London Bridge (London, England)

Picture by unknown

Niagra Falls (United States and Canada)

http://stefanobittante.blogspot.com/2007/06/niagara-falls-panorama.html

Eiffel Towel (Paris, France)

Picture by unknown

Kyoto (Japan)

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

PERU NATIONAL DISH


PERU
Gastronomy has always been a huge part of the Peruvian lifestyle.
Each region's cuisine is not just subtly different - it's a whole new ball game. From the rich and sweet delights of the coast to the spicy treats and creamy cheeses of the highlands, there's a wealth of variation in Peruvian cooking that ensures there's always something new to try. It means that at every step on your holiday in Peru there is a new delicacy to check out, and the national dish is one of the "must-try" dish in your list while visiting Peru. 

Ceviche 

Peruvian Ceviche

Ceviche is a seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of the Americas, especially Central and South America. There is no dish more Peruvian than ‘Ceviche’. It is considered the national dish and thought of as unrivaled by any other dish anywhere else in the world, for the way it’s prepared and for its taste and with this, it gives Peru a place on the world map of gastronomy. The dish is typically made from fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají or chili peppers. Additional seasonings, such as chopped onions, salt, and coriander, may also be added. Ceviche is usually accompanied by side dishes that complement its flavors, such as sweet potato, lettuce, corn, avocado or plantain.

In Peru, ceviche has been declared to be part of Peru's "national heritage" and has even had a holiday declared in its honor. The classic Peruvian ceviche is composed of chunks of raw fish, marinated in freshly squeezed key lime or bitter orange (naranja agria) juice, with sliced onions, chili peppers, salt and pepper. Corvina or cebo (sea bass) was the fish traditionally used. The mixture was traditionally marinated for several hours and served at room temperature, with chunks of corn-on-the-cob, and slices of cooked sweet potato. 

Regional or contemporary variations include garlic, fish bone broth, minced Peruvian ají limo, or the Andean chili rocoto, toasted corn or cancha and yuyo (seaweed). A specialty of Trujillo is ceviche prepared from shark (tollo or tojo). Lenguado (sole) is often used in Lima. The modern version of Peruvian ceviche, which is similar to the method used in making Japanese sashimi, consists of fish marinated for a few minutes and served promptly. It was developed in the 1970s by Peruvian-Japanese chefs including Dario Matsufuji and Humberto Sato. Many Peruvian cevicherías serve a small glass of the marinade (as an appetizer) along with the fish, which is called leche de tigre or leche de pantera.

Source: [1] 


Thursday, August 29, 2013

MOROCCO National Food


MOROCCO
Moroccan cuisine is extremely refined, thanks to Morocco's interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations over the centuries. It is known for its mix of North African, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cooking styles. Moroccan cuisine has been subject to Berber, Moorish, and Arab influences. Often combining sweet and salty elements, Moroccan dishes burst with flavor. Here are some of the most popular national dishes to try during your trip to Morocco.

Tagine


A tagine is a historically Berber dish from North Africa that is named after the special earthenware pot in which it is cooked. It is a stew of meat (usually beef, lamb or chicken) or fish with vegetables, spices and perhaps fruits and nuts, slowly cooked on a bed of oil in an earthenware pot. It is one of Morocco’s most visible dishes (because of the conical topped dish in which it is cooked). Popular versions include beef with almonds and quinces, lamb with apricots, and chicken with lemons and olives.

Tagines are primarily used to slow-cook savory stews and vegetable dishes. Because the domed or cone-shaped lid of the tagine traps steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, a minimal amount of water is needed to cook meats and vegetables to buttery-tenderness. This method of cooking is very practical in areas where water supplies are limited or where public water is not yet available.

Couscous 


Couscous is a traditional North African dish of semolina (granules of durum wheat) which is cooked by steaming. It is traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it. Probably the most well-known dish of Moroccan cuisine is couscous. When you order a couscous entree in a restaurant, you can expect a plethora of slow-cooked meat and vegetables along with a heaping plate of steamed couscous, little round granules of semolina wheat. 

In Moroccan households and at restaurants, one large plate of couscous is often shared by several people. To eat it in true Moroccan style, use your right hand to pick up some of the couscous and some of the meat and vegetable mixture. Then toss it lightly in your hand to form it into a ball and pop the whole ball in your mouth. In Morocco it is also served, sometimes at the end of a meal or just by itself, as a delicacy called "seffa". The couscous is usually steamed several times until it is very fluffy and pale in color. It is then sprinkled with almonds, cinnamon and sugar. Traditionally, this dessert will be served with milk perfumed with orange flower water, or it can be served plain with buttermilk in a bowl as a cold light soup for supper. 

Pastilla 


Pastilla is a traditional Moroccan dish, an elaborate meat pie traditionally made of squab (fledgling pigeons). As squabs are often hard to get, shredded chicken is more often used today; pastilla can also use fish or offal as a filling. Pastilla is generally served as a starter at the beginning of special meals. Just one slice is rich enough to fill you up, so be sure to budget your stomach space for the main course!

It is a pie which combines sweet and salty flavours; a combination of crisp layers of the crêpe-like werqa dough (a thinner cousin of the phyllo dough), savory meat slow-cooked in broth and spices and shredded, and a crunchy layer of toasted and ground almonds, cinnamon, and sugar.



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Paris Top Tourist Attractions

 
FRANCE
There are a multitude of tourist attractions in Paris for visitors. The richness of culture in France gives you so many choices of things to do in France and have fun learning about. 


Eiffel Tower

One of the world's most recognizable monuments and the best known landmark in Europe, the Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris and one of the city's must-see attractions. Be sure to take the lift for a view of the city. 

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe, located at the Place Charles de Gaulle commemorates Emperor Napoleon's victories. It is a huge triumphal arch that was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 and competed in 1836, long after Napoleon's reign had come to an end.  Visitors to Paris can enjoy a wonderful view of the city of Paris from the top of this very famous landmark. If you visit the Arc in the evening hours, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the lights of Paris.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame Cathedral, located on Ile de la Cite in central Paris, is a top Paris landmark and one of the most famous churches in the world, which is one of the first Gothic cathedrals ever built. Construction started in 1163 and lasted for almost two decades.

Notre Dame Cathedral's dramatic towers, spire, stained glass and statuary are guaranteed to take your breath away. Witness firsthand the spot that was once the heartbeat of medieval Paris, and that took over 100 years of hard labor to complete. From the lookout at the north tower you have a great view over the city.

Although admission to the cathedral is free of charge, there is a fee to visit the treasury and the church tower.

Sacre Coeur Paris

With its unmistakeable white dome, the Sacre Coeur sits at the highest point of Paris on the Montmartre hill, or butte. This basilica, which was consecrated in 1909, is best-known for its garish gold mosaic interiors and for its dramatic terrace, from which you can expect sweeping views of Paris on a clear day.

Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle was built in 1248 by King Louis IX at the Île de la Cité to store important religious relics. The Sainte-Chapelle is best known for the soaring stained glass windows that line the upper chapel. This chapel is a marvel of perfect medieval stained glass that turns the sun's light into a symphony of color.

Sainte Chapelle is very popular so expect to wait in line. Lines are shortest within the first hour of opening. On weekdays the chapel closes from about 1:00 until 2:15. If you arrive shortly before then, the number of visitors diminishes as you approach the closing time, giving you better visibility, but less time to spend.

Champs-Elysées

The Avenue des Champs-Elysées is the most prestigious and most famous street in Paris and possible in the whole world. It stretches all the way from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe.
 
Panthéon

The Panthéon, a 19th century building, was originally built as a church dedicated to St.Genevieve (the patron saint of Paris), but later turned into a civil temple. The Pantheon building itself represents a fine example of neoclassicism.
 
Disney Land Paris

Disneyland Paris is very similar to the Disneyland theme parks located in Anaheim and Orlando. Visitors to Paris with children can enjoy an excursion to Disneyland during their Paris vacation.

Musée du Louvre

One of the not-to-miss sights in Paris is the Louvre Museum, possibly the most famous museum in the world with a fabulous collection of pre-20th century painting, sculpture, and decorative objects.  Arguably the world's most famous art museum, the Louvre's most popular piece is Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa." It is housed in the Louvre Palace, once the residence of France's royal family.

The Mona Lisa can be found on the second floor (i.e. 1er Etage) of the Denon Wing of the Louvre Museum

Musée d'Orsay
 
The Musée d'Orsay is a museum housed in a grand railway station built in 1900. Musée d'Orsay picks up where the Louvre leaves off, featuring French art from the mid 1800s to the 1st World War. Home to many sculptures and impressionist paintings, it has become one of Paris's most popular museums.

Seine River

The Seine is a major river of North Western France and one of its well-known commercial waterways.

Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou is a cultural center in the heart of historic Paris. The complex was built in 1977 by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers. It includes a museum of modern art and a large library.

Pompidou is a giant, futuristic arts centre located in the Beaubourg district of Paris.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

France - Traditional French Foods


FRANCE
French cuisine is popular for its delicious, diversified and world-wide known cuisine. Traditional French foods range from delectable cheeses and desserts to hearty soups, stews, and fresh fish. One of the great things about French traditional food is the fact that each region has its own specialties that are traditional and unique to that area. These French traditional food items are based off the available items within that particular region. In this writing, we only give you some general ideas of the most popular traditional French foods. Look for the regional favorites while visiting France if you want to taste the best of the region.

Escargot

Escargot (Photo: myboringoldlife blog)
Most people unfamiliar with French cooking are quick to turn up their collective noses at this dish.  Perhaps the most widely know of the traditional French dishes, escargot is a delicacy made from snails.  Served as an appetizer, escargot is usually prepared in a garlic butter sauce.  The snails themselves are first removed from the shell, cleaned, and then placed back inside the snail shell after preparation.  Escargot generally come served with an herb butter sauce for dipping.  This traditional French dish even has its own utensil; escargot comes to the table with special tongs designed for holding the shell.

Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse from the Restaurant du Port, Le Grau du Roi, Marseille
Bouillabaisse is a French fish soup that is a specialty of the region of Provence and is one of the most familiar of the traditional French dishes. Three kinds of fish usually go into this traditional French dish, including scorpion fish, conger and monkfish.  Cooked with special herbs like saffron and garlic, as well as orange zest, bay leaf, and fennel.  Leeks, tomatoes, celery, and onions simmer together with the fish and spices.  Bouillabaisse is served with crusty French bread topped by rouille, a mayonnaise made with olive oil, cayenne, garlic and saffron.

Pumpkin Soup

Soupe au potiron (Photo: Cityfoodsters)
In the center of France, soupe au potiron is a favorite. In the fall, when pumpkins and potatos are harvested, this soup is featured on many traditional tables. The main ingredients are mixed with cream and topped with croutons or served with a freshly-baked baguette.

Chestnut Soup

Soupe aux chataignes (Photo: dandyman blog)
Another seasonal favorite is soupe aux chataignes. Locally-grown chestnuts are mixed with potatos, leeks, and turnips to make a hearty, and yet sweet, winter soup. While this French soup is more difficult to make because finding fresh chestnuts and peeling them can be tricky, it is a great recipe to try for a special occasion.

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin (DB Bistro Moderne)
Literally “chicken and wine”, this dish is a combination of braised  rooster served in a special wine sauce.  Coq au vin, like many traditional French dishes, varies slightly by region.  Wine sauce preparation depends upon the area, though a burgundy is the most common choice.  After the chicken marinates in the wine one day before, it is seared in a hot pan.  Small mushrooms, onions, garlic, butter and salt pork (bacon) are added to the chicken and allowed to simmer.  As the sauce thickens, salt, pepper, thyme and other savory herbs are added to the pot.

Cassoulet

Cassoulet (Photo: Xoom Blog)
A traditional southwestern bean recipe, cassoulet is a perfect winter meal. It has lots of meat in it, but the meat is cut up into the bean dish and simmered. While this taste is not for everyone, it's a truly traditional meal hailing from France. Serve with bread on the side.

Moules

Moules frites (Photo by N. Galuten)
Mussels are a common seafood served in France. Most often cooked in garlic, the mussels take on a spicy flavor; paired with French fries in most restaurants, this dish is a favorite of French cuisine in many countries of Europe.

Tartiflette

Tartiflette (Photo: Ricado Cuisine)
Tartiflette is a French dish from the Haute Savoie region of France. It is made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions. A popular variation of this dish is to substitute the lardons with smoked salmon. While this dish features potatos and cheese, it is rich enough to become a main course on most tables. A traditional meal in the Alps, this dish is heavy and warms the body from the inside-out with its soft potatoes layered in creamy melted cheese.

Bouillinade

Bouillinade de poissons (Photo: moicatalane)
Potatoes and fish baked together with butter and herbs makes for a fresh potato alternative. Typically southern, the herbs mixed here (saffron, parsley, cayenne) are a new combination for many non-Mediterranean palates. 

Crèpes

Crèpes (G. Paul Burnett/The New York Times)
A standout favorite among traditional French dishes, crèpes can be served either as a dessert or a savory dish.  Crèpes are made from a very thin batter of eggs, flour and milk.  The crèpe is allowed to cook in a skillet for about a minute, flipped to cook for another minute, and then removed.  The result is a paper thin shell that can be stuffed with fruits and cream.  Some recipes call for a potato batter and are generally served with savory fillings.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Greece Popular Drinks

GREECE

As Greek food is integral to the lifestyle and culture of Greece, Greek drinks have also played a large role in Greek life since the times of Ancient Greece.


Frappé coffee

Frappé coffee
(also Greek frappé or Café frappé) is a Greek foam-covered iced coffee drink made from instant coffee (generally, spray-dried). It is among the most popular drinks in Greece, especially during the summer, and has been called the national coffee of Greece.

The coffee can be made either with a cocktail shaker or an appropriate mixer (e.g. a hand mixer). One or two teaspoons of coffee, sugar (to taste) and a little water are blended to form a foam, which is poured into a tall glass. To this is added cold water and ice cubes, and, optionally, milk - typically evaporated milk. In cafés, frappés tend to be relatively strong and heavy. As they drink, Greeks often top up their frappé with water thus lightening it and extending their drinking time.

Greek Coffee

The most popular Greek drink is the Greek Coffee. Originally Turkish, Greek coffee is loved by all Greeks and is now the national drink. It is a thick beverage, made by boiling finely ground coffee beans, and is served thick and strong, and often sweetened. It is always unfiltered, with the coffee sediment at the bottom of the cup. It is not served with milk but is usually served with a glass of cold water to freshen the mouth to better taste the coffee.

Metaxa

Metaxa is a famous Greek brand of sweet brandy. It is a blend of brandy, spices, and wine, with wine not being present in some of the more expensive editions of the product to allow for a drier taste.

Metaxa comes in six major types: Three Stars, Five Stars, Seven Stars, Twelve Stars Grand Olympian Reserve, Twelve Stars and the Private Reserve. The number of stars represents the number of years the blend has aged in cask, thus the Seven star is the most aged and selected type. The main difference between the Three Stars and the Five Stars is that the latter is noticeably drier, making the alcohol more pronounced. The Seven Stars and the Twelve Stars are more flavoursome and complex. In Twelve Stars the taste of the barrel in which the brandy matured is very noticeable. 

Metaxa is traditionally served neat, on the rocks (ice cube), with tonic or mixed (usually with sours). It is also used as a basic ingredient in several cocktails such as Alexander or the "Greek Mojito".

Retsina

Retsina is the wine with the biggest name recognition in Greece. It has been something like the national beverage for Greeks since the 1960′s. Retsina is either white or rose wine with a strong, distinctive resin taste that can take some time getting used to. Traditionally, back in ancient times, the wine barrels were sealed with Aleppo Pine resin which gave its unique district flavor to the contents. Today the taste is artificially manufactured, and Retsina is an Athens region specialty. It should not be aged. The most well-known and cheap-n-dirty is "Kourtaki Retsina". Some people say Retsina has a flavor as sappy turpentine like, while others (mostly non-Greeks) say that Retsina is definitely an acquired taste.

Retsina should be served cold and is ideal as an accompaniment for all types of Greek cuisine. Like most Greek beverages, it is undeniably at its best when combined with Greek foods, especially the savory mezedes served as appetizers.