Spicy Blog

Erik's Food Blog - South Korea

Clearly Barbecue comes to mind. On my first visit to Seoul I committed one of those typical foreigner-faux-pas’ and then tried to cover it up (so typical). I did not have a lot of experience with Korean food before (eh, none). On our first night our local dealer took us out to a beautiful high-end Korean Barbecue restaurants. They brought out that small, round, cast iron grill with one huge piece of red hot charcoal in it (think a small round Weber, just solid, almost stone like). We were all sitting on low chairs around that superhot grill and the staff grilled these awesome pieces of Kalbi and Bulgogi (types of marinated beef ribs) right in front of us. It was so amazing that after they

Erik's Food Blog - South Africa

Shosholoza! One of my most favorite countries. In many aspects, South Africa has more than almost any other country. It has cities, it has beautiful mountains, it has beautiful oceans, it has great food, it has fascinating culture & history, it has wild animals, it has some of the warmest people I ever met, and it is struggling. My heart hurts and swells with pride at the same time whenever I think of South Africa. Shosholoza. I had the honor of visiting South Africa my second time in June of 1994. Search for what happened in a few weeks before in ‘94, listen to the inauguration speech, and watch Invictus. The reality is even more inspiring. Alright, back to food. Food is amazing in South

Erik's Food Blog - Greece

Greece is a great place to visit, ancient history is easily accessible and everywhere (super impressive and stunning ruins are lurking everywhere). Even though it has been a while, I still remember the spectacular sculptures at the National Museum in Athens. It is also difficult to understand the magic of natural theaters until you stand on the stage of one and whisper to the audience... A visit to Greece needs to include a visit to the islands (of course, the all time favorite Santorini), a tour of the strange monasteries in the North, a plunge into the beautiful waters, and a glimpse of interesting religious ceremonies. Given the contribution to Western civilization, philosophy, and drama

Erik's Food Blog - Bavaria, Germany

Before we talk about Bavarian food, we need to explain a bit more about Germany. From the outside, i.e the rest of the world, Germany and Germans seem very homogeneous which makes sense. However, once in Germany, there are vast regional differences. These differences are political, historic, religious, economical, geological, and even meteorological. We will return to these differences eventually. Bavaria, in the Southern part of Germany, is probably the main destination for tourist from all over the world. Bavaria is truly picturesque, the state capital Munich is beautiful, Cinderella’s castle is not too far from there, Heidi, the Sound of Music, and the Alps are all there. Lastly, Oktob

Erik's Food Blog - France

Ah, French cuisine. It’s a difficult choice since there are so many different regional cuisines. There are tons of foods I like. Oysters from the Bay of Biscay (especially from Arcachon) Cuisses de Grenouille (the legendary frog legs) in garlic sauce Foie gras Saucisson Sec (pepper salami) Steak Tartare with 2 quail eggs - if you ever want to dive deeply into this dish, read at your own peril (https://brasserieloustau.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/the-history-of-steak-tartare-a-knol-by-richard-wottrich.pdf) Croque Madame (decadent with a runny egg on top) Bouillabaisse Coq au vin (or ev en better lapin au vin) Steak et Frites, Blue Champagne Cognac Armagnac Chevre or Mousse au chocolat for de

Erik's Food Blog - Japan

My initial reaction to selecting my favorite Japanese seemed like a quick and easy decision. As it turns out, it is not and blog posts are supposed to be short. And there are so many excellent dishes in Japan. If you consider presentation, I believe no food anywhere in the world rivals Japanese food. So, over the years of traveling to Japan numerous times, here are my absolute top favorites: Nigiri Sushi - Amaebi (raw sweet shrimp sushi) and almost any other type of Sushi Aji Sashimi Miso Ramen with everything. If you are in Tokyo, try Hokuto (3 Chome-21-6 Shinbashi, Minato, Tokyo) Unagi (or even better, the rarer Anago) on rice Yakitori when sitting right across the grill and the senior

Erik's Food Blog - Sweden

I have fond memories of Swedish food. Great cold cuts, salmon, herring, and trout in a variety of ways and with a variety of sauces. Smoked or salted raw fish, especially gravlax (raw, cured salmon) by itself is fantastic. Adding sauces that are completely surprising make them amazing. And then there is lingonberry gelée (jam), an incredible condiment to any game meat (reindeer anyone?). I had game dishes as part of a smörgåsbord (table with lots of different dishes) and lingonberry gelée's sweetness really enhances the game. As kids, in Berlin, we grew up eating knäckebröd because it is so healthy (and extremely crispy which made it fun to break and eat). I remember learning to butter th

Erik's Food Blog - Turkey

That’s an easy one. Many Moons ago, I lived and worked in Bursa, one of the biggest cities of Western Turkey, for a summer thanks to an AIESEC traineeship. Bursa is halfway between Istanbul, one of the most fascinating cities in the world, and Izmir, the gateway to the Aegean Sea, one of the nicest parts of the Mediterranean. But more importantly, it has a ton of history. It is the birthplace of the Osman Empire, and equally important, the Iskendar Kebab (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%B0skender_kebap). Iskendar Kebab is thinly sliced, grilled lamb, tomato sauce, Turkish pita bread, and yoghurt, completed with exotic spices. It’s incredible, simply amazing. And they take it seriously

Erik's Food Blog - Spain

Geez, two favorite foods again. One does not require any cooking. It is Jamon Serrano or the even more amazing Jamon Iberico. Eat it once and never go back. Whenever I am in Spain, I eat it as an appetizer at every meal (well, at least at dinner). The second dish is Paella. I prefer Paella with Squid Ink (it turns the rice black, adds a subtle flavor, and you can rest assured that your guests probably never had it before). Cooking a great Paella is conceptually tricky since it requires a few ingredients that are a bit difficult to find in the US (besides squid ink), namely langoustines (if you have never seen one, here is the link to Wikipedia with photos - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki

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