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Favourite Food

&

Travel quotes

 

If you are more fortunate than others, it is better to build a longer table than a higher fence. Anonymous.

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Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else. —Lawrence Block

 



National days.....

France 14 July (Bastille Day, 1789)

Dining in France.....

Trivia: There are over 1,000 different types of cheese made in France – the blue/green-veined Roquefort is the oldest variety. 

 


 

French Guyana (France) 14 July (Fête de la Fédération)

Cuisine....

 


 

Guadeloupe, France 14 July (Bastille Day)

Cuisine....

 


 

Martinique, France 14 July (Bastille Day)

Cuisine...

 


 

Mayotte, France 14 July (Bastille Day)

Cuisine...

 


 

New Caledonia (France) 14 July (Bastille Day)

Cuisine...

 


 

Réunion, France 14 July Bastille Day

Cuisine....

 


 

Saint Pierre and Miquelon, France 14 July (Bastille Day)

 

Cuisine....

 


 

South Korea, July 17 (1948). See Constitution Day (South Korea).

Dining in South Korea.....

Trivia: Koreans are superstitious about red ink. Supposedly, if you write someone’s name with a red pen, that person is going to have some really bad luck in the near future.

 


 

 

UruguayJuly 18 (1830). Jura de la Constitución de la República Oriental del Uruguay. 

Dining in Uruguay....

Trivia: The name ‘Uruguay’ comes from the Uruguay River which is thought to mean ‘river of the painted birds’ in the Guarani language.

 


 

Colombia 20 July (Declaration of independence from Spain 1810)

Cuisine of Colombia....

Trivia: Colombia has the biggest salsa festival, biggest theater festival, biggest outdoor horse parade, biggest flower parade and second biggest carnival all over the world. More facts....

 

 

Egypt 23 July (Revolution Day, the revolution of 1952)

Eating in Egypt....

Trivia: For ancient Egyptians, bread was the most important food and beer was their favorite drink. Models of brewers were even left in tombs to ensure that the deceased had plenty of beer in the next world.

 



 

See all National Days for JULY

 


 

Food related events....

Strangest US food festivals in 2016

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Food festivals around the world in JULY...

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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....

Find out which visas are the most difficult to receive....

 

 

traveltipstop

 

Ten fun things you can be covered for by travel insurance.

Find out what they are....

 


 

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

 

 

 


food_of_week_02

It is that time of year in Australia, and these black beauties are on everyone's dinner wishlist.

Find out more.....

 


triviatop

ciaos

Winter is here. Did you know these facts?

Test your knowledge here...

 

 

MSC Cruises' hottest new destination.

Can you guess where this is?


 

 

books

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


 

Do you love Paris? Would you like to really know your way around?

This book will show you how...

 


 

Favourite cookery book writer Anneke Manning, opens her BakeClub files.

See what she is sharing...

 


 

What's for dinner? Now you kn ow with the help of this expert.

Nadia's book has the answers....

 


 

Is there such a thing as a quiet spot in Los Angeles?

This book shares 120 of them....

 


 

If you love food and travel equally, this new novel might satisfy your hunger.

Take a look....

 


 

If you think you know Australia well, you need to see this book and realise there is still more.

Read more...

 


 

Sydney has many precincts and now you may explore them.

See what you may have been missing out on....

 


 

Have you been to Berlin? This book will make you want to visit.

Read more....

 


 

Something for every day of the year from famous writers and speakers through the ages.

Read more.....

 


 

Now you can cook all your favourite foods from Japan's capital.

Find out about it...

 


 

Here's a book with double value.

Find out what it is.....

 


 

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....

 


 

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....

 


 

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... 

 


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....

 


Love cooking, like trivia?

This book is for you!

 

 

 

 

 

Window on Nagasaki, Japan

To be absolutely honest, I would have to say that I was not looking forward to visiting Nagasaki. I have recognised the name all my life and it was always uttered with sadness and horror - and, sometimes, shame. How could such a thing happen? Just how does a nation - or even a city - survive such horrendous destruction? Did I even want to come face-to-face with it?

I had little choice, in the end, as it was one of the ports of call on a Tokyo to Shanghai cruise. As luck would have it, we visited on a grey and dismal day, but we discovered pockets of brightness such as these peace decorations  (above) at the Atomic Bomb Museum.

My questions were not all to be answered either. Maybe I left with even more than I came. But here is just a small window - my mini-view - a peep at this city, which may help others to come to terms with the then and now of Nagasaki. 

Like many other tourists to Nagasaki, on Kyushu island,we had arrived by water. The port terminal was well-staffed by a task-force of Nagasaki Port Cruise Ship Welcoming Committee workers handing out maps and answering questions. 

The leaflet we were given had maps, and directions for 'how to ride the Streetcar' from the Port Teminal. These are fast and efficient, and the thirty-minute ride to the Peace Park (one of the major places which tourists want to visit) was Y120 (about A$1.50). An adult day-pass to ride any number of streetcars is Y500 or about A$6.20.

In both Hiroshuima and Nagasaki, some streetcars survived the blast and were in operation again just days later.

The Peace Park is just as its name suggests. Rather than being a gloomy place, it offers hope for a world without war and suffering, and is a potent reminder of the resilience of humanity. It is an easy two-minute walk from Matsuyama-machi Streetcar Stop.

The fountain is expecially important. Read the first sentence of the sign to understand why.

Throughout the park are memorials and sculptures donated from countries all around the world as a symbol of solidarity in seeking peace. This beautiful screen is from New Zealand. Named "Cloak of Peace (Te Korowai Rangimarie)", it is by Kingsley Baird, 2006. The plaque reads: "The statue symbolizes consolation, protection, and solidarity. It also expresses ambivalence, reflecting conflicting interpretations of historical events." There are 49 peace monuments throughout Nagasaki.

 

One of the most wonderful things about travel is serendipity - the unexpected discoveries - which could never have been planned. This little lady was with her family who were all also dressed in their best clothes. No, it was not a wedding, they said, but as we don't speak Japanese the real explantation was lost. It seemed to be a special day for families in Nagasaki, as we saw many parents and children dressed superbly, but none like this child.

This ten-metre Peace Statue dominates the park. The finger pointing to the sky symbolises the threat of nuclear weapons. His left hand represents eternal peace and his eyes are closed in prayer asking that the souls of the victims may find rest.

Provision is made at the base of the statue for flowers brought by visitors.

Again, water plays an important part in framing this sculpture, and it is no accident that reflection is a keynote of the message of the park.

These poignant words from the creator of the statue, Seibo Kitamura, explains the symbolism he was conveying.

While so many suffered in the nuclear blast, children were especially vulnerable and this statue epitomises that. Called"Hymn to Life" it is from the City of Pistoia, Italy, 1987. The plaque reads: "The statue, which depicts a mother holding her baby high in the air with both hands, is an expression of love and peace."

The Urakami Cathedral, in the background, was first built in 1895, destroyed by the nuclear blast, then rebuilt  in 1959It is a reminder that Nagasaki became a centre of Portuguese and Dutch influence between the 16th and 19th centuries. The Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki have been proposed for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Close to the Matsuyama-Machi Streetcar stop, is the Atomic Bomb Hypocenter, Nagasaki's ground zero, commemorated by a simple monolith. 

The facts are these. At 11:02 am, August 9th, 1945, when the local people would have been innocently going about their daily lives, an atomic bomb exploded 500 meters above Matsuyama in Nagasaki City. Huge numbers of people were killed immediately, while others died later from illness or injury - by the end of December, some 74,000 people had died while around 75,000 more suffered from various injuries. The area within a 2.5 kilometer radius of the hypocenter was utterly devastated, and the rest of the city was left in ruins.

About a third of the city's population of 240,000 at the time was killed outright. Another third were injured. These numbing statistics are bad enough, but it is necessary to remember that thousands more died from injuries and radioactivity-induced diseases in the years and decades following the blast.

It was heartening to see that another Australian had recently visited this shrine and thought to leave something.

And here it is - the epicentre of the bomb blast. Beside it is preserved a portion of the former Urakami Cathedral, which was just 500 metres away, ironically filled with worshippers at the time. As it was almost the time of the Feast of the Assumption of Mary (August 15) and as Mass was being held on that day, it was well attended. 

A layer of the ground from that moment is also exhibited at the site. Visitors can see the remains of destroyed houses: roof tiles, bricks, ceramic and pieces of glass that boiled in the 3000℃ atomic heat.

Here, too, there are a number of sculptures. Now, over seventy years after the blast, mothers bring their children and babies in strollers to this place to feed the birds in safety.

No words....

They say in Japan 'if you fold one thousand paper cranes you receive a wish'. These 'wishes' are everywhere - at the museum, at the Peace memorial, pressed into my hand as I bought a postcard. Of course I brought some home and shared them too. You can never have too many wishes for world peace.

Most visitors to Nagasaki visit the Atomic Bomb Museum. Not for the faint-hearted, there are graphic pictures and exhibits which forcefully drive home the horro and results of the event. Above, the altar of the cathedral has been recreated.

Like the paper cranes, other handwork shares the same message. This quilt is on display at the entrance to the museum.

And this is it - a receation of the bomb itself.

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For centuries, Japan kept itself isolated from the rest of the world. Eras came and went in  othr coun tries, kings ruled, wars were waged and traders  and explorers opened up vast areas of the world. Japan, with its ancient feudal system, progressed at a different pace.

The only place with any contact with the outside world was this unassuming island at the mouth of the Urakami river. Traders were allowed to come ashore here - and here only  to sell and buy. Of course this was destroyed too.

Finally, working from memory and some plans, this model of the ancient area was built, and still remains inside the recreation which is now open to the public.

Now, with a population of around 450,000, Nagasaki is relaxed and busy again. Nothing can obliterate the past, but Japanese people have courage and are looking to the future. This friendly attendant assists visitors in understanding Dejima.

You can find it next to the Dejima Streetcar stop. Open 8am to 6pm, admission is Y500.

Many exhibits from Dejima are now stored in this building, the former Dejima Protestant Seminary.

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Nearby is Shinchi Chinatown, one of the top three Chinatowns in Japan, busy, noisy and smelling of dumplings and pork and fried foods. It is a two-minute walk from Tsuki-Machi Streetcar stop.

Obviously the place to come for a Chinese meal...

... or some cured meats to add to a sandwich or put together in a meal at home.

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(The following information and images are from Nagasaki Official Visitor Guide, material used with permission).

Surprisingly Nagasaki's most well-known meal is Shippoku (see above, left) or Japanese fusion cuisine, a mixture of traditional Japanese, Chinese and Western dishes. 
This traditional, Nagasaki-style of cuisine is served on a round table and features many dishes, making use of the wealth of ingredients from Nagasaki.

This style of eating and the recipes themselves developed during the Edo period as a result of the exchange which took place between Nagasaki and other countries. Nowadays Shippoku is usually enjoyed at establishments such as ryotei, traditional Japanese restaurants.

Castella is a sweet, moist sponge cake. Based on a recipe originally introduced by Portuguese missionaries in the mid-16 century, and then developed by the people of Nagasaki, it is now a popular souvenir of Nagasaki.

Momo Castella, a peach-shaped version of Castella, is another popular Nagasaki cake. It reflects the Chinese belief that peaches brings good luck. It is just one of a range of delicious Nagasaki sweets that combine the best of Japan, the West and China.

At the mention of Nagasaki, many people immediately think of Champon. The story of the origin of Champon is that, during the Meiji period, a local Chinese restaurant made the dish with the aim of providing students from China with a filling and nutritious meal. Toaku, an ingredient unique to Nagasaki, is used in the noodles to give them a springy texture. This delicious dish also includes fried vegetables and seafood, brought together with the noodles in a rich soup. Sara Udon is another famous dish representative of Nagasaki. Diners can choose either crispy, thin noodles, or thick Champon noodles.

For a place isolated for so long, it is interesting to see how various foods arrived to the tables of Nagasaki. Because of its position as a trade portal, these foods spread from here to other parts of Japan.

The coastline of Nagasaki is long and intricate, with remote islands, coves and bays. Along with the sea current, this creates one of the best locations for fishing in Japan. The fish catch in Nagasaki is the second largest in Japan, with a wide variety of species available in each season and region, from Japanese horse mackerel, chub mackerel, and red sea bream, to grunt, squid and more. Whenever you visit, you will have the luxury of being able to eat the fresh, delicious fish of that particular season in a variety of menus including sushi, sashimi and seafood rice bowls.  

Every five years, the National Japanese Beef Quality Competition, also referred to as the Wagyu Olympics, is held. The 10th such event was held in 2012 in Nagasaki, where Nagasaki Wagyu beef won the Prime Minister’s Award, earning recognition as the best Wagyu in Japan. The animals graze in mineral-rich pastures that are fed by the salty sea breeze, under the passionate dedication of the producers. This is evident in the high quality of the beef, which offers a superb balance between lean and marbled meat, allowing diners to get their fill of the beef’s intrinsically pleasant, savory taste. Nagasaki Wagyu is also characterized by its soft texture.

Oysters farmed in Nagasaki are well grown and feature full firm meat. When the season turns to fall and winter, you can enjoy delicious barbecued oysters at little huts along the coast, or oysters steamed over natural hot springs, as well as Oyster Festivals.

In Toruko Rice, a famous Western-inspired dish from Nagasaki City, pilaf rice and spaghetti are piled onto a plate along with a pork cutlet generously covered in sauce. Different shops use different ingredients and toppings, creating many different varieties.

Read about other local dishes here..... 

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The hills surrounding Nagaszki afford many beautiful view, none better than at night. These of course were seen from the top deck of our ship, but another stunning location is Mount Inasa (Inasayama) a 333-metre mountain in close distance to the city centre. The night views from Mount Inasa are ranked among Japan's three best night views.

And perhaps, that is the legacy of Nagasaki - the unexpected finale - that out of the holocaust, out of the terror and dislocation of the event, and the mindless stupidity of war itself - have risen new generations who value peace and beauty more intensely than many others.

Nagasaki has created tranquil corners and bright pockets of colour, and uses its own tragedy as a platform from which to crusade for peace.

OK, I didn't want to visit Nagasaki, but I am glad I did. Much of the time was tough. There were tears, and moments of incredible sadness and regret, but these were balanced by a respect for how resilient people can be, for the strength of humanity, even when almost destroyed.

Share the story of Nagasaki. Learn to make paper cranes, and share those too.

Make peace.


More information on  Nagasaki.....

More about Japan....

 

Pics: Sally & Gordon Hammond

Text: Sally Hammond

Video: ©Gordon Hammond

 

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If you wish to make a comment: please go to this page....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DON'T MISS THESE:

2016

AUSTRALIAN FOOD EVENTS

 

The Truffle Festival, June to August, Canberra region, ACT.

 

Brisbane Times Good Food Month, Brisbane, QLD, July 1-31

 

 


 

RECIPE TIME

Sweet relief for time-poor winter pudding lovers.

Three minutes is all you need...

 


 

Are these Sydney's best pork buns?

See for yourself...

 


 

Joe's Bar at East Hotel in Canberra is worth checking out. 

...especially if you love truffles!

 


 

 MUST TASTE THIS

Australia's premier ginger producer now has more reasons to make Aussies smile.

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Need a coffee????

This app is now unavailable but you can still stay in touch on the FB page.

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Hear a podcast

 
 
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Top chef has found a new Abode at ParkRoyal Darling Harbour.

Food you have to taste...

 



 

Lot 1 near Wynyard, this one is worth knowing about too.

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Woollahra's BUZO has evolved.

Find out about the Evolution menu....

 

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TAKE A BREAK

++++++++++++++++

 

Find out what food events are on around the world in JULY

 


 

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....

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

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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 .....

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

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

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

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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.