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Boston Food Report (with Recipes for the Iconic Boston Dishes)

Boston Food Report (with Recipes for the Iconic Boston Dishes)

As a part of New England, Boston shares many culinary features with the region. This is visible in the large emphasis on seafood and dairy. You can’t pass through Boston without having a lobster roll or clam chowder. Cream is one of the ingredient often added to dishes. Potatoes are the traditional starch in New England, favored over rice. The whole region uses spices restrictively, mostly black pepper and sometimes sage & parsley.

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When it comes to cooking techniques, baked foods like turkey, beans, and pies are far more favored than fried ones, which is a reflection of the early Puritan settlers’ eating habits. Steaming and stewing are often deployed as well.

Let’s take a deep dive into Boston’s eating habits and favorite dishes.

Boston’s Most Popular Dishes

 

The city’s most signature dishes are:

–    New England clam chowder

–    Fish and chips, usually with cod or scrod

–    Lobsters, the most popular type being the lobster roll, “because all the work is done for you”.

–    Steamed and fried clams (Bostonians like to eat clams outdoors at a picnic table, no matter how messy it might get)

–    Oysters, often eaten after work for cheap, especially during happy hours

–    Baked beans (Note: Boston baked beans are not really a thing anymore and are mostly served in more touristic restaurants downtown)

Desserts:

–    Boston Cream Pie

–    Fluff

–    Ice Cream (Boston, and New England as a whole, are one of the top per-capita ice cream consuming regions).

Drinks:

–    Coffee (particularly frappe and iced coffee, usually from Dunkin Donuts)

–    Beer (New England has many local lagers and ales. Notable examples include Samuel Adams of the Boston Beer Company in Boston)

–    Raspberry Lime Rickey

Bostonians seem to have a great love for sandwiches. Here are the most popular ones:

Hot roast beef sandwiches served on an onion roll and with a sweet barbecue sauce are popular in Boston’s surrounding area.

Sub (short for ‘submarine sandwich’), is a sandwich consisting of a long bread bun filled with meats, cheese, and veggies. It is also known as spukie in Boston. The term is derived from the local Italian word spucadella, which translates as a “long roll.”

Sausage and pepper sandwich composed of a long soft roll and filled with an Italian-style pork sausage, grilled sweet peppers, sweet onion, and a bit of olive oil, introduced by Italian immigrants who settled in Boston a century ago. The sandwich is only served in the spring and summer and is a staple at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox team.

Boston Eating Habits in Numbers

 

The portion of an average Boston household’s budget spend on food is 11.7 percent, which is below the U.S. average of 12.8. An average household spends $4,883 (62.8 %), of their food budget on food prepared at home and $2,895 (37.2%) on food prepared away from home. In comparison, the average U.S. household spends 59.5% of its food dollars on food prepared at home and 40.5% on food prepared away from home.

People in Boston spend an average of $359 (25%) monthly on food at supermarkets or grocery stores. They spend about $81 (5%) on food at other stores.

66% of Boston households consume ice cream, frozen juice bars, or frozen yogurt, whereas

67% of the 21+ Bostonians enjoy wine twice a week.

77% of Bostonians prefer to cook at home; on average, they do so 4.6 nights a week.

Cooking at home costs $60-70 per week for basic ingredients like chicken, pasta, and vegetables.

Eating Out in Boston

 

When it comes to eating out, Boston is quite contradictory. On the one hand, research has shown that people in Boston don’t tend to eat out because the restaurants’ prices are quite high. When they do decide to eat out, Bostonians order pizza, fast food, or Chinese, less expensive but also less healthy options. On the other hand, the city remains no. 9 on the list of 10 most restaurant-dense cities in the States, with a total of 766 full-service restaurants.

In addition, Boston is the home of the oldest operating restaurant in the United States, the Union Oyster House. The venue offers mostly seafood items, like oysters straight from an oyster bar, and clam chowder.

The restaurant scene in the city has been undergoing a Renaissance since the 1980’s. This is mostly due to popular chefs like Jasper White and Todd English, but also Julia Child, a long-time Cambridge resident and a culinary TV star.

If you happen to be in Boston, there are certain areas popular for serving certain types of good food:

–    Classic dining options are located throughout the South End and Back Bay.

–    Quincy Market, part of Faneuil Hall Marketplace, has a variety of restaurants, including one of the popular tourist dining spots, Cheers.

–    The North End is known as “Little Italy” because of the wide variety of Italian restaurants and pizzerias. Mike’s Pastry on Hanover Street is very popular among the tourists, mostly for its cannolis.

–    Boston’s Chinatown and Alliston are the places to go for Asian food. There are Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, and Korean restaurants, groceries, bakeries, as well as spice shops in this areas.

–    Ethnic street cafes are mostly located on Newbury Street, while Copley Place is the home of a large number of restaurants, including Legal Sea Foods, a New England institution that offers gourmet seafood.

–    Blue Hill Avenue is home to African-American, Caribbean, and soul food restaurants.

Cost of Eating Out in Boston

Bostonians spend an average of $143 (7.9%) on eating out, including cafeterias at work/school or on vending machines. They also spend $27 (1%) a month on take-out or delivery. The top 3 most popular food delivery services in Boston are YELP Eat24, GrubHub, and Foodler

Boston is one of the more expensive US cities, especially in the tourist area. On average, eating out costs about $15-$20 for a meal & drinks. Luckily, since Boston is a college town, there are cheap food places all around the city that serve sandwiches and pizza for about $5-8. Less pricey options can be found in the ethnic neighborhoods as well.

What you should know about Boston’s restaurant scene

The best restaurants in the city are usually crowded at the weekends so if you have no reservation, prepare to wait for up to an hour.

In Boston, there’s something for everyone, from college students to business people. However, there is no ‘happy hour’. This rule exists thanks to the Puritans and neighborhood associations who value late-night peace and quiet and extends to the whole state of Massachusetts.

Most restaurants close by 10 or 11 pm, even in college neighborhoods. Bars close at around 2 am but only for drinking; their kitchens are open until midnight. Chinatown is an exception, where some food places serve food up to 2 am or even later, as well as the South End, where kitchens are open until midnight. Almost all venues are 21+.  Even the public transport system closes before 1 is during the week and after 2 am on the weekends.

Still, there are discounts on food; oyster happy hours are common in the after-work period when people can enjoy them for only a dollar.

Food Trucks in Boston

 

You can buy some of the best foods in Boston from food trucks. There are hundreds of trucks offering a wide variety of foods and cuisines, from the standard pizza and meat choices to exotic cuisines like Jamaican and Vietnamese, as well as vegan and vegetarian options. Recently, besides lunch items, some food trucks have expanded their offer to breakfast and dinner.

Food trucks are all around Boston, but the largest concentration is along the Greenway downtown, Copley Square in the Back Bay, SoWa market in the South End and Lawn on D in Southie. Trucks rotate locations annually, so if you find the one close to your heart, be sure not to lose it!

Tip: If you happen to be in Boston but can’t decide which truck to eat from, see where is the longest waiting line!

Shopping for Food in Boston

 

There are 180 grocery stores and 290 convenience stores in Boston. In addition, the city has a strong local food scene, with more than 25 open-air farmers’ markets and a number of active winter markets. Boston has been hosting a two-day-a-week open-air market known as Haymarket for decades, where fruit, vegetables, and fish are sold.

The two oldest markets in the city are Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market in downtown. Quincy Market offers a wide variety of local prepared foods like pastries, popcorn, candy, coffee, sandwiches, sushi, lobster and lobster rolls, Italian, Chinese, etc. Moreover, there are great food places at relatively low prices.

Bostonians mostly fill their refrigerators with condiments, followed by meat and seafood, frozen items, produce, and deli items. Only about 10% believe they have everything needed to make a fancy meal. On the other hand, 35% of Bostonians admit to having expired food in the fridge.

In general, people in Boston don’t like shopping for groceries, due to long lines, crowded aisles and not-fresh-enough produce. More than 70% of Bostonians report such grocery shopping frustrations preventing them from filling the fridge properly. Despite this fact, almost 30% of Bostonians spend Friday night in the supermarket.

Bostonians and Healthy Food

 

Boston is considered one of the healthiest cities in the States, with a healthy diet rate of 48,7%.

Almost 50% of Bostonians have stated that their diet is generally healthy. 44% of Bostonians do some moderate-intensity sports, such as fitness, cycling, swimming or golf for at least 10 minutes daily.

However, the city has a large portion of the population that is obese or overweight – more than 30%.

Research has shown that in Boston, black and Latina women and high-school girls are the most vulnerable categories. There is a number of factors for this. One of the main reasons for the increased percentage of overweight people is the fact that processed foods are cheaper and more widely available.

The above-mentioned categories are financially unstable and have no money for healthy foods. In addition, more and more people are spending time in front of their TVs or computers (on average 6 hours a day) at the same time consuming more calories like take-out foods (mostly pizza and fast food), “ready to eat” foods like soups, salads, sandwiches, chicken, and cooked vegetables, as well as frozen meals or frozen pizzas.

boston food

Credit:bostonglobe.com

What do School Kids Eat?

 

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a government program administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency of the USDA that provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to school kids across the States each day.

“Current regulations require schools to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that no more than 30 percent of an individual’s calories come from fat and less than 10 percent from saturated fat. Regulations also establish a standard for school meals to provide one-third of the Recommended Daily Allowances of Vitamin A and C, protein, iron, calcium, and calories.”

However, in Massachusetts, almost 50% of the school kids bring their own lunches, with more sandwiches, salty snacks, and sweet desserts at the expense of fruits, veggies, and proteins. This means that school lunches are much healthier than home-packed ones. When it comes to drinks, kids mostly bring water and sugar-sweetened beverages. Only a small percentage (3%) bring or buy milk.

boston food

Credithttp://alivecampus.com/

What do Boston Millennials Eat?

Boston has the highest concentration of millennials in the States and is known as the “City of Millennials”. This is mostly due to a large number of college students that come to the city.

More than one-third (over 30%) of the population in Boston are millennials (between the ages of 18 and 34), with the highest concentration in the Fenway-Kenmore and Allston-Brighton areas.

Eating on campus

Students who live on campus have an opportunity to eat on campus. For instance, the offer on BU is quite diverse; they can choose from barbecued ribs, burritos, fettuccine Alfredo or chicken tikka masala. There are also health-conscious options approved by dieticians in the BU Sargent College nutrition program, as well as special culinary events.

There are dining rooms with traditional, eat-all-you-like food service, ten restaurants, and cafés, a kosher dining room, pizza delivery options, various food trucks, serving everything from falafel to fries.

A survey conducted in 2010 revealed a high rate of satisfaction with the food served on campus, with three out of four students said that Dining Services provided a “good to excellent dining experience.”

The most popular foods among students are Mexican, Italian, and BU Platter. Campus women like more bagels, whereas men favor Rhett’s burgers and Panda Express. Four times more women than men drink tea. Freshmen like Starbucks, while older students prefer Dunkin’ Donuts.

Nearly 9% of the students are vegetarian and 15% have some kind of food allergies (dairy allergies are most common).

Eating out of campus

Students who have decided to cook their own meals, name “university dining can get boring” and “meal plans at dining halls offer limited choice of food” as main reasons for doing so. There is also the question of cost. The average Boston-Newton-Cambridge student spends only $3,464 on food per year. That’s only $67 per week, or about 2.4 times less than the cheapest MIT freshman meal plan, which is making students cook more.

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There is a trend of cook-for-yourself communities that help students to connect and foster food-related traditions. The dorms’ kitchens have communal cooking appliances and utensils which makes the job even easier. Groceries are also available from the on-campus convenience stores.

Surveys have shown that millennials love to cook. Whether they actually do cook is another matter. Even though young foodies would like to make their own food, many don’t have or know what the basic kitchenware is. In addition, they don’t have enough time to do this on a daily basis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Famous Moroccan Foods to Try

Top 10 Famous Moroccan Foods to Try

One of the most delicious cuisines of the world, Moroccan food bursts with flavors, aromas, and spices paired in the most unexpected ways. Moroccan food is influenced by Arabic, Andalusian, and French cuisine which results in an incredible variety of exotic ingredients and combinations.

Staple Moroccan Foods

Morocco produces a great number of Mediterranean and tropical fruits & veggies. When it comes to meat, due to the predominant Muslim religion, pork is restricted (as is alcohol) but all other meats are used – beef, chicken, goat, mutton, and lamb, as well as seafood. Some traditional recipes also call for pigeon.

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Like all Mediterranean cuisines, Moroccan staples are wheat, which is used for making couscous and bread, olive oil, and grapes, which are eaten fresh, or in their dry form added to desserts and even to savory dishes.

The unique flavor combinations are made with the use of argan oil, olive oil, lemon pickle, and dried fruits, especially plums and raisins, as well as a wide array of fresh herbs and spices.

Spices are an indispensable feature of Moroccan food. Among those extensively used are saffron, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, turmeric, ginger, cumin, pepper, paprika, sesame seeds, fennel, anise, oregano, cayenne pepper, etc. Furthermore, there is a wide selection of herbs such as mint, parsley, coriander, peppermint, marjoram, and sage.

Meal Structure

A typical lunch in Marocco begins with salads, followed by a tagine. For special occasions, meat-based dishes are chosen, with lamb or chicken being favorite meat types, combined with vegetables and couscous. People in Morocco either eat with their hands or use standard utensils, depending on the dish.

Visiting this vibrant country is a great idea, but you don’t have to take a trip in order to enjoy amazing Moroccan foods. The recipes we’ve selected will allow you to indulge in the flavors of Morocco in the comfort of your own home!

  1. Couscous

moroccan food

Probably the most popular Moroccan food, couscous is prepared regularly throughout the country. Recently it has also conquered the States and Europe where it is often used as a rice substitute. Couscous is quite neutral in taste which allows you to combine it with virtually anything. Moroccan people usually cook it with seven vegetables and/or meat, usually lamb, chicken, or beef.

In our recipe, colorful bell peppers do double-duty in this fun dish—they are “baking cups” for a savory couscous blend as well as a sweet treat themselves.

  1. Tagine

Tagine is the clay pot with a conical lid that gives the name to a number of dishes. This Moroccan food is so popular, it is literally prepared everywhere, from roadside cafes to elegant restaurants.

When it comes to tagines, combinations are endless, but the most famous representative is probably the slow-cooked stew. When making this Moroccan food, the ingredients are arranged in a conical shape and left to cook until tender. When done, the tagine is served with Moroccan bread called khobz which is used for scooping directly from the pot.

  1. Harira

Although it is not the easiest dish to make, Harira is the most beloved Moroccan soup. In fact, it is the first meal people in Morocco have to end the daily fasting during the month of Ramadan. This Moroccan food appears in a great number of variations, but the most common one is the tomato-based version which also includes beef or lamb stock, chickpeas and lentils. Noodles or rice can also be added. Serve it with chopped coriander and a drizzle of lemon juice.

  1. Pastilla

Pastilla is a traditional Spanish Andalusian dish popularized in Marocco by Andalusian people who migrated to Fez. Nowadays, pastilla is said to be uniquely Moroccan. It is known for its intricate ingredient combinations and rich taste. The name of this Moroccan food comes from the Spanish word meaning ‘small pastry’. Pastilla is a pie traditionally made of squab (pigeons), whereas modern versions opt for chicken and sometimes fish or offal. It is often served as an entrée.

  1. Chermoula

Chermoula is a traditional Moroccan marinade made of a mixture of herbs, lemon juice, oil, garlic, pickled lemons, cumin, and salt. Some versions also include onions, ground chili peppers, fresh coriander, or saffron. Chermoula is usually used to flavor seafood and fish, but it can also be used on other meats, as well as vegetables.

  1. Shakshouka

Shakshouka is a staple food in Arab and Israeli cuisines served in a tajine or a cast iron pan, with bread on the side. Its name translates as “mixture” and that is just what it is – a combination of eggs poached in a tomato sauce, onions, and chili peppers. The most commonly used spice is cumin.

  1. Chicken Bake
moroccan food

Credit:taste.com

Chicken is one of the favorite meat choices in Morocco and it is found in a large variety of dishes. Our recipe, which is perfect for special occasion and family gatherings, reflects the contrasts of Moroccan cuisine. The chicken is baked with couscous, raisins, green olives, and spices. You can vary the amount of ground cumin to taste but don’t omit it; it gives this Moroccan food its authentic nutty taste.

  1. Sardines

moroccan food

The waters along Morocco’s coastline abound in sardines, which means that these small, delicious, and healthy fish are amply used in Moroccan cousine. For a quick fix, you can grill or bake them. However, the most popular version is stuffed and fried fillets, served with charmoula or pickled lemons. We offer a healthy, paleo salad that will satisfy your huger without compromising your well-being!

  1. Baklava

Moroccan style baklava is usually made with almonds, the nut ingenious to the country. They are used to prepare a nutty filling that is placed between layers of very thin pastry. The sweet-and-sticky syrup is flavored with orange flower water. Instead of the syrup used in the recipe above, try this one. Boil 1 cup granulated sugar in a cup of water until the sugar is melted. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and ½ cup honey. Simmer for 20 minutes, then spoon over the baked baklava. Let it soak in, about 2 hours.

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  1. Mint Tea

moroccan food

Moroccan mint tea (also known as Moorish tea) is green tea mixed with spearmint leaves, sugar, and boiled water. It is traditional to a great part of the Maghreb region (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, and Mauritania). Mint tea is an integral part of the social life in Morocco and is consumed throughout the day. Traditionally, when a guest arrives, the head male of the house prepares and serves it in a ceremonial form. Nowadays, as a result of cuisine globalization, mint tea appears in a number of refreshing beverages and cocktails like our sweet mint tea juleps.

 

10 Most Delicious Malaysian Foods

10 Most Delicious Malaysian Foods

Malaysian food is influenced by Chinese, Thai, Indian, and Indonesian cuisine. This is reflected in the way spices are combined, as well as in the use of wok pans.

Staple foods

Just like in other Asian cuisines, rice is the main staple food. The most common type is local or Thai rice, as well as Indian basmati rice. Noodles are another staple, as are breads originating in India such as idli, dosa, and puri, which are usually served for breakfast.

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Spices

Malaysian food is quite spicy, with chili being one of the main spices, followed by cumin, and cardamom. A hot spicy sauce called sambal is served with almost every dish in the country. In addition, there is a plethora of herbs like coriander, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and fenugreek, all of which make Malaysian food very fragrant.

Nasi Lemak

Nasi lemak translates as ‘fatty rice’ or ‘rice in cream’. It is a dish of steamed rice combined with coconut milk and complemented with dried anchovies, hard-boiled eggs, peanuts, cucumber, dried shrimp, and spiced with sambal. Nasi lemak is considered Malaysia’s national dish and is eaten throughout the whole day. It is often served along with curries or rendang stew (beef cooked in coconut milk & spices).

Laksa

The spicy noodle soup laksa has two main types – curry laksa and asam laksa. Curry laksa is the richer variety due to the usage of coconut, combined with a spice paste called rempah. This paste contains ginger, turmeric, chilis, lemongrass, and belacan (shrimp paste or shrimp sauce). Then, noodles are added and topped with shrimp, tofu, eggs, fish balls, and cucumber.

The other variety, asam laksa, is based on a tamarind broth and is cooked with white fish. Noodles are a must, accompanied by cucumber and pineapple, and spiced with ginger.

Satay

If you thought this dish was Thai, don’t be confused. Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia all have their own versions of satay. Malaysian satay characterizes with a sweet-and-spicy peanut sauce and meat marinated in local spices. Speaking of spices, turmeric is always used to add the signature yellow color. Serve it with onions, cucumber slices, and ketupat (rice cakes).

Popiah

Popiah are fried spring rolls that are a popular snack with almost every ethnic group in Malaysia. The ingredients used in this crispy appetizer are quite versatile. They are often filled with shredded yams, shrimp or pork, and carrots. They can also have tofu, beans, or mushrooms. No matter what they’re stuffed with, the one thing that is constant for all popiah varieties is their side dish – chili sauce for dipping.

Chicken Curry

The Malaysian version of this popular dish is based on the spicy & aromatic paste rempah, and almost always includes the omnipresent coconut milk. Curry in Malaysian is served with a bowl of rice or, for dryer versions, on a banana leaf.

Roti Jala

Roti jala are pancakes very unlike the American ones. In appearance, they are very thin and netlike, resembling French crepes. In terms of ingredients, they use coconut milk (of course!) and turmeric. In terms of cooking, the batter is rapidly drizzled in concentric circles to form a delicate shape.

This Malaysian food is almost always accompanied by a savory dish like curry but who’s stopping you from smearing them with Nutella or smothering them in maple syrup?

Mee Goreng

One of our favorite Malaysian foods, stir-fried noodles, which appear in a number of forms. The most common one is yellow noodles quickly cooked in a wok pan with garlic, soy, chilis, and shallots. Chicken, beef, shrimp, and various veggies can also be added. Mee Goreng is a very popular street food; street vendors often cook it over a charcoal fire that impairs a characteristic smoky flavor.

Hokkien Mee

This Malaysian food is considered one of the most complicated to make. Like many Malay foods, it has many versions, all sharing one ingredient – noodles. Other than that, the ingredients are varying depending on the region. In the capital, Kuala Lumpur, the dish is drier, composed of stir-fried noodles combined with pork and squid, dark soy sauce, plus some pork lard.

In the northwest state of Penang, on the other hand, rice noodles form the base, along with hard-boiled eggs, shrimp stock, prawns, bean sprouts fried shallots, and sambal that build a very intense salty, acidic & fishy flavor.

Sweet Malaysian Foods

Sweet Malaysian foods are incredibly creative & colorful. During the colonial occupation by the British, teatime used to be a very important meal. The ritual was often accompanied by traditional British cookies, scones, and cakes but soon, Malaysian sweet foods were introduced. After the country became independent, the teatime tradition was kept.

Sweet Malaysian foods can be divided into two broad categories – fried desserts, which include pancakes and shaved ice, and kuihs, desserts made from glutinous rice.

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Here are some authentic Malaysian sweets you can serve with your tea.

Bahulu

malaysian food

Credit:misstamchiak.com

Bahulu is a traditional sponge cake especially loved by kids. That is why it is often made in fun shapes, for instance, fish or buttons. Main ingredients are flour, sugar, and eggs. When the cake is baked, it becomes golden, soft, and crusty at the same time. It is often served along with coffee or tea.

Kuih bangkit

malaysian food

Credit:nyonyacooking.com

These coconut cream cookies are the go-to choice during festive seasons like Hari Raya (literally ‘celebration day’, the day that marks the end of Ramadan). The main reason for their popularity is the sweet coconut flavor but also the fact that they literally crumble and melt in your mouth.

And in order to achieve that effect, the moisture from the flour has to be removed. The use of high-quality coconut cream is also very important in order to get that authentic taste. One more thing to take into consideration when making these cookies is they need to be white so be careful not to brown them while baking. Not only will they change the color, but they’ll also crack. We think these cookies will be perfect for Christmas!

 

 

 

7 Hawaiian Foods That Will Bring the Tropics to Your Dining Room

7 Hawaiian Foods That Will Bring the Tropics to Your Dining Room

What better way to bring summer to your dining room than by cooking Hawaiian food? Just think of the long white sand beaches, palm trees, and endless sunshine.

Although the first association of Hawaiian food might be Hawaiian pizza, the Aloha State has so much more to offer. If you are following food trends, you must know that poke, the authentic seasoned raw seafood salad, is one of the hottest foods in the world right now.

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A Short History of Hawaiian Food

Thanks to the islands’ diverse history of settlers, the cuisine reflects influences from various cultures including Japanese, Polynesian, American, Portuguese, and Korean. All these culinary traditions complement Hawaii’s tasty local fish, seafood, and plants like coconut, taro, breadfruit, and sweet potatoes resulting in an incredibly rich fusion cuisine.

Besides fish, people in Hawaii also like chicken and pork combined with mashed taro root (poi) or fruit and cooked over hot coals. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean immigrants in the 19th century brought their own traditional foods like kimchi and noodle soups and adjusted them to the local ingredients.

After the WW ll, American soldier introduced Spam to the islands, which remains very popular to date and is often included in Asian-influenced dishes like fried rice and musubi. American influence is best seen in local varieties of dishes like burgers and pizzas.

While it is true that Hawaiian food is best eaten on the beach, for now, we’ll have to settle for our dining rooms. Don’t forget to put some Hawaiian music on!

Spam Fried Rice

hawaiian food

Credit:foodologygeek.com

Spam is a shortened version of “spiced ham” and refers to canned pre-cooked meat. You can add this popular US food to fried eggs, noodles, and sandwiches, but this recipe unites spam with Chinese-style fried rice – spam cubes, mixed veggies, rice, and eggs. And while we’re all aware that spam is not the healthiest of ingredients, this Hawaiian food is appealing for many reasons – it is easy to make, filling, and very tasty. Why not enjoy a guilty pleasure once in a while?

Poke

What began with fishermen seasoning the cut-offs from their catch to serve as a snack is now the most popular Hawaiian food on the planet! Poke is actually a raw fish salad (no cooking involved!) served as an appetizer at parties and potlucks or as a main course.

Traditional forms are aku (oily tuna), he’e (octopus), and ahi (yellowfin tuna). Adaptations may feature raw salmon (like the recipe we offer) or various shellfish combined with the common poke seasonings. Traditional poke seasonings are influenced by Asian cuisines and include soy sauce, green onions, sesame oil, dried or fresh chili pepper, seaweed, sea salt, wasabi, etc.

Kalua Pork

Kālua is a traditional Hawaiian cooking method that uses an underground oven called ‘imu’. The process of preparation of Kālua pig is so authentic & unique that it is considered a tourist attraction on the Aloha Islands.

Luckily, modern varieties of this Hawaiian food don’t require having an underground oven in your backyard. The dish can be easily made in a gas or electric stove with an addition of artificial liquid smoke. You need only three ingredients (it’s quite inexpensive) and lots of patience (5-7 hours). Serve it with rice and fresh pineapple slices for an authentic flavor. If you have any leftovers, they can be frozen and reheated later for sandwiches, enchiladas, etc.

Loco Moco

Loco moco is a classic comfort Hawaiian food, sold all around the islands, from hole-in-the-wall eateries to elegant restaurants. A typical loco moco is composed of white rice topped with a hamburger patty & fried eggs and covered in a rich gravy. Variations may include ham, bacon, spam, teriyaki chicken, teriyaki beef, kalua pork, mahi-mahi, oysters, shrimp, and other types of meat plus an addition of chili.

This Hawaiian food is often eaten for breakfast (real fans/teenagers eat it any time of the day) and it is known for its ability to make you eat so much you’ll need a nap afterward.

Hawaiian Pizza

hawaiian food

Credit:cnn.com

Hawaiian pizza is a pizza topped with tomato sauce, cheese, Canadian bacon or ham, and pineapple. Some versions may include peppers, bacon, or mushrooms. This is probably the most controversial Hawaiian food because the use of pineapple as a pizza topping has been sparking debates and discussions since it was first created in Canada in 1962 (yes, it is a Canadian invention).

People either love it or hate it, there is no in-between. On the one hand, it was the most popular pizza variety in Australia in 1999; on the other hand, pineapple was voted one of the three least favorite pizza toppings in the US in 2016. The president of Island has even stated he would ban it if he could!

Nevertheless, try a taste of the tropics in your home this weekend. Our recipe calls for ham, bell pepper, and pineapple for a sunny burst of flavor to a traditional recipe. Don’t forget to chop any leftover pineapple slices and add them to tropical fruit smoothies for dessert!

Sweet Hawaiian Foods

Shave Ice

This iconic Hawaiian food has its origins in the 7th century – China and was brought to Hawaii by Japanese immigrants. Shave ice is made by shaving a block of ice to produce a very fine snow-like ice. Flavored syrups such as pineapple, guava, coconut cream, lychee, passion fruit, mango, and kiwi are added for the ice to absorb.

Hawaiian shave ice is traditionally served in a plastic cup or conical paper, with an addition of adzuki bean paste or vanilla ice cream at the bottom of the cup. Sweetened condensed milk is often drizzled over the top (“snow cap”).

Modern versions of this refreshing over-the-top Hawaiian food can be seen on Instagram in various colors. However, the millennials’ influences have made shave ice a part of the good food movements so today, it is easy to get a cup of shaved ice covered in locally sourced syrups.

Hawaiian Bread Pudding

hawaiian food

Credit:kirbiescravings

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Fresh fruit from the Aloha Islands, macadamia nuts, and sweet rum flavoring give the traditional bread pudding an extreme tropical makeover. Frozen tropical fruit mix can be used in place of the fresh fruit; just thaw and gently pat out the excess moisture before using.

 

8 Indonesian Foods You Need to Try

8 Indonesian Foods You Need to Try

Fresh herbs and a plethora of spices – this is the phrase that summarizes Indonesian food best. Indonesian cuisine is truly bursting with flavors. The process of selecting the best dishes from the country that offers a delicious array of fried curries, noodles, and vegetable salads with exotic peanut dressings was not easy at all. So, this list might lack some of the very popular Indonesian foods but contains gems like our favorite dessert Kek Lapis.

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#1 Satay

The term ‘satay’ refers to meat skewers not only in Indonesia but in all the countries in Southeast Asia. However, history tells us that the streets of Indonesia are the place where this food originated and was later popularized by Arab traders.

Today, satay is considered a national dish in the country. These meat skewers can be made with different types of meat, with chicken and goat being most popular ones. Mutton and rabbit are also commonly used, whereas westernized versions also include beef or pork.

The ‘secret ingredient’ that makes this Indonesian food so unique is the marinade. Well, to be more precise, marinades. Some recipes require marinating the meat in a turmeric-based mixture, whereas others call for sweet kecap manis soy sauce. Then, the meat is skewered and grilled over very hot & smoky charcoal. Finally, it is covered in a rich peanut sauce.

#2 Soto

indonesian food

Credit:https://boardinghousesemarangpeterongantimur.wordpress.com/2017/05/14/chicken-soto-soto-ayam/

Soto is a traditional meat soup. The only constant in this Indonesian food is the broth, whereas the rest of the ingredients vary depending on the region. The most commonly used meat types are chicken, goat, and beef. Soto Betawi is the most popular version of this soup. It originated in Jakarta and it is well-loved for its creamy, coconut-milk base. It is usually topped with fried garlic & shallots, then seasoned with sambal.

We decided to make the Soto Ayam version, a spicy chicken soup combined with either compressed rice cut into small cakes or noodles. This liquid Indonesian food is seasoned with turmeric which gives the signature yellow color. Sometimes Soto Ayam is served with hard-boiled eggs, fried potato slices, fried shallots, or celery leaves.

#3 Nasi Goreng

Another national dish, Nasi Goreng is a simple but very flavorful Indonesian food. The fact that it is also very cheap makes it popular throughout the country. The rice is fried in a wok pan with some oil or margarine. Its sweet twist and uniqueness come from the thick soy sauce called kecap. After it is cooked, the rice is complemented with a salty seasoning and garnished with crushed chili sambal, garlic, and acar (pickled carrots and cucumbers). Varieties of Nasi Goreng can include meat slices or beans combined with a fried egg.

#4 Tahu Bakar

indonesian food

Credit:http://www.sbs.com.au/food/recipes/stuffed-tofu-tahu-isi

In Indonesia, tofu is considered a poor man’s snack, which automatically means it is a very common ingredient. Tahu Bakar are pockets of crispy fried tofu that look like small pockets. They have a distinct golden color and bright flavor and are best when served with sweet soy sauce & chili.

#5 Ayam Pelalah

indonesian food

Credit:http://mondomulia.com/2014/07/21/balinese-chicken-curry/

Аyam Pelalah is an authentic Balinese dish. It is comprised of shredded chicken which is first grilled and then seasoned with a number of spices. Ayam Pelalah is usually served along with Nasi Campur (mixed rice).

Even though Indonesian food coming from Bali, like Ayam Pelalah, is generally time-consuming, people in Indonesia consider it to be worth the effort since they believe food is a sacred offering to God. Top this Indonesian food with some juice of limau lime, a fruit commonly used in Balinese cooking to enhance the flavor.

#6 Gado-gado

indonesian food

Credit:http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/gado-gado-5/4afaf49f-a295-41c1-a037-e6d2e47800dc

The term gado-gado translates to ‘mix-mix’ and refers to a Jakartan peanut sauce salad. Its base is comprised of compressed rice cakes, eggs, and vegetables like boiled long beans, bean sprouts, potato, spinach, and corn. Besides that, tofu, tempe, and cucumber are often added.

This combination of ingredients makes gado-gado a very fulfilling salad which can be eaten as a main dish. No wonder it is one of the most popular street foods in Indonesia. People in the capital like covering their gado-gado with a peanut or cashew sauce but as you move eastwards throughout Indonesia, the dish gets sweeter. Actually, the nut sauce is the first item of the salad that the vendors will mix up and the one that gives gado-gado its richness and heartiness.

#7 Rendang

Rendang is the dish that ended up on top of CNN’s world’s best foods list! Those who have tried it, agree that the position is completely deserved. Rendang is a truly remarkable Indonesian food. This curry-like dish originated in the island of Sumatra but is widely popular throughout Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia.

There are two main variations of rending – one that is drier and is considered to be the original version, and another that contains more gravy. Both versions, however, are usually made with beef, cooked together with shallots and garlic and accompanied by lots of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, and dry chilies. The ingredient that distinguishes this Indonesian food from curries is desiccated coconut, which contributes grainy texture to the dish.

#8 Kek Lapis

Kek Lapis is Indonesian layer cake which certainly looks beautiful but is rather difficult to prepare. The batter for each layer of the cake needs to be precisely measured. When baking, you need to pay close attention and remove the layer (yes, Kek Lapis is baked one layer at a time!) just when it gets light brown.

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However, if you get this cake right, you will realize that it is worth the effort. This sweet Indonesian food is based on butter and eggs (some versions call for yolks only, while others include whites as well). Then, spices are added to obtain the distinct exotic flavor and beautiful aroma. Kek Lapis is very rich and filling and therefore served in small pieces. It is one of the favorite holiday & special occasion desserts in Indonesia.

London Food Report – 25+ Recipes That Will Show You How to Eat Like a Londoner

London Food Report – 25+ Recipes That Will Show You How to Eat Like a Londoner

Is London cuisine a reflection of “the worst food in the world”, as the food historian Panikos Panayi refers to British cuisine? The answer is affirmative. The cuisine of London offers all the traditional British dishes like the Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pastry, shortbread, fish & chips, roast beef, and kidney pudding. Let’s not forget about signature items like the full English breakfast, tea with scones, pies, and steaks.

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However, this is just one side of London’s food scene. The global reach of London has elevated the city to the status of a leading center of international cuisine.

Yorkshire Pudding

Crunchy Fish and Chips

Roast Beef and Eggplant Pie

Berry Lemonade Scones

Foreign Influences

 

The earliest foreign culinary influences can be traced back to the 13th century when Britain started accepting Roman foods like sausages. King Edward I used to import large quantities of spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and pepper. In fact, food experts claim that even the most stereotypical English foods have foreign origin – the Yorkshire pudding comes from Burgundy, whereas the iconic fish & chips are a combination of Jewish and French influences.

However, the largest foreign influence comes from the Indian cuisine. “There are about the same number of recipes from India as from Wales, Scotland and Ireland together.” The Anglo-Indian cuisine has indeed been part of the national diet since the arrival of the British in India in the 17th century. One of the first dishes that the British adapted was curry and it soon became very popular. The process of adapting Indian foods continued for centuries resulting in the development of Anglo-Indian cuisine. Indian food was served in coffee houses from the early 19th century, appeared in popular cookbooks, and was prepared at home. London is the home of the “Veeraswamy”, the oldest Indian restaurant which operates since 1926.

Other influential cuisines are Chinese and Italian. The former became popular in the 1970’s and was followed by other Asian cuisines like Thai. The latter began its rise after World War 2 with the establishment of Italian coffee bars which also started selling foods like pizza and spaghetti Bolognese. French cuisine was very popular during the 19th century, whereas today it is mostly limited to upscale restaurants.

Today, London offers a wide range of culinary experiences, with a large number of ethnic cuisines. To be more precise, due to the capital’s multicultural population, there are more than 60 different national cuisines from Italian, French and Spanish to Japanese and Thai. Indian food remains very popular and many people eat regularly at their local ‘curry houses’.

In east London, the most popular cuisines are Chinese, American, and traditional English. In north London, Greek and Middle Eastern lead the way, whereas in west London, Italian and French are the most popular. In the southern parts of the city, Indian cuisine is number one. Central London favors Japanese, Middle Eastern, and French.

Creamy Chicken Curry

Spaghetti Bolognese

French Dressed Chicken

London Eating Habits

 

Meal Structure

Londoners usually have three meals a day – breakfast, light lunch and a heavy dinner. Some people tend to stick to a more traditional meal structure with lunch being the largest meal of the day followed by an evening tea and a lighter snack in the evening.

A traditional breakfast in London consists of eggs, sausage, bacon, baked beans, mushrooms, and bread but nowadays, it is more common for people to eat toast, cereal, or porridge in the morning.

During lunchtime, most people are at work so they usually bring a packed meal consisting of a sandwich, bag of potato chips, and a piece of fruit.

Dinner is a family meal consisting of roasted meat, potatoes, and vegetables accompanied by a gravy.

The firmly established British tradition of having tea at five o’clock would not have existed if Britain hadn’t expanded its empire. Besides tea, the country also imported staples like potatoes, sugar, and coffee from its colonies.

Sadly, this tradition is declining in popularity – since the 1970’s, the consumption of tea has decreased by more than 60%.

Coffee, on the other hand, is constantly growing in popularity. It has been consumed in London since the 17th century when coffee houses were hotbeds of political discussions and debate. Nowadays, however, American-style bars like Starbucks are conquering the city.

Eating Out

Research has shown that Londoners are eating out more than ever before (four times a week!) which has resulted in a rapidly growing number of new restaurants.

If takeaways and home deliveries are included in the estimate, only half of the meals (lunch and dinner) are prepared at home.

According to statistics, an average meal in a London restaurant costs £37.35 per person. Even though there is a slight decrease compared to two years ago, England’s capital remains the most expensive place in the world to eat out, followed by New York, where the average cost is £31.

The results suggest young Londoners are inclined towards the so-called “New York style” or where most meals are eaten in restaurants, diners, cafes, or bars. Family people, on the other hand, opt for more classical options and the most ordered meal in this demographics is curry.

Roast beef, the favorite Sunday dinner item of Londoners until recently is now being replaced by chicken dishes. This might have something to do with the prices – since 2007 the price of beef has risen by 55%, while the price of poultry has increased by only 20%.

Home Delivery and Takeaway

 

To modern Londoners speed and convenience is everything. As the number of employed women grew, the sales of ready-made foods grew as well (by more than 370%).

Even though the industry of home delivery & takeaways is on the rise (it grew 10 times faster than dining out last year), people in London remain skeptical. The main reason for the rare usage of these services is the perception that their food is generally unhealthy. Younger people are more prone to ordering a home delivery or takeaway

The favorite takeaway item is pizza which shows an increase of 575% in a period of 40 years, as opposed to take away fish items (including fish & chips) which have decreased by 60%.

Third-party delivery services and apps have also helped to expand the range of cuisines on offer (even pubs became a part of the home-delivery revolution) and make this way of eating even more convenient. Having in mind the high health awareness in Britain, this is very important to change the image of delivery/takeaway as unhealthy food.

As far as prices are concerned, the average bill for delivered food is just £1 lower than for a meal eaten in a restaurant. The difference is bigger for some operators for certain restaurants like local Indian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Italian or Greek, at £6.90 for delivery as opposed to £12 for a meal on the spot.

Ultimate Stuffed Pizza

Chinese Noodle Soup

Pad Thai Shrimp Burgers

Japanese Cheesecake

Mexican Rice Cornbread

Greek Pie with Olives

Street Food

The top three street food items in London are pizza, chicken, and beer.

Street vendors in London sell food from all over the world, but the accent is still on Italian classics (pasta & pizza) accompanied by good wine and beer.

Shopping for Food

The rising awareness for healthy, clean produce is reflected in the way Londoners shop for ingredients.

The list of most popular supermarkets, grocery stores, and markets includes the Whole Foods Market, an eco-minded chain with organic grocery items, Waitrose, a supermarket chain for fresh British produce, groceries, and baked goods, and Planet Organic which sells health foods, fancy smoothies and treats, as well as organic skincare and vitamin selection at a slightly higher prices. Venn Street Market is an outdoor market offering vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood, and dairy from small, independent producers, whereas the People’s supermarket is an ethical grocery store selling healthy, responsibly sourced, seasonal local foods.

The most popular market is Borough Market, one of the oldest and largest London. Ethnic markets have increased in popularity, especially New Loon Moon, a Chinatown supermarket offering fresh, frozen and dried items from East Asia.

Favorite Foods and Ingredients

 

The rise of skinny foods

From the research that covered the favorite ingredients in London from the 1970’s until now, it’s clear that the habits are switching towards healthier options.

The consumption of butter and white bread has decreased by more than 70% – Londoners are more inclined towards brown bread and low-fat spreads. They have also replaced full-fat milk and skimmed milk now. The sales of skimmed milk have soared by more than 20.000% since the 1970’s!

On the other hand, the consumption of protein-based (shakes & powders) foods that facilitate weight loss has increased by a whopping 1200%!

The decline of the staples

Some of the favorite British staples are falling out of favor as well – beans on toast have shown a decrease in sales by 17%. Bacon shows an even sharper fall, with sales decreasing by more than 46%.

Fruits and veggies

According to statistics, fruit sales have increased by almost 50% since the 1970’s thanks to the wider range of available items. On the other hand, the consumption of veggies has fallen due to their increased cost.

Favorite veggies have changed as well. Forty years ago, cabbage was number one, whereas modern Londoners favor carrots.

Junk food

The increase in prices has no impact on the Londoners’ love for junk food though! On the contrary, crisps, chocolates, and sodas are consumed more than ever before. However, well-loved items like biscuits and cakes have fallen out of favor.

Hot New London Food Trends

 

Trending Ingredients

These are the 10 trending ingredients in London right now, along with recipes that will inspire you to incorporate some of them into your daily menu:

Noodles

Kombucha

Turmeric

Vegetables as carbs

Koji

Matcha

Cereal

Whey

Nutritional yeast

Charcoal

Trending foods

As far as foods are concerned, here is what people in London eat most:

Tacos

Soup dumplings

Hero vegetables

Vegetables on grill

Laksa

Watermelon

Fresh turmeric

Marbling

Sherry

Black color foods

Food Movements

Hip Indian. While Indian food is a tradition in London, the millennials are re-discovering it by trying new, authentic foods other than curry.

Mexican. Another international cuisine that is booming in London is Mexican, with tacos, burritos, and nachos leading the way.

Cocktails but those that include no alcohol or contain it in small amounts are taking the center stage.

Instagram-able foods. Just like in the other cosmopolitan towns, young people will try anything that is edible and looks good.

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Vegetarian and vegan. The UK is the home of modern western vegetarianism but it is safe to say that plant-based nutrition is experiencing a renaissance. In 2003 there were between more than 3 million vegetarians in the UK, while more than 7 million people claimed to eat no red meat. By 2015, a large number of restaurant chains had introduced vegan items on their menus. The number of exclusively vegan restaurants is growing rapidly and veganism is no longer regarded as a dietary option that offers tasteless foods. The love for plant-based foods has reached its peak, with veggies being used as meat substitutes but also entering desserts and cocktails.

Minimizing food waste. There is a number of associations and charities that set up channels for leftover food to reach people in need, as well as food events to help raise awareness and combat hunger.

 

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