Most of us enjoy a glass of wine or two on occasion, whether it is a bottle of white with the girls on a Friday night, a rich red with Sunday lunch, or a splash of champagne at celebrations. However, what many people don’t realise is that most wines will benefit from being decanted before drinking. Read on and discover all you need to know about decanting wines. Read the rest of this entry »
While the usual British Christmas dinner of roast turkey and all the trimmings is a well loved tradition, more and more families are looking for some alternative options for their festive feast. Greater culinary knowledge can be attributed in part to the many TV chefs who inspire us these days, while worldwide travel and the availability of international produce in our supermarkets has given us a taste for the exotic. Read the rest of this entry »
As one of the major national holidays in the United States, Thanksgiving forms an important part of American culture. For many people, this celebration marks the beginning of the festive season and the lead up to Christmas. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November and has a history dating back hundreds of years. Read the rest of this entry »
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a island which lies east of the Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean. Although Puerto Rico is officially United States territory, the island’s unique history has led to the development of cuisine which embraces a variety of cultures. Read the rest of this entry »
At the start of 2011, food critics and gourmet chefs predicated that 2011 would be the year of offal. Gordon Ramsay and Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall have both spoken in favour of the trend, presenting an array of thought-provoking dishes on their TV shows, and encouraging people to try these (supposedly) underrated ingredients. Read the rest of this entry »
If you enjoy foreign travel, it is likely that at some point, you’ll find yourself faced with dishes which include unusual ingredients. Snails and frog’s legs have nothing on the following food-stuffs, which are seen as a delicacy – but might make your stomach turn…
Prairie oysters is the euphemistic name used to describe a dish of deep fried cattle testicles, popular in some areas of the United States. Read the rest of this entry »
Whether you are taking your holidays at home or travelling abroad, a family self-catering break can put pressure on whoever the main cooking duties fall to. Give your chef the evening off, and plan a barbecue – a simple method of cooking which is casual and widely enjoyed. Read on to learn about barbecue traditions, what to cook on a barbecue, safety tips and more. Read the rest of this entry »
Whether you are a dedicated foodie, or just love a great party, these amazing food festivals from around the world will delight and thrill you. Whether you are a fan of the pungent flavour of garlic or just have a hankering to throw oranges at your companions, read on to discover where these exciting festivals take place. Will you be inspired enough to plan your vacation around one of these festivals? Let us know!
Pink Garlic Festival in Lautrec, France Read the rest of this entry »
If your self catering vacation is taking you to Germany, you have many culinary delights to look forward to. Beef, pork and poultry are mainstays of the German dining table, served with plentiful vegetables and one of the many varieties of bread which are produced in the European country. Freshwater fish such as perch, trout and carp are served in inland areas, while those of you who visit the coastline to the north will be able to sample preserved fish dishes such as pickled herring. Desserts also play an important role on a typical German menu, with cakes and tarts displaying beautiful, fresh fruit such as cherries, apples, plums and strawberries. Read the rest of this entry »
French cuisine is internationally renown and is even included on UNESCO’s list of “intangible cultural heritage”. Although it is possible to dine in a French-themed restaurant or bistro in almost every major city across the globe, there is nothing like dining on authentic French dishes in France. Cookery varies between regions with dishes developed to make the most of produce and ingredients that are at their best in each area.
If you are taking a self-catering break to France this year, treat your taste-buds by sampling some of the following fantastic French cuisine.
Ditch your fears of garlic-breath, and try Tourin, a garlic soup which is traditionally made in the south-west regions of France. The rich soup typically appears on menus during the garlic harvest between July and August, and many French villages hold their own “tourin” festival, with sampling events and competitions. Tourin may contain up to 20 cloves of garlic, as well as eggs and chicken stock, and is often poured over sliced of bread and Gruyere cheese. Chew parsley leaves after eating this soup, to freshen your breath naturally!
Moules Frites – mussels and chips – are a speciality from the Brittany coastline, and are a popular snack or lunch meal. If you are fortunate enough to be staying close to the beach, you could even try harvesting and preparing the mussels yourself, for a genuine, ocean fresh flavour. After cleaning the mussels, steam them with white wine and garlic, discarding any that do not open, and serve with crispy french fries or thin cut chips.
Coq au Vin
Rustic and warming, Coq au Vin, is traditionally made with wine from the Burgundy region of France. Although the name translates as “Rooster with Wine”, most recipes use chicken, which is cooked slowly for a tender, mouth-watering texture. Coq au Vin usually contains mushrooms and garlic and is often served with flat noodles or potatoes.
Confit de Canard
A truly unique French dish which you are unlikely to find outside of France is Confit de Canard – Preserved Duck. A speciality of the Aquitaine region, duck legs are poached in fat and spices in a hot oven, to create an incomparably decadent dish. Although you may see tins of Confit de Canard in UK supermarkets from time to time, indulge yourself during your stay in France to discover what this dish is all about.
When you dine in French restaurants, one dessert that you’ll be offered frequently is Crème Brûlée . Even if you are dieting – be sure to allow yourself at least one of these creamy desserts during your holiday. Crème Brûlée has been a mainstay of French cookery for hundreds of years, and is made by topping an vanilla-flavoured egg custard base with sugar and toasting to a hard caramel.
Complete a typical French meal with a digestif such as Calvados. Calvados is a brandy, made from apples in the Calvados region of Normandy. Following a heavy meal with a glass of this strong tipple, which has a distinctive apple flavour, is said to aid the digestion – enjoy! Other digestifs include cognac and pastis (an anise flavoured liquor).