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Who, exactly, doesn’t like good food? Travel the world, and you’ll find a world of flavors. People open up over a local meal; they become expansive and generous and forthcoming, whether or not you add a few bottles of the local brew.

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Food: The Bucket List

Telltale sign of an apple wine tavern, Frankfurt, Germany (photo credit: Amy S Eckert c 2012)

Sipping Apple Wine in Frankfurt, Germany

You might think that a thirsty German in Frankfurt would reach for a cold beer. But you would be wrong. Not that Frankfurters don’t like their beer—they do. The city’s local brand is Binding. But I discovered pretty quickly on my most recent meanderings through the Hessian capital that Frankfurt really ...
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Paella pots at Valencia's Mercado Central

Dining on Paella in Valencia, Spain

I went to Valencia to see the city’s highlights—medieval cathedrals, steamy Mediterranean beaches, Santiago Calatrava’s architectural jewel, the City of Arts and Sciences. But it was the local paella that stole my attention. It didn’t take long before I understood that Valencianos ardently claim this Spanish dish as their own. It ...
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Try the house platter....

Facing Temptation in Switzerland: The Chocolate, Cheese, and Cream of Medieval Gruyères

How on Earth did I let this happen? Here I am, surrounded by shops and restaurants dishing out meringues, local biscuits, cheese and chocolate in almost every possible form. Gruyère et vacherin, offers one sign; raclette et fondue; crème double de la Gruyère; caramel à la crème. And do you ...
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Barges travel the canals of Burgundy at a snail's pace. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier, c 2012)

Taking a Gastronomic Barge Cruise through Burgundy, France

Gourmet or gourmand? It’s the question of the moment aboard the luxury barge gliding along a canal in Burgundy near the end of a six-night cruise. My fellow passengers discuss the subtleties of each word. A dictionary pulled from the boat’s library settles the matter. Gourmet, it reads, is “a person ...
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Conch shells for sale

Sea-to-Table: Feasting on Conch in Turks and Caicos

The first thing to know about conch is that it is really just a giant snail in a really pretty shell. But not quite the same kind of teeny round brown escargot the French eat. A fullgrown conch can be seven, eight, or more or more inches long. Technically, it's a ...
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Scottish Highlands where the Haggis Roams (Photo credit: Stillman Rogers)

Hunting the Highland Haggis in Scotland

"Aye,” they’ll shake their heads, “The haggis is a delicious dish, but they’re wily wee things and hard to catch.” A slight raise of the eyebrow, or a look of interest is all it takes to continue the story. “As ye may know" (or ken, if they’re laying the highland on ...
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Roast & Conch sign offering savories and sweets

Taking Tea with the Master Chocolate Chef: Hotel Chocolat, London

For someone who lives on, with, and around such exciting chocolate, David Demaison is remarkably calm. True, his eyes are exactly the color of dark hazelnuts, his eyelashes match the 80% chocolate bark, and his accent (French, rural) as sweet and rich as the air in his kitchen at Conch ...
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Weasel Gut Coffee

Sampling Weasel Gut Coffee in Vietnam: the World’s Most Unusual Brew

Weasel gut coffee. Yum. Yes, really from a weasel. Eaten, digested and, well, you know..... And yes, really, really yum. It is thick, rich and has a hint of chocolate flavor. Frankly, we don't care whose intestinal tract this stuff may or may not have come from. The cups we had in ...
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