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Favourite Food

&

Travel quotes

 

If you have an apple, you’re connected to an apple tree. If you have a dish of set custard and half a glace cherry you’re not connected to anything.

Jo Walton, Among Others

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They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.– Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626) English Philosopher, Lawyer and Politician

 



National days.....

 

GibraltarJanuary 29 (2006). See Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006


What's to eat here?

Trivia: The government of Gibraltar pays to send its students to university in the United Kingdom. More…

 


 

Nauru 31 January (Independence from the Australia, NZ, and UK-administered UN trusteeship 1968)

Nauruan food....

Trivia: Nauru is the world's smallest island nation, covering just 21 km². More….

 

 

Sri Lanka 4 February (Independence Day, from the United Kingdom 1948, still under name of Ceylon)

Dining in Sri Lanka...

Trivia: The spice cinnamon originated in Sri Lanka and was discovered by the Egyptians. More….

 


 

 

MexicoFebruary 5 (1917). See Constitution of Mexico.

 

The food of Mexico....

Trivia: A Mexican tamale called the zacahuil is three feet long and weighs about 150 pounds. More...

 


 

New Zealand 6 February (Waitangi Day, signing of the Treaty of Waitangi 1840)

The food of New Zealand...

Trivia: Unlike Australia, New Zealand does not have any dangerous or poisonous animals (with the one tiny exception of the Katipo Spider). More……

 
 


See all National Days for FEBRUARY

 


 

Food related events....

Strangest US food festivals in 2016

Food festivals around the world in   FEBRUARY...

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Food related events on this date in history!

 


 

oldfoodie

...visit The Old Foodie.

 



 

See where we have been...

24 percent of the world's countries!

 


 

Australian Travellers - do you need a visa?

Check the visa requirements by country...

Read more....

 

 

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Five tips to save money on car hire when travelling.

Helpful hints for every driver....

 


 

Here's an update on the US HAZMAT rules for aircraft luggage.

 

 

 


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How about the world's priciest cheese for a Christmas gift your a friend who is a cheese lover?

Find out more.....

 


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ciaos

The Chinese have so many proverbs about food.

Learn some of them....

 

 

SeaDream wins again as niche cruise line.

See why...


 

 

books

.............and Apps and DVDs


 

India has some of the best vegatarian dishes in the world.

Find them in this new book....

 


 

Chef-farmer Matthew Evans helps us through hot weather cooking.

Read more...

 


 

Could this be the el Bulli of Australia?

Find out why.....

 


 

Spend some time with Australia's 'Queen of Nyona'.

Learn her history and Asian cooking secrets....

 


 

Looking for a way to spend your weekends in Australia in 2016? 

Here are 52 suggestions complete with things to do and places to eat....

Read more..

 


 

 

Hate waste? Want to feed your family healthily?

Get preserving....

 


 

Frustrated by a fridge full of leftovers? Don't know what to do with them?

Your worries are over....

 


 

It's not often a Michelin-starred chef shares his favourite home-style recipes.

Get the help of an expert...

 


 

Attention! All those who thought they would never cook Japanese food at home!

A leading chef show you how....

 


 

How to eat like an Italian! 

Fratelli Fresh's Barry McDonald gives the recipes you need....

 


 

Lovers of Middle Eastern food will devour this book - and its wonderful recipes.

Read more...

 


 

Too old to colour-in? Not with this delightful book.

Release your inner child...

 


Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton would like to assist you in your kitchen...

.... that is, his amazing dessert cookbook will.

 


 

Outback food from a Masterchef contestant.

See what the country has to offer....

 


NEW from Lonely Planet

&

See more...

 


 

Meatballs for everyone - from the Meatball and Wine Bar.

Read about them...

 


 

Lovers of food and beer, need to see this latest book from Ross Dobson.

Find out more.....

 


 

Perfect for summer. Hartsyard shares its secrets.

Learn them all....


 

Aimed at the food industry, but also valuable for home cooks, this tongue-in-cheek book might make you think.

Read more...

 


 

One of the delights of travel is eating on the street.

This book helps you cook the food at home too...

 


 

One family of foods can help you eat your way to health!

Find out how....

 


 

Heart-shaped Tasmania is all about good food.

Find out who is making it even better ........

 


 

How big is your garden? Even a tiny courtyard is big enough to add to your menu.

Find out how....

 


 

The best of the best. Iconic cookery teacher Gretta Anna's recipes with her son Martin Teplitzky.

See it here....

 


 

Food is art - and here, a master chef  marries Italian cuisine and painting.

Find out more about a truly beautiful book ...

 


For those who love the world and its beauty and want a REAL life.....

.....this is the book for you.

 


 

Fancy some fishing - with a chef and TV celebrity and two other seafood experts?

Go fishing (and cooking) with these there....

 


 

Healthy, beautiful and well-fed?

Now you can be....

 


 

Heading for Hong Kong? Take this book (and an appetite) with you!

Read all about it.....

 


Explore 19 areas and discover Tokyo's best food and shopping.

Read more....

 


 

Find your way around a new country - greet the locals, eat the food...

Explore with Marco Polo!

 


 

Everyone's favourite grandmother and cook, as known by her grand-daughter, Kate Gibbs....

....sharing her recipes for life , and for the kitchen

 


 

Now you can create your own home patisserie.

A top French patissier shows how....

 


 

Does Australia have the world's best beaches?

Find out where Australia's best ones are....


 

Join five women for a weekly meal in Umbria, Italy - simple, but so much more.

Find out about this beautiful book... 

 


 

Adriano Zumbo is king of the A-Z of sweets, desserts and pastries.

Now you can learn his secrets...

 


 

If Thai cookery has always been too difficult...

This is the book for you....

 


You probably know of Rick Stein from his TV and cookbook fame, as well as his restaurants...

..but now you can get to know him from his memoir

 


Put the Taste of Australia into your meals with Lyndey Milan's latest book.

Read more....

 


 

Fresh from the West - chef Sophie Zalokar's delicious recipes using local south-west Western Australian produce.

 

Read more....

 


If you are a reader of food blogs, this behind the scenes peep at the real story, will captivate.

Read more.....

 


America-bound travellers, take note! 

The fully revised edition is now  available....

 


Love cooking, like trivia?

This book is for you!

 


Burma is a mystery to many people. Its food is even more obscure.

Read this and be delighted...

 

 

 

 

Window on China

It's Chinese New Year this week, or the Spring Festival as some call it.

This year is Year of the Monkey, so expect a year that's playful and up to a lot of tricks!

What better time than this to take a look at China. It's a huge country - about the size of the USA – and its population, 1.3 billion, is larger than any other country in the world.

So let's take a clockwise zip around the country beginning at the capital, Beijing, and then a quick look at where some of China's 50 million Overseas Chinese live. We can be sure that every one of them will be celebrating right now and for days to come, many with the same customs their ancestors have handed down for hundreds of years.  

Read more about Chinese New Year around the world.....

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Discover the secrets of China.....

 

Beijing - see who likes bamboo best?

Most people remember that Beijing hosted the XXIX Olympics in August 2008 and while all eyes were on this major city then, there is much to see and do there right now.

Don’t miss this baker’s dozen of places – some well-known, others recent discoveries:

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Tian’anmen Square: This is the focus of the city – a huge open space said to be able to hold a million people at one time – with a huge picture of Mao’s smiling face at the far end. It’s a relaxed place with people flying kites, selling postcards and watches (with Mao waving on them) and of course photographing each other. Models of the smiling Olympic mascots are here too, as well as the Olympics countdown clock.

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Make friends with the pandas at Beijing Zoo. These indolent guys might amble into the sunshine for a photograph, but don’t be surprised if they simply sit in a corner of their enclosure chewing on bamboo – their favourite food.

Read more....

 


 

Shanghai the super-city

In downtown Shanghai I am stopped by two teenaged Chinese girls. They stand in front of me, arms linked, boosting each other's confidence.

"Where you from?" they ask. "You like Shanghai?"

Their questions are carefully framed. School lesson format. They are language students, eager to test their pronunciation. We chat in jerky sentences. They hesitate then offer, shyly, an amazing observation.

"You look ex-otic," one says, and they duck their heads and giggle.

I have to be sure I've heard right. I make them repeat it, for this is a first for me. But they're for real. Obviously, blonde-red hair - curly too - is  a rarity in this straight black-bobbed world they inhabit and so, in their eyes, I am somehow 'exotic'. Hmmm!

Yet, hairstyles are one of the few things not on the move in modern Shanghai where the cityscape - most of it constructed in the past decade or so - seems straight off a futuristic sketchpad. 

Parts of it belong to the ballpoint pen school of architecture - tall, cylindrical, with a conical top and pointed tip. A good way to enjoy the skyline is to take a sunset cruise on the Huangpu river. Shanghai is about 10 kilometres from the mouth of the river at the  delta.

Others could have come straight from the set of Star Wars, their bobbles and flying saucer shapes glowing pink and silver, frosty blue and amber, linked by impossibly thin towers. 

 

 


 

Yellow Mountain and its myths

We woke at 5am, roused by our neighbours' excited chattering. They were moving around noisily in the next room and I knew they would be hurriedly pulling on heavy clothes and big boots. 

The rush was on. Daybreak would be at 5.45am, dawn at 6.15am. Far too early for me I decided, yet I couldn't stay in bed either. The air of anticipation was infectious.

A thin line of brightness lit the eastern horizon. There was just enough light to make out shadows scurrying around below in the forecourt. Soon streams of people in red caps and warmly padded maroon jackets loaned by the hotel were heading for the paths that led to the various lookouts. Already I could see a bright cluster forming on a high ridge and hear the shouts and whoops of some people the sun to rise.

In typically Chinese way, the attractions of the Yellow Mountains are listed and numbered. There are four "wonders": odd-shaped pines, grotesque rock formations, seas of constantly changing clouds and crystal-clear springs. Daybreak seemed to be the ideal time to see at least three of these.

Read more....

 


 

Hong Kong - modern city, ancient beliefs

On a busy street corner, amongst the crowds of shoppers and workers, we discovered another crowd, jostling on a table. For sale, a microcosm of this multicultural city.

With a population of over seven million, Hong Kong's ethnic mix is varied. Although around 93 percent is Chinese, people from Southern Asian as well as the sub-continent, Britons, Americans, Canadians, Japanese, and Koreans all live and work here.

The city is packed with high-rise modern buildings, yet an ancient practice underpins the architecture and design of most new buildings. Feng shui – the design system that concerns man's relationship to nature and when well executed results in good luck and prosperity – is more than just a fad in Hong Kong. There are special tours of the city's architecture which shows it in practice.

For instance when a valuable piece of real estate came free some years back,there were some strings attached. Statue Square, on Hong Kong Island, outside the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, has to remain low rise. Nothing can be built on it that will block the bank's view of the water.  

Read on....

 


 

Macau and the magic of money

 


 (Chinese New Year decorations in Macau)

When Macau is mentioned, some people think only of massive casinos. Others are thrilled by its history; many more, though, simply smack their lips with thoughts of its multi-cultural cuisine.

And some just head straight to Coloane in the far south to relax in the shady village that just happens to be home to some of the best custard tarts on the planet!

It's impossible to say which is the best. There are so many facets, so much to see and do. Who could decide what are the most important things! 

Let's take a quick trip to Macau - and you be the judge.

Macau is tiny – a peninsula and two islands, the total area just 23.5 square kilometres, and since 1999 it has been a Special Autonomous Region of China. 

But the Portuguese influence is strong, and little wonder as it was a Portuguese colony for four hundred years from the mid-1500s. You see it in the Catholic churches, especially in the one landmark everyone sees, the ash-grey facade of St Paul's, built in 1602, which looms over the old town of Macau.

 

 

 

WATCH THE VIDEO (ABOVE)

Not everyone sees the other place of worship tucked in behind the cathedral, though, where a small Buddhist temple is lovingly tended by local worshippers. It is this close mix of cultures which makes Macau unique and so interesting to visit.  Read on....

 

 


 

Tibet - region of mystery

 

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Tibet has long been a region of mystery. High on the Tibetan plateau, it seems a different world, somehow. While there has been much turmoil, butter lamps glow again now in monasteries throughout the country. Incense rises and the muttering sing-song om-chants continue, scarcely missing a beat. Maroon and saffron-robed monks pace the corridors while tiny novices hunch over their lessons, eager to do well lest they be reincarnated as a hungry hound wandering aimlessly in the dusty temple grounds.

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The scenery varies from pine forest rich with rhododendrons to bare sparse country where the houses are created from the local soil. Icy streams flow through them and you can only imagine how cruel the winters are.

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Lhasa, the capital is the magnet for pilgrims and tourists. The mighty Potala Palace is central to Tibetan Buddhist belief and prayer flags flutter from rooftops. On country roads leading to the capital you may see pilgrims travelling the most gruelling way - prostrating themselves, then rising, moving up to the hand-print, prostrating again, then rising up still yet-again. A million stony body-lengths to Lhasa. Or more. In the capital itself there are dozens, hundreds, in slip-sliding prostration at the doorway of the major temple. 

Read more....

 


 

The Silk Road - linking Europe and Asia  for over 2000 years

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A young man in a white skullcap brandishes a long knife. He’s beckoning us to notice his chrome, cross-shaped machine – part Middle-Ages torture implement with sharp points and a hefty screw, part useful tool - and the rich crimson liquid bleeding into a red bucket below it.

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He’s got bottles of the stuff already filled, and just as we are about to shudder and turn away, we realise he’s squashing the ruby juice from pomegranates.

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The place is absolutely bursting with people. They come for the food – mounds of figs, cartwheels of bread, baked sheep’s heads, pomegranates - the energy, and the socialising. It was hard to imagine that a thousand years ago (and a thousand years before that) this place would have been just as busy.

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The saga of the Silk Road is a long and complicated one, the story of a hapless scout that spent more time in gaol than research, a mystery fabric craved as much for the manufacture of pennants as petticoats, and a trade route that flourished, then foundered.

The Silk Road covers thousands of kilometres from Xian in the east (already 1165 kilometres west of Beijing) with several routes branching north, south and central, seeking mountain passes and safe passage. The world’s rarest and most precious commodities passed this way, and the travellers also traded knowledge, culture, religion, and bloodlines. Born in mythic times, in the end it gave way to simple economics - ships of the sea over ships of the desert.    Read more...

 


 

Malaysia

Home to about seven million Overseas Chinese, Malaysia has a complex ethnic mix. Penang, an island on the north-west coast is known for its Nyonya or Peranakan food.

As you drive or walk around you will notice the unique Peranakan houses such as this one above. Ornamented and colourful, they come from the 19th century when the Straits Chinese settlers married local Malay people and together created a distinct new culture which embraced everything from furniture, art and craft, clothing - and of course (because this is Malaysia, after all) - food!

This roadside sign offers two of Penang's iconic dishes. Laksa is a Peranakan dish and can be found anywhere that ethnic group settled - especially Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. CNN Travel has ranked Penang Assam Laksa 7th out of the 50 most delicious food in the world. Soup-like Assam laksa is made with mackerel and its distinctive flavour comes from tamarind which gives the dish a sourish taste.

But that is too simple a way to describe its composition. Like many other signature dishes from cuisines around the world, cooks who make laksa are fiercely protective of their own recipe - devised over the generations – and highly critical of the efforts of others who also make it!

Enjoy this short video of the Hawker Food of Penang

Read more....

 


 

Singapore

Singapore has nearly three million Overseas Chinese, and many of its major businesses have Chinese links. Feng shui is used often in positioning or decorating buildings.

Many restaurants serve Chinese food and there is a bustling Chinatown region near to the port.

Read on...

 

China, complex, colourful, and waiting for your next visit.

 

 


 

News Feed

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Here are FIFTY of the world's friendliest faces.

See them all....

 


A bay named for a predator? A 400-year-old plate? Aliens? What sort of place is this?

Find out here....

 


 

A quarter of a millennium is a long time to be creating spirits.

Who has set this record?

 


 

Which Australian chocolate-maker is a hundred years old this year?

Learn more...

 


 

The lovely Hunter Valley, NSW, has something for everyone.

Find out its secrets....

 


 

Take an 'international trip' but stay in Sydney!

Find out how to do this.....

 


 

Liz Swanton discovers a magical Maori massage in the Bay of Islands.

Find out more....

 


 

There's a new Executive Chef in Sydney.

Find out where he is (and what he is doing).....

 


 

Walking with elephants in Thailand.

How to do it....

 


 

Find interesting accommodation in the UK.

Sawday's have the answer.....

 


 

This is one crooked compass you will be glad to travel with.

Read more....

 


 

Perth - the world's most remote capital which has everything - dolphins included!

Read more..... 

 


 

Austria's magical food mix.

Read more here...

 


 

Christchurch's cafes are being reborn.

See where to find them....

 


 

Margaret River gearing up doe another great event in 2015

Read more...

 


 

Pedal-power in Leederville, WA.

Asian fare on wheels....

 


 

Master the making of Basque food.

Learn the tricks here...

 


 

Take a break at Takou River and learn how a couple's dream is now for everyone.

Read more...

 


 

Stunning Port Macquarie on the NSW northern coast.
 

Beaches - and koalas too!

 


 

China's rainbow scenery.

See where it is - and why....

 


 

Don't turn your screen upside-down!

This house is meant be be like this!

 


 

The resort where you are welcomed by a friendly 'local'.

Find out where it is....

 


 

If you like beer, this could be helpful when you travel.

Useful phrases....

 


 

Pack your Big Yellow Suitcase ...

... find out where you can take it!

 

 

 


 

 

tastethis

 


DON'T MISS THESE:

2015

AUSTRALIAN FOOD EVENTS

Taste of Sydney, 12-15 March, 2016

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, 4-13 March

Other food festivals for JANUARY

 



In London in February? DO NOT miss this!

A special Silver Screen High Tea at The Savoy!

 


 

RECIPE TIME

Bourek is a tasty Middle Eastern dish. But what if you can't find a filling to suit everyone?

This version suits everyone....

 


 

Blood oranges are in season and they team beautifully with fennel.

See the recipe.....

 


 

Don't be fooled! This is a giant-sized chocolate truffle.

(recipe and pic courtesy of Sugar Hero)

See how to make it....

 


 

 MUST TASTE THIS

If burrata is not a cheese you know, then do try this Gold medal Sydney-made one.

Find out more...

 


They're calling it the mayo for the masses - soy, dairy, egg, nut and gluten free.

Find out more....

 


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Need a coffee????

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330 of Sydney's BEST cafes in this HUGELY POPULAR iPhone and iPad app!

... read more

NOW ALSO available on Android

 visit the blog and hear the good news! 

Hear a podcast

 
 
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This Italian cheese-maker serves it up at the table....then sells the makings upstairs.

Can you guess where it is?

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..and then there's Andy, the Irish cherry pie maker on the north coast of NSW...

...see what Coolongolook has!

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TAKE A BREAK

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Find out what food events are on around the world in FEBRUARY....

 


 

Looking for a way to spend your weekends in Australia in 2016? 

Here are 52 suggestions complete with things to do and places to eat....

Read more..

 


 

A centrally-located luxury Sydney hotel has some deals you may like for the holiday season.

Find out more....

 


 

So you want to explore SYDNEY?

This new app is just what you need.....

 


 

A year of fabulous food festivals is ahead in 2016 for Britain!

Find out when and where....

 


 

Festivals throughout Australia too in 2016.

Check these out...

 


 

Scotland's Year of Food and Drink 2016....

...what's on?

 


Festivals in Korea, 2016

Here they are....

 


 

2016 Malaysia's Year of Festivals....

Find out when and where...

 


What's happening in Rome this month....

Check it out here...

 


 

Ever dreamed of having your own place in France.

This may make it easier....

 


 

SPOIL YOURSELF -    TOTAL LUXURY

Tour the world in a luxury private jet .....

But wait, there's more.....

 


 

Where better to take a French cookery course.....


...than in Paris?


 

Taste Miami with someone who knows.

See how to do it...

 


 

Shopping in Paris is great fun - but you might need some help...

...and not just with carrying your purchases!

Find out more.....

 


 

food and wine tour in one of France's most beautiful regions.

Learn more about it...

 


 

Now you can travel and pick up some artistic skills - and enjoy Italian cuisine.

...find out where

 


 

SYDNEY'S LIVING HISTORY

Find out about the (sometimes colourful) past of  Australia's first city:

slhlogoiPhone and iPad App packed with information and pics.

....discover what has made Sydney the great city it is.

BUY IT NOW on iTunes here

or for Android  here!

 

 

 


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Sally, and Gordon Hammond also operate the Australian Regional Food Guide Web site. This comprehensive directory is a great resource for everything that is happening in the regional food scene in Australia. Make sure you visit and bookmark this site. Please Follow on Twitter or Like on Facebook.