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Favourite Food


Travel quotes


Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.― Samuel Butler



Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.― Paul Theroux


National Day of ...


Zimbabwe 18 April (Independence Day, declaration of independence from the United Kingdom 1980.


Dining in Zimbabwe.....

Trivia: Zimbabwe is believed to be the location of Ophir, the ancient wealthy country from which King Solomon got ivory, gold, and such other precious items



See all National Days for APRIL.


Food related events....

APRIL 2015, food-related events.


Food related events on this date in history!



Want even more food history?


...visit The Old Foodie.


See where we have been...

24 percent of the world's countries!


See this amazing 'stick-art' and how it is created.

Read more.....


Penang, Malaysia is a vibrant, arty, food-crazy destination.

Visit it here.....



See if you know the world's top 10 chocolate destinations.....

Check your answers....



Darwin may be Australia's smallest capital city but ....

...there is a lot happening


Sensational Singapore... the sign says 'You should be here'!



Bali - island of a thousand temples....

...and so much more!



Auckland on New Zealand's North Island has plenty to offer.

See what you could enjoy there...



Discover Ireland's sensational Atlantic coastline.

Now you can walk along it!



Pack your Big Yellow Suitcase ...

... find out where you can take it!



Bangkok is a bustling fascinating city with friendly people.




Wonderful Agra - romantic ...and more.

Find it here.....



Or maybe you can spend some time in Greece?

Here's how....







How to blow up your inflatable mattress without a pump!

Now you can.....





Cauliflowers are not everyone's favourite food, but they are nutritious and delicious if served the right way.

More about cauliflower...




Did you know an average ear of corn has an even number of rows, usually 16.

Find out other strange food facts.....



If you thought long-tail boats were only found in Asia - just look where they have got to now!

See where.....




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


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 chocolate is your weakness, this new book will feed your need.

Read about it...



If Thai cookery has always been too difficult...

This is the book for you....



Learn the tricks of barbecuing from an expert with an endless supply of ideas and tips.

Get fired up about it....


Is Copenhagen big enough to conceal many secrets?

The authors of this book thought so....



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....


Visit Spain - from your own home!

Learn how to cook the food with an expert!


Lovers of Venetian food will be thrilled with this insiders' guide to the city and its food.

Read more.....


Whether you are a wine expert or just want to be, this book is for you.

Find more here...



If you can't get to Scandinavia - you can at least bake its cakes and breads.

Here's how....


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

Read more.....



Yes, the City of Light has still more secrets to disclose!

Discover them here....



Thai Royal Cuisine is now within your reach with these authentic recipes, edited by a descendant of Prince Chakrabongse.

....enjoy preparing them yourself.


Love cycling? Live in Melbourne or visit often?

You need this book!


Is there a budding chef in your family? This eBook will help them master more dishes.

Here it is.....

America-bound travellers, take note! 

The fully revised edition is now  available....


If you'd like a food-loving guide to show you around Paris, Jane is the person to do this.

Read her book....


Want to eat the world? Here 39 cuisines have been explored and explained.

Find out more....


Love cooking, like trivia?

This book is for you!



Ever wondered what makes Melbourne so special?

This book will show you....


The Big Apple has some huge and hidden surprises.

Discover more...

Now you can bake like Phillippa!

Get ready for the compliments!

Got friends coming for a party - this is the book for you!

Find some new recipes....

One of the stars of MasterChef share his take on healthy food.

Good and good for you!

Are you ready for a fashionable shopping spree in Paris?

You need this book!

If you have small children and live in Sydney or Melbourne, these cute but very helpful guides are for you!


The world's greatest maritime explorer - and real person.

An engaging read...

Would you like to cook like an Italian nonna?

Silvia can show you how....

Sneak a peek at the tried, true, and prize-winning recipes of CWA Judge, Merle Parrish.

...learn to cook like she does


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

Read this and be delighted...

Craving a burger? Live in Victoria - or visiting?

This book is a must to read...

Finally Sydney has its own Gault & Millau restaurant guide...

....but do you know how to pronounce it?

The biggest and most beautiful book of Italian food.

Read about it here....

Coffee seems to be the fluid which fuels most of us in this beautiful book

Learn about who grows it, roasts it and makes it.


If you think you may be the only person 'that everything happens to' when travelling - read this!



and laugh out loud....

Give this book and you give even more. 



find out how.......





Window on Semarang, Indonesia

Embarrassed that you may have never heard of this city? Don't be - even though it has a population of around six million, and is Indonesia's sixth-largest - its tourist status is still emerging.

Here is one citizen of Semarang. He, along with a troupe of colourfully dressed dancers, gathered at the port to welcome our ship, Crystal Symphony


Semarang, dating back almost four centuries, was a major port on the northern coast of Java during the Dutch colonial era, is now the capital of Central Java - home to 31 million people. Despite this, many people outside Indonesia may never have heard of it.

Controlled by the rich and powerful Dutch East India Company from the 17th century, the city was much later occupied by the Japanese military in 1942 during WWII.

Yet the area has been at risk from more than mere humans for thousands of years. Major stratovolcanos, Merapi, Merbabu and Ungaran, although dormant, lie in the vicinity of Semarang.


WATCH this video to get the feel Semarang and central Java.

Yet, even though Semarang city has many places that interest visitors, its main attraction is as a hopping-off point for a major tourist drawcard: the ancient and recently resurrected temple of Borobudur a two to three-hour drive south. While Indonesia is now an Islamic nation, what many people do not realise is that Buddhism and Hinduism predated Islam in these islands by over a thousand years.

As you near the temple, you may see this rather politically incorrect option, something which is often linked to tourist spots in south-east Asia. The popularity tide has turned in recent years as people have started to realise that maybe these endlessly patient jumbos might not be having quite the fun times their paying passengers are.

Finally, almost unexpectedly, we arrive at this massive religious edifice from another age. For many hundreds of years it lay unremembered as the jungle covered it and hid it from future generations. Dating from 800AD (around the time of Charlemagne in Europe) it is estimated this place took 80 years to finish. 

Measuring 403 feet (123 metres) square and 100 feet (30.4 metres) high, with four-metre thick walls, this pyramid-shaped shrine lay lost and forgotten until 1815, when Sir Stamford Raffles heard of its fabled existance and, recognising its cultural importance, set in motion its resurrection.

Many factors were responsible for Borobudur's original demise. There was a powerful earthquake in 1066AD, then the eruption of nearby Mount Merapi. Monsoonal rains, the jungle itself and winds all conspired over the following centuries to damage or conceal this prized place.

Much renovation work had to take place once the vines and forest overgrowth had been removed. LIke a massive jigsaw, pieces were reassembled and missing bits had to be recrafted by skilled stonemasons. The carvings in the local volcanic stone which cover every surface of the facade and balustrades, tell the story of Lord Buddha from his birth to his death and beyond. 

The workmanship is both beautiful and utilitarian, such as this stone drain pipe.

UNESCO has named this a World Heritage site and additional funds have helped the Indonesians to create breathtakingly beautiful grounds to surround the shrine as well as continue to maintain and repair it.

Stone friezes line each wall on the many terraces. You can walk kilometres if climb the steep steps to each one. It is estimated that Borobudur is built with over two million stones. Many thousands of slaves would have toiled endlessly in the steamy equatorial heat and tropical storms to bring this place to completion.

Today people of all faiths and nations can be seen enjoying the views from Borobudur's many levels or - of course - posing for a happy snap.

Borobudur consists of six square platforms topped by three circular platforms. 

The fine detail and accuracy of the carvings is exceptional.

On other levels, seated buddhas appear to be deeply meditating....

...and on the top level, the main dome is located at the centre of the platform and is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues each of which is seated inside a perforated bell-shaped stupa.

The world’s largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur is one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world. It is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues.

And while some modern-day people would wonder what it the use of building such a massive, time-consuming shrine, the entire plan is religious and symbolic. The monument's three divisions symbolize the three 'realms' of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kamadhatu (the world of desires), Rupadhatu (the world of forms), and finally Arupadhatu (the formless world). Read more...

Visitors often take part in a walking pilgrimage, guided by the system of staircases and corridors ascending to the top platform. Each platform represents one stage of enlightenment.

WATCH a video about Borobudur.....

Of course, on the edges of the temple grounds, the usual stalls of nick-nacks, souvenirs and clothing are set up. The vendors (and their touts) can be very 'enthusiastic', but it's all in good fun. Do expect to haggle and if successful, you should be able to negotiate a price that is as little as a third of the original 'asking' price.  

These Indonesian head-dresses for men are called kopiyah and are made from batik material, another handcraft from these islands.

Indonesian food is always tasty, and it can be most inexpensive - a filling meal may be bought for a couple of dollars. Here we have the national dish - nasi goreng - with a crumbed piece of beef (never pork in this country), noodles and rice, a fried egg, some salad and prawn crackers or krupuk.

This lad has a bagful of krupukalready fried until they are puffy and crisp, and he is selling them to people in passing cars.

Jakfruit (or jackfruit) is the world's largest fruit. Some can grow larger than these and weigh up to 30kg. Unprepossesing from the outside, when cut open, the fruit reveals firm bright yellow segments, with a distinct tropical flavour and mildly sweet. Although it may appear like a smoother durian, it is not related.

Jambus are sometimes called Malay-apples.

And no prizes if you guessed that this fruit, salak, is often called 'snake fruit'.

Above every other flavour, Indonesians generally like their food to have a spicy kick to it. These are, after all, the Spice Islands, which beckoned travellers and explorers, merchants and pirates for centuries from the Middle Ages onwards. Mixtures like these are made by people in their homes, but of course are a quick solution for those without the time to do that. Indonesian food often balances the heat-hit with sweetness, and Central Java is known for many dishes, often sweetened with palm sugar or gula kelapa.

Day two for us included a city tour. Many tourists like to visit Gereja Blenduk, an old Dutch church in the area called 'Little Netherlands'. Many stately colonial houses from this era are also worth seeing nearby.

A beautiful Protestant church built in 1753, it is the oldest church in Semarang, with simple, yet elegant, stained glass windows.

It has an impressive baroque organ, a rarity in Indonesia.

Dutch colonial buildings can still be found in the city. The most famous one is Lawang Sewu which means A Thousand Doors, built  in the early 1900s as the headquarters of the local railway company, the first in the Dutch East Indies. There may be that many doors, but there are also 600 windows. 

 During World War II, it was used as the Japanese army's headquarters. Lawang Sewu's main attraction is its tall stained glass window. 

In July 2011 the newly renovated complex was inaugurated. The building is still subject to ongoing restoration although it remains open to the public. Tour guides are available at the building's entrance.

Because of the great number of executions conducted here during WWII, some believe the building to be haunted. Nevertheless, when viewed from across the Tugu Muda roundabout, Lawang Sewu now appears tranquil and lovely.

Driving in Indonesia can be a test of patience and bravery. Many of the population still ride motor scooters, often carrying several passengers, and the traffic is often snarled with bigger vehicles as well. The roads are marked with lanes, but few observe them and drivers merge and overlap, just fitting in. Sometimes eight 'lanes' of traffic occupy a road marked only for two or three lanes.

For this reason, near to one popular food shopping strip, the government has installed a fleet of free shuttle buses to transport people from a parking area.

But there are lighthearted moments too. At traffic lights, rather than someone wanting to clean your windscreen, here there are theatrical performers hoping to help make the waiting time go more quickly for drivers (and gain a few rupiah for themselves).

Semarang's Sam Poo Kong impressive crimson temple was built in honour of the Chinese Great Admiral Zheng He who visited the area in 1405. 

His exploits are recorded on this plaque under his statue  in the temple courtyard. It's little wonder that his bravery and ambition needed to be recognised in a substantial manner.

The temple grounds are quiet and peaceful, set away from the nearby streets teeming with traffic and people. 

School groups come here as well as tourists......

...photographers and worshippers....

....and for some it is simply a place of quiet contemplation.

Crystal Symphony, a Crystal Cruises ship, visited Semarang in December 2014.


More information on travelling in Indonesia.......

Text and images: ©Sally & Gordon Hammond

Video: ©Gordon Hammond


News Feed

feed-image Feed Entries







Eat Drink Perth, Western Australia,  March 20-April 24, 2015

Orange F.O.O.D Week, Orange, NSW, April 10-19, 2015

Barossa Vintage Festival, South Australia, 15-19 April, 2015

Daylesford Macedon Produce Harvest Festival, April 24-May3, Daylesford, Victoria 

Noosa International Food & Wine Festival, Noosa, Queensland, May 14-17, 2015

Taste of Perth, May 15-17, 2015

Foodservice Australia, Melbourne, May 31-June 2

Rutherglen Winery Walkabout, Victoria, June 6-7, 2015

Cake Bake & Sweets Show, 12-14 June 2015, Sydney

Fine Food Australia, Sydney, September 20-23

Cake Bake & Sweets Show, 23-25 October 2015, Melbourne



Lyndey Milan and Ian 'Herbie' Hemphill take viewers on an eight-episode Moveable Feast of Australia, beginning on 7TWO on Feb 7.

Don't miss out.... 





A Chinese snack, so versatile, tasty  and easy....

See for yourself! Or visit Mr Bing Gourmet Wrapz in Sydney...


Is it a meal, is it a snack? This Georgian favourite can be anything you want.

See what you think....




You need a snack - BUT everything is too sweet, too rich in fat??

Try these guilt-free options...



Maille mustard has been a leader worldwide since 1747. Now it is in Australia!

Find out more...



SBS's Feast magazine FINAL ISSUE out now, full of stunning recipes.

Learn more...


Need a coffee????


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


True North - set the compass to find where comfort food central is!

See where it is....








APRIL 2015 food-related events worldwide.




WIN - a road trip on the Legendary Pacific Coast of NSW.

Be quick!



A year of fabulous food festivals is ahead in 2015 for Britain!

Find out when and where....



Festivals throughout Australia too in 2015.

Check these out...



Festivals in Korea, 2015

Here they are....



2015 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....




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


Here is the answer for food and wine lovers travelling around Australia.

Read more....




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

slhlogoiPhone and iPad App packed with information and pics. what has made Sydney the great city it is.

BUY IT NOW on iTunes here

or for Android  here!




Contributes to:


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.