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Are Americans Too Cheap For Indian Food?

Are American's Too Cheap For Indian Food

“Amp-ah-nada? What’s that?” asked a grandmotherly woman about the delectable little filled pastries so popular throughout Latin America. Her skeptical sneer told me she wouldn’t discover the delights of empanadas anytime soon, or probably ever.

That reluctance to experiment with new foods is a leading reason why foreign cuisines take so long to find a foothold. People who don’t grow up eating certain foods are unlikely to change their eating habits as adults. That’s especially true for those who live in rural areas with limited ethnic and culinary diversity. It’s not only that they might not sample new foods, they might not even be exposed to them.

But those factors by themselves don’t explain why Indian food has taken so long to gain acceptance in the U.S. According to a Washington Post article purporting to solve that mystery, “there are, after all, more than 40,000 Chinese restaurants around the country, and roughly the same number of Mexican restaurants, but only about 5,000 Indian restaurants.” Why?

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Where to Eat in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

We owe a huge shout-out to Jodi from Legal Nomads for unfailingly steering us to terrific eateries in Ho Chi Minh City. Her Guide to Saigon Street Food is an absolute must read for anyone serious about exploring the best of South Vietnamese cuisine. But at nearly 10,000 words, Jodi’s guide is a little more than a mouthful. We did the hard work of chewing through her recommendations as well as some others to give you this more bite-sized take on our favorite places to eat in Vietnam’s largest city.

Chi Thong

Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio

The name of Chi Thong’s signature dish, Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio, says almost everything you need to know. Bun Thit Nuong loosely translates to “rice noodles with grilled meat,” which in this case is pork. And Cha Gio is a type of spring roll packed with seasoned meat, mushrooms, and diced vegetables all wrapped in moist rice paper before being fried into golden, crispy tubes of deliciousness.

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Where to Eat in Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An's Central Market

Head to Hoi An’s Central Market for the town’s best Cau Lao

Hoi An, as I mentioned earlier, was somewhat unkind to us. But it wasn’t just the rain. In addition to dodging drops we also had a terrible time finding good places to eat, let alone great ones.

Partly, I think we just got spoiled in Hanoi. It was so easy to find delicious meals in Hanoi that almost anywhere else would seem a disappointment by comparison. And so it was initially with Hoi An.

Don’t get us wrong, Hoi An is a lovely city. But it really is a tourist town. Unfortunately, many of its eateries reflect that. Too many cater to what they think westerners want and serve up mediocre food at inflated prices as a result.

In the past we’ve been able to side-step tourist cuisine by avoiding the places where tourists eat. But in Hoi An, that strategy didn’t always work. We had bad experiences at upscale places as well as downscale ones and everywhere in between.

Through sheer persistence, and a week of trying, we did eventually uncover these handful of standouts.

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How to Eat Noodles With Chopsticks

How to Eat Noodles With Chopsticks

The Best Cooking Class Ever

Siam Cooking School Chiang Mai Thailand

I’m probably talking out of school here because we’ve only ever been to four cooking classes in our entire lifetime, but if Siam Rice in Chiang Mai, Thailand, isn’t among the best cooking schools for tourists anywhere I’ll eat my Khao Soi.

Why do we think Siam Rice is so good? Because they nailed every single thing anyone could want in a cooking school.

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