powerful punch of flavor. Are you a fan of Latin American foods, but not sure where to start when it comes to comida Cubana? Continue reading to get to know a few staples of Cuban cuisine.
This may come as a surprise, but if we had to eat one cuisine for the rest of our lives, my pick would be Ethiopian. There's something incredibly natural about the act of eating with one's hands, and the spiced, slow-cooked, home style preparations.
But to someone who's not familiar with East African cuisine, deciphering an Ethiopian recipe or the menu at an Eritrean restaurant can be sort of like trying to understand hieroglyphics in the year 2011. Continue reading to get to know a few staples of Ethiopian cooking.
Ancient Greek culture is the cornerstone of Western civilization. Not only is it home to some of mankind's most influential philosophers and artists, but it's also given birth to some of the most delicious food on the planet. Making use of fresh ingredients, age-old tradition, and fragrant spices, Greek flavors pack a powerful punch of Mediterranean flair to restaurants all over the world. Continue reading to get to know a few staples of Greek cuisine.
So many people in my life are terrified when I bring up the idea of going out to my favorite Indian spot in the city. Indian flavors are not for the faint of heart, but most people think that Indian food is just about a super-spicy curry; that couldn't be further from the truth. Indian food is bold, flavorful, and indicative of the country's rich and vibrant history.
The regional flavors are as valiant and varied as the different, beautiful layers of culture coexisting in the Indian subcontinent. If you're a little nervous about what to order, or you've never considered enjoying some Indian cuisine, here's a quick primer on some flavors you can probably find at your neighborhood haunt. Continue reading to get to know a few staples of Indian cuisine.
The beer-drinking backdrop of an Indian Summer weekend would pair perfectly with a festive Mexican feast of tacos and grilled meats. But with a menagerie of Spanish monikers from carnitas to carne asada, taco meat terminology can get a bit confusing. For the breakdown of Mexican meats, keep reading.