Sauternes is a wine type that is not very familiar to those who are not seriously into wines. Itâ€™s a shame though because Sauternes is one of the most enjoyable wines to indulge in. Itâ€™s a white wine that has a fruity bouquet and a strong natural sweetness. The sweetness it gets from the way the grapes â€“ usually Muscadelle, Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon varieties â€“ are handled. The grapes develop noble rot, which results in them shriveling somewhat, something that is akin to a grape turning into a raisin. These partially raisined grapes are what is used in making Sauternes. These grapes have a higher than usual sugar content, which results in the wine acquiring that distinctively sweet taste. [Read more…]
Archives for July 2012
If there is one country that can rival Thai street food in terms of popularity and taste, it’s Singapore. This neighboring country in the Southeast is known for Hawker stalls.
One of the most notable things about Singapore cuisine is the variety in it. Being the melting pot of 5 cultures means it’s also the convergence of 5 unique cuisines. Everywhere you look, you’ll find Malay, Thai, Indian, Chinese and Middle Eastern food. You’ll never have a problem satisfying your tastebuds.
Hawker stalls are small food stalls found in hawker centers everywhere in Singapore. For first-timer, don’t fret. With the stringent hygiene standards implemented in every food stall, you don’t have to worry that eating a plate of hawker food would put you down for the day.
Dining in hawker centers is very informal. There is central seating which is in a first come first served basis. But if the place is crowded, don’t hesitate to sit across from a stranger. Just ask politely and settle yourself down for a good meal.
Because there are so many hawker stalls and centers, prices are very affordable. With the high cost of living in Singapore, food is one thing you don’t have to splurge on. Singapore is known for its Hainanese chicken and this dish is best served in hawker stalls. Be adventurous and try any and all food that looks appealing. Don’t miss out on the great desserts as well. You’d be surprised at how many different tastes and experiences you’ll find in Singapore.
If you really want to get a taste of a country’s culture, it’s a must to try their local cuisine. And, it doesn’t get more local than a nation’s street food. Street food is cooked by the people for the people. Vendors aren’t trained chefs or culinary geniuses, but they know what the locals want and how a national dish is supposed to taste like.
Thailand is famous for its street food. Nearly all dishes that are associated with this country can be bought in sidewalks, from street vendors and are cooked right in front of you. Many tourists are afraid of getting food poisoning from eating street food. Don’t let this fear stop you from sampling these treats! Just be sure to bring your own water and watch out for suspicious seafood.
Pad Thai is a famous Thai noodle dish. It’s also a very common treat found in every street corner. It’s basically just fried noodles with shrimp and tofu, yet no self-respecting Thai restaurant would be without it on their menu. For the best Pad Thai, scour the streets of Bangkok and you’re surely going to come across 10 places to buy one. Don’t be hesitant to try the Som Tam, shredded papaya salad with a spicy twist. Khao kha moo, stewed pork leg on rice, is a simple and filling dish that can rival Pork Satay as a great dinner or lunch dish. For dessert, sample someÂ tua dum saku biak (black beans and tapioca balls) or the super sweet sakay chuem (breadfruit in syrup).
One other great thing about street food is that they are budget friendly! Not only do you get to immerse yourself in Thai culture, you can do so without burning a hole through your wallet. So enjoy and indulge in all that Thai street food has to offer.
Remember all the great things about being able to grow your own food? If not, head on over to Part One of my Guide to Growing Your Own Food posts. In this next installment, I’ll share with you guys some tips about choosing where and how to garden in an urban setting and as well as some how to’s when growing vegetables in either cold or tropic climates.
Cold Climate Gardening
If you live in cold climate, invest in a glass house to protect your plants from the frost. You can also use dark mulch to keep the soil warmer during winter. Hedges, stone walls and trellises are also great ways to shield your garden from cold wind. Here are some frost resistant veggies you can plant:
- French beans
- Spring Onions
- White Turnip
Tropical Climate Gardening
The best thing to do when gardening in a warmer climate, is to plant vegetables that like the rise in temperature. Plants that are common in the US won’t thrive when planted in a tropical setting. Here is a list of some vegetables you can switch to when faced with moving to a warmer climate.
- Asian Greens
- Bell Peppers
- Cassava (starchy tubers)
- Ceylon Spinach
- Eggplant (aubergine)
- Sweet Corn
- Water Chestnuts
You don’t really need that much space to have your own garden. For those who live in apartments, you don’t even need a patch of land. Vegetables are quite resilient and can grow comfortably in containers. As long as your plants can get enough sunlight, water and soil, then they are good to go.
1. Find a spot that gets 6-8 hours of sunlight a day.
2. Shallow-rooted vegetables need only about 8 inches of soil while deep-rooted ones need around 12 inches. Grab some terra cotta pots, wooden boxes or even window boxes are great for these.
3. Make sure containers have a drain and can support the plant as it grows. Use well-draining potting mix with a little fertilizer.
4. Do not choose translucent/transparent containers as the sun can easily dry out roots.