Culinary Adventures in Barcelona

A long weekend in Barcelona to break out from the daily routine, stay offline as much as possible, discover this beautiful city and eat a lot of yummy Spanish food. That was the plan I made with my friend before our trip to Catalunya’s capital.

Being the foodie that I’m, I was really excited about Barcelona. I’ve been to Spain before (Andalusia) and I know how good the food is. I was really looking forward to trying out the Catalan cuisine.

I usually do the homework before any trip but since we wanted to simply relax in Barcelona, I didn’t particularly look up what to eat or where. Instead, I let the city offer us all its goodness.

Here’s what the city offered:

Colourful stalls of fruit & seafood in la Boqueria

La Boqueria is a public food market , it’s also one of Barcelona’s touristic landmarks.

Despite how crowded it was, our stroll in la Boqueria was fun.

Colourful fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, spices, seafood, meats, jamon, there was something for everyone.

In addition to fresh ingredients, there are also plenty of bars and restaurants offering tapas and seafood.

It was so busy  so we opted for a takeaway. I love seafood, I couldn’t resist the beautiful display of overpriced fried seafood mix and of course I had to eat octopus while in Barcelona so I also got pulpo Al Ajillo (sauteed octopus in garlic).

I totally ordered too much food but that’s what I do for my first meal everytime I’m visiting a new city. I’m yet to learn!

Was it the best food I’ve ever had?No. Was it the best food I had in Barcelona? Also no. But I still recommend a visit to la Boqueria and a taste of its food.

 

 

 

Panet

Right on La Rambla, there’s a small gelateria called Rocambolesc.

The Rocambolesc project starts from the willingness of Jordi Roca to recover the traditional dessert cart of El Celler de Can Roca which had disappeared from the restaurant’s room just when he took care of the sweet part of the menu.

El Celler de Can Roca is a 3 Michelan star restaurant voted best restaurant in the world few times. Fancy!

We didn’t know any of this about the cosy gelateria. It just cought our attention since it was next to our hotel and looked cute. Also they have these fun- shaped ice-creams.

As we were examining what Rocambolesc has to offer, we noticed people ordering this bread filled with ice-cream then put inside a maker similar to a waffles or panini maker.

We were intrigued and wanted to try this thing called Panet.

Panet was so popular, it took us 2 days and 3 attempts to finally be able to order it.

It was so worth it! Hot crunchy brioche then melting cold tasty ice-cream, yum! I’m not a big fun of ice-cream so really trust me when I say it’s sooo good.

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Crema Catalana

“What’s Crema Catalana exactly?” I asked the waiter.

“It’s like a crème brûlée but thinner.” Or maybe he said thicker. I can’t remember.

Crema Catalana is indeed very similar to crème brûlée and is a famous Catalan dessert.

If you like the French crème brûlée then you’ll like the crema Catalana.

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Pastissos

It was really hard not to notice all the amazing bakeries in Barcelona. After hours of wandering the city on foot, these bakeries  were the perfect spot for a coffee break and a cake or two.

You don’t even have to look for a Pastelaria, they are everywhere in La Rambla and Gothic Quarter.

Croissants are available all day long which I approve of along with lemon pies, creamy sweet cakes and meringues.

 

Tapas

I may have lied when I said I didn’t do any research before heading to Barcelona.

When I told a friend I was going, she shared with me an email she got from a Barcelonian friend containing all his favourite tapas bars.

Although we didn’t go to the suggested bars, we tried but some of them were too busy. I guess they’ve been recommended to long queues of tourists we found just like they were recommended to us. We ate in the same area, the Gothic quarter and we were very satisfied with the food quality. It was all yummy!

There are two ways to order tapas in these bars. You can have some of the small tapas on the bar, most of them are a piece of bread topped with jamon, fish or veg. You can also order bigger plates of tapas like Pedron peppers and Manchego cheese (which are a favourite of mine) from the menu.

 

 

If you’ve been to Barcelona and have more culinary experiences to share, please comment on this post.

Until the next culinary adventure!

Culinary Adventures in Morocco

Disclaimer: This is an old post from my old blog, it was written in November 2014. 

As I’m about to edit this post, I’m feeling all nostalgic and funny.

Nostalgic because I miss those days in Marrakesh and I want to go back to Morocco. I want to tour the country, visit Fez, wander essaouira and photograph Chefchaouen.

Funny because I can see how far I’ve come with my writing and photography skills. You can tell that I wasn’t a brilliant photographer back in 2014. I can confirm that I’m much better now 🙂

Morocco is an incredibly beautiful country and the people there are so friendly. Being from its neighbouring Tunisia, I felt just at home there.

One of the many reasons that made me fall in love with Morocco is Food.

Tea

For the tea lover that I am, being in Morocco was heaven. Just close your eyes and try to imagine the glasses filled with mint waiting to meet the green tea, I bet you can smell the freshness of that mint!

The tea there, like in the rest of the North African countries,  is part of the culture. It’s sweet and it’s everywhere. With every meal, with every conversation.

Even if it hits you as very sweet in the beginning, I’d highly recommend that you embrace its sweetness and indulge yourself in this sweet pleasure while you are there.

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Tagine

Another famous not-to-miss dish in Morocco is Tagine.  Make sure you try one or two during your visit.

Tagine is a historically Berber dish from North Africa that is named after the type of earthenware pot in which it is cooked.

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This stew of meat or fish, vegetables, spices and mixed sometimes with lemon, apricots or olives etc. is definitely a Moroccan pride. It is everywhere, in every restaurant and every food stall. The conical topped dish in which it is cooked makes it even more special.

I’ve had few Tagines in my life and I like cooking them but the most special one (showed in the picture below) is a chicken and olives Tagine that I had on the side of a river before our hike in the Atlas mountains 🙂

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Food stalls in Marrakesh

When in Marrakech, one must try the food from the many stalls in Jemaa El Fna. It is like a festival every night, a festival of food-stalls competing to attract tourists. Some of them would even make up a whole show of singing and clapping just to win you over another stall.

Although they may be very insisting sometimes , the whole experience is amazing. And the way it works, you end up sitting in this long table next to strangers and you end up having conversations with visitors from all over the world!

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Harira

Harira is a traditional soup in both Morocco and Algeria. It’s so yummy!

 

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Pastilla

One last dish I would like to finish this post with, is the Pastilla. Also known as Bestila, this Andalus chicken pie will surprise you. Who would imagine eating chicken inside filo pastry  with sugar and cinnamon? LOL

This combination of sweet and savory flavours is surprisingly delicious.

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Food is a great deal in Moroccan culture, nothing like a tour in Jemaa El Fna at night to notice that.

It is delicious,  full of flavours and definitely one my favourite.

 

Culinary Adventures in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the first ever far east Asian country I’ve visited. I’ve never been to that part of the world before.

I’ve said it over and over in in this space, when I travel, I like to embrace the local culture and eat locally.

Sri Lanka definitely treated me to some good food : Fresh fruit, amazing curries, yummy rottis and the best ginger biscuits I ever had.

Tea

Chances are if you’re visiting Sri Lanka, you are going to visit Hill Country, the land of tea plantations and scenic views.

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Glenloch, one of the many tea plantations in Hill Country

In the tea factories, you get to witness the process of making tea then you’ll be treated to a tasting to try the different flavours( Black, green, white, etc.) .

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Tea tasting

Fresh fruit

If you like fruit then you are in for a treat in Sri Lanka. You’ll probably try some fruit you never had or even heard about before.

This may be surprising for some of you, it definitely was for me but Jackfruit is often cooked in curries. The Jackfruit curry tastes amazing, the fruit has almost a meaty texture.

Fresh papaya, pineapples and bananas are often served for breakfast.

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There are plenty of stalls on the side of the road selling fresh fruit, especially coconut. We stopped to get some red bananas as I never had them before. I remember the gaze of the toddler looking at this stranger buying bananas from his mum 🙂 
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Red Banans
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This photo was taken in my last evening in Sri Lanka. It was pouring rain, I sat in the terrace of the guesthouse drinking coconut & reading a book

 

Coconut pancakes-Pani Pol

This is a favourite of mine.

Technically they are crepes stuffed with sweet coconut filling. To be honest, it doesn’t matter if they’re pancakes or crepes, they are still delicious. I actually want some right now!

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I had these every single morning for breakfast

 

Kottu Rotti

This is the local Sri Lankan street food ladies & Gents.

It’s shopped Rotti bread mixed with vegetables, egg and meat.

Make sure to watch them making your Rotti but be aware chopping all the ingredients is noisy.

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Kottu Rotti in Kandy 
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My Rotti being chopped 😉 

 

Curries

Expect to eat curries for breakfast, lunch and dinner .

Not that I’m complaining, it was amazing.

Typically, you’d be served rice, a main dish of meat of fish and 6 other curries of vegetables and fruit ( remember that Jackfruit curry I was talking about).

If you do visit Sigiriya and you should, make sure to visit Gamagedara Village food.

It’s a small family run restaurant that serves an amazing selection of curries. There’s no menu really, it’s more like a buffet where you help yourself to food.

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I call this : a lunch with a view

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Breakfasts

Breakfasts are typically fresh fruit, coconut pancakes, hoppers and a selection of curries and dhaal.

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Did I like the food in Sri Lanka ? Oh yeah.

Also, don’t be intimidated by the spices, the food is fairly spicy but not unbearably hot.

 

Culinary Adventures in Stockholm

If you’re following me on Instagram or if you’re a real life friend then you already know that I’m a foodie.

I like cooking, experimenting with different things in my kitchen and obviously go on culinary adventures locally or wherever I’m travelling.

I’m a strong believer that cuisine is a great way to get to know a Nation and its culture. It’s an important part of the whole travel experience for me.

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Culinary Adventures In Georgia

If I have one advice to give you prior to your trip to Georgia (the country not the state ) that would be : EAT ALL THINGS PURI.

Puri პური is Georgian bread and there are few varieties of it for you to try.

The first one I tried was the ADJARULI KHACHAPURI which is a cheese-filled bread topped with a raw egg and some butter (Don’t look at me like this, I did not invent it). You need to mix the egg and butter with the cheese to finish cooking it and then use the crust to eat the mixture.

As much as enjoyed that, I couldn’t finish it. It was a bit too much for me.

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I also tried KHACHAPURI few times which is the above bread minus the egg, it’s a cheese-filled soft bread.

Apparently Georgians prefer it to pizza and I kinda agree.

BTW, the cheese used to make all this heavenly yummy puri is called sulguni.

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As if this wasn’t enough bread, they also have puri filled with beans, it is called Lobiani. Lobiani comes from the Georgian word Lobio which mean beans. Funny enough, in my native dialect, that is Tunisian, we call beans “Lobia”. Not sure how we got almost the exact same word  as the Georgian one, maybe the Ottomans introduced it to both countries?

Talking about beans, Lobio is also another tasty dish to try while in Georgia. You may be used to have beans part of your breakfast but in Georgia, it’s served as a savoury main meal and it’s very tasty.

Another thing to definitely try is Khinkali. Khinkali is Georgian dumpling that comes with a variety of fillings. You can have the classic mince meat filled Khinkali or cheese, potatoes or mushroom ones.

My absolute favourite dish, and this is because I didn’t expect it to be that good, was Badrijani Nigvzit – ბადრიჯანი ნიგვზით (Eggplant Walnut Rolls) which is fried eggplant forming a roll pocket and filled with a delicious creamy filling made of walnuts, garlic and spices.

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Not sure if having this dish on top of a hill looking at the beautiful city of Signagi and the caucasus mountains made it more delicious than how it really is ( sorry couldn’t stop myself from bragging).

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Overall, the Georgian cuisine is really yummy. Even though I was eating in touristic areas, the food was authentic and delicious.

 

Culinary Adventures in my Kitchen

One of my favourite quick street food-style dishes is chicken wings. Yummy!

Sticky, spicy , sweet…There are few ways to make chicken wings but they all lead to dirty hands and pure moment of happiness.

Today, I’m sharing with you this super easy recipe for some delicious chicken wings with a taste of Middle East 😉

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Culinary Adventures In The Homeland

For someone who blogs (at least,try to!) about food and travel, I must love food and the story it tells about the place it comes from. Right?

Right.

When it comes to my homeland food, it doesn’t only tell any story, it tells my own story.

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