Food in Italy – Dolly Travels

Author: , March 23rd, 2018

Food in Italy

Good morning, all,

As you know, if Italy is not on my mind, food is. When I have the opportunity to enjoy both Italy and the food of Italy, I am in Nirvana. Fortunately, whenever I go to Italy, I have been able to find apartments with a kitchen, no matter how small, and I can cook sometimes. When I am not cooking, I am always on the lookout for restaurants that serve specialties of the area.

This was the beginning of one meal in Rome on my last visit. Notice the stove with its 2 burners, a small sink and countertop, but that was sufficient space for me to make our dinner of tortellini soup and Caprese salad. Notice that I was able to buy the soup vegetables in a package. I love that I can just pick up one package and have carrots, celery, onions and parsley without buying a lot of either vegetable.

Each area of Italy has its own food specialty, according to what grows well in the area, for Italians use foods that are locally grown and not difficult to find.

Risotto, for instance, is a dish that originated in the Lombardia area, for the weather up in that northern part of Italy is cooler, and rice is one of the principal foods grown in that region.

Further south of Lombardia is the Emilia-Romagna region, where Bologna is a major city. It was in that city that the Bolognese sauce was born, as beef and pork are both raised in this area. The traditional meats used in the Bolognese sauce are veal, pork and beef, simmered with garlic, tomatoes and herbs for hours. This sauce is used for lasagne and spaghetti. The trattorie of Bologna specialize in dishes prepared with this sauce.

Corn is another crop grown in this area of Emilia-Romagna, so polenta is another dish you will find on the menu of the area.

Up in the most eastern part of the country is Venice, situated on the Adriatic Sea; therefore, the specialties of Venice are seafood delicacies. My favorite dish from that area is baked sea bass, although many varieties of seafood are available, as one trip to the fish market near the Rialto bridge will tell you.

On the other side of the country, on the Ligurian Sea, is Genoa, home of pesto, and the Cinque Terre, the 5 villages along the rugged coast, where fishing is a major commerce.

Going south and more westward, is Florence, almost in the midway point between east and west, with no seacoast. The most famous dish of Florence is the Bistecca Alla Fiorentina, a porterhouse steak from the Chianina beef that are only raised in Tuscany. These animals are huge!! I went to a festival once that featured the bistecca. The butchers marched into the Piazza Republicca, led by a band and accompanied by lovely ladies in Renaissance costumes. The butchers brought in sides of that Chianina beef and laid them on a big work table and started slicing off steaks. These steaks are cut about 2 inches thick and each steak weighs about 1 kilo (2.2 pounds). The steaks are brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, then thrown onto a grill, they are cooked 5 to 6 minutes on one side, turned over and cooked 5 to 6 minutes on the other. Some chefs brush balsamic vinegar onto the steak after it is cooked, but I have not found if that is the normal way of doing things. It does no good to ask for your steak to be cooked medium or medium well; If you do not like your steak rare and bleeding, don’t order Bistecca alla fiorentina. The beef, though, is very tender and very tasty.

There are numerous farms as well as vineyards in the Tuscany region. Chianti is the most famous of the wines of that area, but farm crops, such as spinach also abound. If you see a dish on the menu that has the word “Florentine” or “Fiorentina” in its title, it probably has spinach in it. One of the dishes I had one of my tour groups make while we stayed in Florence, was Gnocchi alla Fiorentina….little pillows of potato and flour dough, with eggs and spinach incorporated into them. Those little fluffy pillows are cooked in simmering water, drained and served with almost any type of pasta sauce, but they really show off their tastiness with just some browned butter over them and Parmesan cheese.

As you travel further south in Italy, there are numerous hill towns. Wild game is plentiful in the hills and valleys of these areas, so foods made with the wild boar, cinghale, are prominent on the menu.

Rome claims to be the birthplace of pasta all carbonara, where freshly cooked pasta is tossed with egg, bacon and cheese. Pasta Arrabiata is another pasta dish that supposedly originated in Rome. Rome also promotes pasta l’amatriciana as theirs, although that dish actually came from the village of Amatrice, up in the hills east of Rome. That village was nearly destroyed by earthquakes a few years ago. Restaurants all over Italy held fund-raisers for that city by featuring pasta l’amatriciana on their menus, with proceeds from sale of that dish going to earthquake relief of the village.

One word of caution, though, when in Rome, do NOT try to order any pasta with Alfredo sauce. You will be met with cold stares, unfriendly words, for no one in Italy considers Alfredo sauce to be truly Italian. Yes, it was developed by a chef in Rome for a famous Hollywood couple, but it was his invention and not a traditional Italian sauce.

Further south of Rome is Naples, the birthplace of pizza. Traveling even further south we come to Sorrento, known for its lemons (limoncello) and seafood. I look forward to going to Sorrento, to the Ristorante Delfino on the Marina Grande, and enjoying spaghetti with clams, my favorite Italian dish anywhere, but especially when prepared at that ristorante.

No matter what you eat or in what area of Italy you are, there is always time and a place for gelato. And no matter how old you are, you must have a gelato.

So until next time, I hope you have enjoyed a little food tour of Italy.

Ciao for now,
Dolly

Panamanian Food You Need to Try

Author: , February 9th, 2018

Panamanian Food - The Nomadic Boys

The Panamanian Cuisine has strong influences from Africa, Spain and its indigenous Native American population. There is a lot of similarity and overlap with some of our favourite famous foods of Colombia as well as several unique dishes we had never heard of before.

These are our 5 favourite Panamanian dishes we tried and loved during our big Latin American trip.

Sancocho de gallina Panameño: the national dish

Sancocho is a delicious, light chicken soup with potatoes, corn on the cob, culantro herb, yuca and plantains. Other ingredients often used include corn on the cob (mazorca), ñampi (a tropical root vegetable), hot sauce, chopped onions, garlic and oregano.

The traditional recipe of sancocho is from the Azuero region, but other regions have their own variations. For example, in the town of La Chorrera, it is referred to as ancocho chorrerano and is only made with free range chicken, onions, garlic, chili peppers, oregano and ñame. Whereas in the Chiriquí Province, it is called sancocho chiricano and it is made with squash, giving it a yellowish colour.

Due to the varied ingredients used to make a sancocho, it is often used as a metaphor for Panama’s racial diversity, showing that each different ingredient has just an important and equal role to play in the preparation of this very yummy dish. As such it is considered the national dish of Panama.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Panama Gay Travel Resources

Eating Out: Sweden

Author: , January 29th, 2018

Eating Out - Sweden

Some may think that Sweden goes into hibernation once the dark months hit, temperatures plummet below zero and crisp white snow blankets everything with absolute abandon.
They couldn’t be more wrong, Swedes like to eat and drink all year round, regardless of weather and as a result, there’s a long, awesome food culture that every LGBTI foodie must try. So we asked the globetrotting gourmets with a love of Sweden, the GastroGays about their favorite foodie experiences. This is what they had to say…

Dinner on Ice in Brändö, Swedish Lapland

‘Swedish Lapland is a true winter wonderland with incredible food experiences to be had in the colder months.

‘In Brändö, you can dine between the stars and sea, by eating on the ice itself. Dinner on Ice is just 30 minutes outside Luleå at Brändö Kvarnväg. Beneath a starry sky and above the water itself, leave the shore surrounded by darkness and walk towards the glow and warmth of fire and enticing smell of food.

‘The lávvu tent sent up on the ice offers a truly unique experience for all the senses that seems all kinds of wrong in theory but in practice works on every level.’

Full Story at Gay Star News

Sweden Gay Travel Resources

A Crash Course in Spanish Paella – Tango Diva

Author: , January 11th, 2018

paella - Pixabay

They say the secret to getting to know a culture is born through a passion for its food. Spain is no exception. Paella, the country’s most well-known and celebrated dish, is a reflection of the richness and diversity of the country that created it. The bright, inviting colors and layers of intense flavor the dish is known for tell a story. They take you on a journey to a land that is steeped in tradition, history and a love for community. Whether you are planning to make your very first paella or you consider yourself a seasoned paella pro, here is some information you may find helpful on your road to paella perfection.

It is said that the Moors brought rice from northern Africa to Spain in the 10th century. And, it is agreed, what we know today as paella originated in the 18th century in Spain’s third largest city, Valencia. Like many of the world’s best recipes, it is a beautiful melding of cultures that has led to Spain’s most popular dish, now happily eaten in every corner of the globe.

You may not know that the word paella actually refers to the name of the pan used to cook the hearty rice dish. Traditionally prepared in a large metal pan with a dimpled surface, these days, cooks can opt for a dimpled or flat-bottomed pan, depending on personal preference.

By Allison Neves – Full Story at Tango Diva

Spain Gay Travel Resources

Eating Out: Montreal – Passport Magazine

Author: , December 28th, 2017

Republique Restaurant - Montreal

Montréal has long offered delights to fans of gastronomy, but there’s a major difference between the culinary scene of today and even just a decade back. Whereas Montréal used to be chock-a-block with amazing, homey French-style bistros and holes in the wall, today’s Québecois chefs have truly embraced the region’s indigenous farm-to-table bounty and flavors, and married them with contemporary technique and innovation.

A substantial melting-pot population (including Latino and Vietnamese) has also spawned an impressive international variety of cuisines and ethnic specialties from Peruvian Nikkei fusion at Tiradito to authentic Salvadorian pupusas(a sort of corn tortilla pouch stuffed with savory fillings) at neighborhood fave, Los Planes.

The excellent “Beyond the Market” walking tour from gay-owned, decidedly nontouristy Spade & Palacio Tours (Tel: 1-514806-3263. www.spadeandpalacio.com), features a pupusa tasting stop at Los Planes, bites from other venues including Montréal’s famed Jean Talon Market, where vendor Fromage Fermier’s local goat cheese and Havre-aux-Galce’s seasonal ice cream and sorbets alone are worth a visit. The tour concludes with a picnic lunch and takeaway “cheat sheet” with a map of their favorite restaurants and cafés.

Of course, here we have a Montréal “cheat sheet” of our own, which runs the gamut from a game-changing restaurant that has since launched Montréal’s biggest new generation of kitchen talents to a lesbian-owned craft beer pub to a new, buzzy Japanese-fusion bistro. Bonus: those with a penchant for international fine dining can find Canada’s first L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, from French superstar chef Joel Robuchon, at Casino Montréal.

Brasserie Harricana

Montréal’s craft-beer scene easily warrants its own feature article: there are some 35plus-brew pubs within the city at present, and around 150 microbreweries throughout the Québec region. A lesbian-owned, threeyear-old brasserie and microbrewer, straddling the Mile Ex and Little Italy neighborhoods, Brasserie Harricana represents a fabulous spot to give some of these brews, ciders, liquors, and even local kombucha a whirl. As indicated on the drinks menu, some draughts are served at specific temperatures, with alcohol content indicated.

The Brasserie’s space is lovely, and be sure to crane your neck and glance upward at the ceiling’s enlarged images of women’s body parts, which are partially obscured by wooden panels resembling window shutters. I created my own flight with tastes of several Harricana brews, including a sourapricot wheat beer, a Berliner Weisse infused with coffee from artisanal local roasters Dispatch, and a raspberry milk stout, plus lip-smacking ice cider from rural Québec’s Cidrerie Milton. The food menu, meanwhile, encompasses gastropub fare: deviled eggs, ale-braised lamb shank, beerroasted chicken, and generous veggie options. Weekend brunch sees crêpés, stuffed French toast, a bacon and egg brekkie sandwich with potato latkes, and decadent ribeye eggs Benedict. 95 rue Jean Talon West. Tel: 514-303-3039.

By Lawrence Ferber – Full Story at Passport Magazine

Quebec Gay Travel Resources

Eating Out San Francisco – Lesbian Travel Edition

Author: , November 30th, 2017

San Francisco

Long ago, in another era and career that involved cubicles and quarterly reports, a colleague sat his khaki-clad butt on my linoleum desk and asked me the question that would ultimately lead me straight out the front door.

“What would you do, professionally, if you could do anything?”

The answer came immediately. “I’d write.”

Working beside me day after day, he’d witnessed the frowning and temple rubbing–my career frustration hadn’t escaped him.

At my response, he stood up and put a hand on my shoulder.

“Do it,” he said. “Go find what you love and fill up on it.”

Twenty years later, not a day goes by that I don’t sit down to a blank page and feel grateful for that conversation. Today, I write for a living and have been blessed with bylines in some of the best publications in the world. It never gets old–especially when the subject matter combines three things I love to muse over—people, places, and food.

When the opportunity to pen Unique Eats & Eateries of San Francisco came along, it was impossible to say no. San Francisco is that place, for me, where food and memory are inextricably linked.

By Kimberley Lovato – Full Story at Tango Diva

San Francisco Gay Travel Resources

Out of Office Boys: Provincetown, Mass.

Author: , September 20th, 2017

When you travel, you know instantly if you want to go back. When my partner and I arrived in Provincetown, Massachusetts, we knew for sure we’d be back.

Provincetown is located at the end of Cape Cod in Mass.

More affectionately called P-town, the coastal city sits on the north end of Cape Cod and is easily accessed by what I hear is a beautiful drive through the Cape, by air, or as we did take the 90-minute ferry ride from Boston to P-Town. I can recommend the ferry option. It’s nice and relaxing, and adult beverages are available on board.

Since moving to Washington, D.C., I have always heard stories of P-town. Everyone talked highly of the fishermen’s village-turned-gay destination, but it’s hard to describe until you arrive.

When you set foot off the ferry, you know you are somewhere different. People are welcoming. The main street following the bay is busy. And you’ll even see people in their speedos and have to take a double take.

A few tips:

  • Bring shorts and flip-flops for summer. Outside of summer, review the forecast to plan out your fashion options.Check out the calendar of events and see what’s happening in town. Each weekend during the summer months has a theme. So dress and pack accordingly.
  • Go to Tea Dance at the Boatslip Beach Club. It’s where people congregate in the afternoons before heading to dinner or out for round two of libations.
  • Rent a bike and explore Cape Code National Sea Shore. It’s also the surest way to get to the beach. More on that coming!
  • Run in the morning along Commercial Street and enjoy the sites and sounds of P-town. Hit it early though. The streets get busy by 11 a.m.
  • Take an excursion. Kind of cloudy? Go whale watching!
  • Check out all of the wonderful LGBT accommodations recommended on Purple Roofs. We stayed at the Tucker Inn and loved it. The homemade breakfast pastries are a must.

A few things to avoid:

  • Do not come to P-town and be in a hurry. You are on vacation so get in the mood. In fact, stop by one of the many street side bars and drink your cosmo.
  • Do not just stay at the pool. Trek out to the Herring Cove Beach in the Cape Code National Seashore. Yes, it is a hike, a hike through the marshes on low tide and water in high tide but it will be worth it. Think of it as a gay pilgrimage. Bring your food and drinks with you because there is no cabana man here.
  • Do not miss all of the wonderful local shops and restaurant along Commercial Street. I like to leave a place thinking I helped stimulate the economy during my visit.

Whether you are looking for a laid-back beach vacation or one with some excitement, P-town has something for everyone. I am already planning an out of office return to P-town!

Out of Office Boys live in Washington, D.C. and their passions are good food and wine. Mick writes; Justin edits. Follow Mick on Instagram @mbullock80. 

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Gay Providence, Rhode Island – Gay Star News

Author: , September 9th, 2017

PVDonuts - Gay Providence

When I told UK friends I was heading off to gay Providence, the reaction was the same.

‘Oh,’ followed by the look people inadvertently display when they search their mind for any knowledge of a destination and come up blank. ‘Er… nice.’

‘Is it for Bear Week?’ asked a couple of pals.

‘Um, no. That’s Provincetown. This is Providence, Rhode Island.’

In short, for many in the UK, Providence has a branding problem. Until now, visitors to this corner of New England were more likely to travel to Boston (an hour north-east by train), or Provincetown (a 90-minute ferry ride from Boston or 2.5 hour drive from Providence).

I say ‘until now’ because that is set to change. In June, Norwegian airlines began the first, direct services to Providence from the United Kingdom. It operates flights from Scotland and Ireland.

By David Hudson – Full Story at Gay Star News

Gay Providence, Rhode Island Travel Resources

Richmond for Foodies – Passport Magazine

Author: , September 8th, 2017

Richmond for Foodies

The camera eats first!” insisted the alpha-teen at the table next to me when a waitress arrived and lifted the lid from a bamboo basket of steaming shrimp dumplings, confettied with fragrant green snippets of chive.

Forty fiercely painted fingernails reluctantly reversed direction and withdrew as their queen bee moved her iPhone to catch just the right angle, sliding water glasses and cutlery out of view to frame the impend- ing tastiness just-so. “Come on,” com- plained one of her gaggle, “I’m hungry!”

Richmond, British Columbia, on Lulu Island, is the only place in the world where the visitors’ bureau has officially adapted “The camera eats first” as a tourism slogan, urging locals and out-of-towners alike to flood blogs and social media with mouthwatering imagery.

Success was pretty much guaranteed from the get-go. With the largest Asian population in North America and over 800 restaurants, Richmond provides easy access to a world of alluring, sometimes unfamiliar foods for American travelers without the time, budget, or adventurous- ness to manage trans-pacific travel.

Many gay travelers have been to Richmond without even knowing it. If you’ve ever flown into Vancouver, one of Canada’s most popular LGBT destinations, you actually landed in Richmond, where the “Vancouver” International Airport is located. Just a 30-minute car or public train ride from central Vancouver, its a must-do on any Vancity vacation. And if you’re a culinary adventurer, Richmond easily merits a dedicated long weekend trip of its own. Richmond is ready for its close-up, Mr. Delicious.

By Jim Gladstone – Full Story at Passport

Greater Vancouver Gay Travel Resources

Ten Famous Foods in Chile – Nomadic Boys

Author: , September 6th, 2017

Foods in Chile

In Chile you have to try the seafood!

This was one of the many foodie tips we were given before visiting this incredibly long country. With a coastline measuring 4,270km (2,653m), you can expect to find some of the best and varied sea food.

Of course, there’s a lot more to discover, such as different types of pies, stews and Chilean Pisco. This is our 10 favourite and traditional famous foods in Chile you need to try, based on our experience travelling from San Pedro in the North all the way to Patagonia in the breezy south.

Foods of Chile - HUMITAS: Chilean tamales#1 HUMITAS: Chilean tamales

Humitas are a popular Andean street food snack eaten all over the country. They consist of fresh corn mashed together with onion, basil, and butter. It is then wrapped in corn husks and baked, held together during cooking with a thread or twine.

On our morning market day visits to buy fruits and vegetables, we’d often see a man with a large tub selling freshly made humitas for 900 Chilean pesos ($1.4/£1) each. They make for a tasty and filling morning snack. They are quite similar to tamales, but do not contain any type of dough.

Foods of Chile - MACHAS A LA PARMESANA#2 MACHAS A LA PARMESANA

This is one of many famous Chilean seafood inspired foods. Machas a la parmesana are razor clams baked in their shell, mixed with cheese, wine and more, depending on the recipe. They’re incredibly easy to make: try out our machas a la parmesana recipe and impress your friends.

It was created in the 1950s in Viña del Mar by Italian immigrant, Edoardo Melotti Ferrari, who took his inspiration from French gratin style dishes. He tried it with razor clams, which was so successful, the dish was born.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Chile Gay Travel Resources