alpaca crepe

Glutton in Peru: Alpaca meat

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we’re feasting on fluffy alpacas. I promise they look less cute in meat form.

Have you seen alpacas? You’ve probably seen their photos since I featured many of them on my Facebook Page.  They are so cute and fuzzy wuzzy but kind of stinky. [While you’re there, please “Like” my Page. Mucho gracias.]

While in Peru, I had the chance to eat some alpacas.

Hey, I don’t see you complaining when you eat mutton so don’t complain about me eating something this adorable:

"I'm so cute. How could you eat me?!"

“I’m so cute. How could you eat me?!”

Continue reading

glutton in chile fast food

Glutton in Chile: Chilean fast food

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we’re still in Chile and we’re checking out fast food.

Last week I showed some of the highlights of food in Chile that I ate. In the next few editions of FoodFriday, I’ll bring you different sorts of Chilean food–the fast ones.

I try to avoid international fast food chains when I travel because they probably taste the same as back home. While in Chile, I avoided international fast food chains and visited local ones instead.

Check out the rest of the post…!

argentinian sweets

Glutton in Argentina: Snacks and desserts

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today, we are still in Argentina and we’re looking at tasty snacks and desserts.

[Updated on Nov 17 with Dulce de leche. Scroll down to see more!]

Last week, I brought you to Argentina for some meaty main dishes. Today, we’re treating our salty and sweet tooth to some snacks and desserts.

Empanada

First up on the list is a savory snack. Previously I had a whole post focused on empanadas. These South American version of curry puffs are much more satisfying because they are mostly filled with chunks of meat. MEAT!
Check out the rest of the post…!

glutton in argentina main meals

Glutton in Argentina: Main meals

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

We’re heading to Argentina today for some main meals.

Since I was in Argentina for about 3 weeks, I had too much food to stuff into one post. So I decided to split my Glutton in Argentina post into two: main meals + snacks and desserts.

Argentine steak

Tasty beef is probably the first thing people think of when you mention Argentinian dishes. While I had been busy cooking my own steak in the hostel, I went to a few restaurants to splurge a bit.

Check out the rest of the post…!

Greek gyro

Glutton in Greece

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday. The day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we’re going to heading to Greece for some happy glutton time.

 

Before I went to Greece, I had no idea what the people ate. I know from the myths that the gods eat ambrosia and nectar but I was pretty much clueless about what the mortals ate.

I imagine they ate a lot of olives since Athena gave the Athenians the olive tree. Is Greek yogurt really greek or is it just a marketing label?

I do like yogurt but I’ve never a fan of olives. It’s just too salty and tiny to be satisfying.

Fortunately when I reached Athens, I found out that Greek food wasn’t all about olives. I even had meals that were so good that I was willing to stay and eat that for the rest of my life.

Pita gyro

Pita gyro

Pita gyro

After I took a bite of my first pita gyro (pork), I knew I could stay in Athens forever and not get bored with the food.

A gyros is a bit like shawarma in Dubai but there is a choice of pork. For the people living in Malaysia and Singapore, a pork pita gyro is  a bit like eating Chinese roasted pork wrapped in a roti canai/prata.

The first place I had a gyro was at one of the shops opposite the central market. The dish came hot. Pita wrapped the roasted meat, french fries and salad so snuggly that I didn’t mind I was eating raw vegetable.

Frappé

Greek Frappé

Greek Frappé

I love drinking coffee. When I found out that it was a Greek who invented frappé, I knew what my default drink in Greek would be.

The Greek frappé is unlike anything I’ve ever drank. The coffee powder, milk powder and syrup are all whisked by a machine with water added in later.

A thick firm foam appears at the top and would not dissolve even after a very long while. If you taste the foam, it is sour but the drink itself is sweet.

What usually happens is that I finish all the liquid and have remaining foam and ice cubes. I wait for these to dissolve or melt before I sip on the sour remains.

[A side note, if I have to drink either only coffee or only tea for the rest of my life, I would choose tea because it is comforting and makes me less jittery than coffee.]

Traditional breakfast

Greek breakfast

Greek breakfast

Can you believe it? I only had one traditional Greek breakfast. I didn’t pay 5 euro extra for breakfast in Athens and I could only have one meal at my hotel on Mykonos because my ferry was leaving way earlier than breakfast time. :(

Greek yogurt with honey

Greek yogurt with honey

Greek salad and feta cheese

Greek salad and feta cheese

Greek salad and feta cheese

I hate eating raw vegetable. When I saw the salad that came to me, I almost pushed it away. Then I spotted a white chunk of something that looked curiously like tofu.

I nibbled on it and found out that it was salty and tasty. Using that unknown white block, I covered the taste of raw vegetable and finished all my bowl. Thank goodness a Greek salad didn’t have a lot of raw greens.

Later I read that the tofu-like food was feta cheese. Clever old me went to Carrefour and bought a pack of feta cheese.

Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that feta cheese on its own is too salty to be consumed as a main meal.

Souvlaki

Greek souvlaki

Greek souvlaki

The Greek version of satay has a lot more meat on a thicker stick but is also more expensive than a regular stick of satay.

Compared with gyro, I didn’t eat that many souvlaki when in Greece. I like it but it’s not as satisfying as roasted pork. Yum yum.

Moussaka

Greek Moussaka

Greek Moussaka

When I had the moussaka, I thought it was like lasagna but parts of the pasta replaced by eggplant.

The large rectangle contained layers of eggplant, minced meat, cheese and pasta. it was as rich as a lasagna that by the time there was only 3 bites left, I had to stuff the rest into my mouth reluctantly.

Greek pies and pastries

At the little cafes, there was always loads of pastries on display. I usually randomly choose any one of them and nod as if I knew what they were.

Greek pastries on display

Greek pastries on display

Spinach pie

Spinach pie

I’ve never really been a savory pastry person so all the pies just tasted normal to me.

Sugared orange

Sugared orange

Sugared orange

At one of the cafes, they served a sugared orange slice. It was delicious! The tangy and bitter orange peel mixes well with the sugar coating.

Coca Cola in Greek

Coca Cola in Greek

Coca Cola in Greek

Even though I want to drink something local with my meal, I always ended up with a Coca Cola because it was the easiest thing to choose.

Open air restaurant

Glutton in Egypt

Glutton in Egypt

Glutton in Egypt

I spent 2 days in Egypt with a tour group, visiting Giza and Cairo. Unlike Chinese tour groups, we were brought to local restaurants for our lunches (dinner was not included in the package).

I fell in love with Egyptian food when I took the first bite of a well seasoned barbeque meat at our first restaurant.

BBQ meat with bread and rice

BBQ meat with bread and rice

Egyptian bread is fluffy and has an empty air pocket in the middle. I love tearing off bits of bread and stuff them in my mouth. Mmmm.

Bread, beans, potato and beetroot

At one of the stops, we had vine leaves with something inside. I couldn’t remember what it was, it could have been meat but it might have been something else.

i also ate falafel for the first time in Eypt (yep, I didn’t have any in Paris or Dubai). It was nice but I do prefer my balls of food to contain meat.

Falafel and vine leaves

The honeydew that we were served at lunch was pure sugar.

Honeydew

Honeydew

The roast chicken that we had was delicious. Even though I was stuffed with bread and falafel, I tore through the well-seasoned poultry and gobbled its tender meat. (I’m very hungry just remembering it.)

Roast chicken in Egypt

Roast chicken in Egypt

Hibiscus tea

I first heard about this exotic drink on a Jamie Oliver cooking show. He was preparing a meal in under 20 minutes or so and whipped up a batch of bright red hibiscus tea from tea bags.

I bought a box of hibiscus tea when I found it on the shelves of an Egyptian Carrefour. The drink I made was really sour and I didn’t have that great of an impression.

Hibiscus tea

Hibiscus tea

When I was on the tour, I found out that hibiscus tea is served cold and sweetened. I love this formula.

The taste is a mix of sweet and sour. I overheard someone describe it as “cranberry juice” so you can imagine what it tastes like.

Other interesting observations

open air restaurant

The two of the restaurants that we went to were open air. Even though this made the location even more exotic, it’s kind of crazy sitting in the hot open air under the desert sun.

While meals were included in our package, we had to paid extra for drinks. (This was the same in Jordan.)

Bread ladies

Bread ladies

The two places that we went to had a section where ladies made bread. It was quite fun to watch them pound dough and bake bread but it felt more like a zoo which made me uncomfortable.

Coca Cola in Arabic

Coca Cola in Arabic

Not actually something very interesting but here’s a can of Coke in Arabic.

What is your favorite Egyptian food? Share them in the comments below!

You might have missed:

Glutton in Italy
Glutton eats with Florence Food Tour
Glutton on a cruise

Italian coffee and pastry (cornetto)

Glutton in Italy

[Every Friday is Food Friday here at YQ travelling. Let’s feast.]

Last week, we had a taste of food in Florence in the Glutton eats with Florence Food Tour.

Today, I want to show you the other food I ate while in Italy. Before I went to Italy, the only Italian food I know of was pasta, pizza and Italian-named coffees. I never ate much gelato back home because it’s always more expensive than ice creams.

Italian coffees

Italian breakfast of cappucino and cornetto

Italian breakfast of cappucino and cornetto

Italians don’t seem to drink bad coffee–the coffee at the breakfast buffet of my mid-priced hotel in Pisa was rather good and even the cappucino served at IKEA (famous for its burnt coffee) was excellent.

IKEA Italy's coffee bar. How awesome is that?

IKEA Italy’s coffee bar. How awesome is that?

While in Florence, I had a favorite coffee shop right at the Palazza Duomo. The place serves good coffee and has a view of one of the walls of the very beautiful Duomo.

In Italy, coffee is usually drank at the bar. It seems to me that only tourists sit at tables, and are charged more for it.

Gelato

Pistachio and vanilla gelato

Pistachio and vanilla gelato

I have to confess. I cannot actually tell the difference between gelatos of different shops. Apart from the flavors, they all taste the same to me: milky and cold.

I did have an extra nice pistachio-flavored gelato while in Rome. It really tasted of green pistachios.

Strawberries

Strawberries do not taste of straw

Strawberries do not taste of straw

Strawberries were in season when I was in Italy. For my first two nights, I ate only strawberries for dinner because I was too tired of going out and deciphering menus.

Pizza

Pizza used to be my favorite western dish back when I was growing up. We only had Pizza Hut but I loved it anyway.

I had the most amazing pizzas when I was in Rome. I was walking around the neighborhood of my AirBnb place, trying to look for the restaurant recommended by the houseowner. I didn’t find the restaurant but I found a pizzeria.

Tasty mushroom pizza and salami pizza

Tasty mushroom pizza and salami pizza

Pizza there sold by weight, not slice as I was used to. On the first day, I ordered a small slice. But the next day, I ordered double the volume because it was just too tasty.

Special dishes in Florence

I spent 5 night in Florence, making it the city I spend the most time in. The Chinese hostel owner brought me to the streets on the day I arrived, even before I put my bags in the hostel, and showed me a Florence street food.

Lampredotto

Lampredotto

Lampredotto

The lampredotto is made from the fourth  stomach of a cow. It’s cooked in a sauce and served either on its own or squished between a hard bun.

The taste was alright but I always appreciate entrails (even though my cholesterol is on the higher side). The bread that came along was a tougher challenge and made me feel like a cow that have grazed too long and hurt my jaw.

Porchetta sandwich

Porchetta at Florence's Tuesday Market

Porchetta at Florence’s Tuesday Market

At the Tuesday Market, there were food trucks selling lampredotto and porchetta. How do you know if the truck sells porchetta? It’s easy. They have a whole roasted pig on display.

The porchetta sandwich I ate had a hard bread. The meat wasn’t moist so it felt like I was gnawing through tough cardboard.

Florentine steak

Florentine steak

Florentine steak

I had this special dish in Florence one rainy evening. It’s less of a steak and more of a great slab of meat cooked crispy on the outside and bloody in the inside.

Even though I was feeling melancholic during that meal, I must say that the meat meat tasted great. However I wasn’t able to finish my 700gm slab of steak so I took it back to my hostel where the hostel mates polished it off.

That’s what I call team work!

Odd one out: Chinese dumplings

Chinese dumplings at Chinese-run hostel

Chinese dumplings at Chinese-run hostel

This is a rather odd entry in my Italian food list. Since I was staying in a Chinese-run hostel, I had the chance to have dinner there for an extra 5 euro.

One night, the owner served Chinese dumpling but it had a strange filling. There didn’t seem to be any meat and had glass noodles and cabbage instead.

Cantuccini and vin santo

Glutton eats with Florence Food Tour

Olive oil drizzled on bread to taste

Olive oil drizzled on bread to taste

[Disclosure: I received a complimentary tour with Florence Food Tour thanks to Italy Segway Tour. All opinions in this post are my own.]

If you’ve been following my blog for a while (before my RTW), you will know that I love to eat. I even have a series called the Glutton Series where I recap the best food I had in different countries.

Last week, I donned my Glutton cap and joined Florence Food Tour for about 3 hours of non-stop eating (tasting to be exact), walking and learning.

The location of the office is rather hard to find, especially when you rely on Google Maps. It’s not at the junction as labelled on Google Maps, but it’s a lot further inside Via dei Cimatori. So do take note.

My tour was led by Angelina and there were two couples in the group. The younger couple were from San Diego while the older couple were from Holland.

Coffee sipping

Morning coffee with Florence Food Tour

Morning coffee with Florence Food Tour

Our first stop was a cafe, a perfect place to start since I needed some battery to power through the morning.

Chiaroscuro looked like a regular coffee bar from outside but there are actually seats inside. One very good thing about this cafe is that the Wi-Fi is free and not protected by password. I give this perk an extra 20 points.

But we weren’t at Chiaroscuro to use the internet, let me get on with the tour.

The owner showed us two types of coffee beans–Arabica and Robusta–and also coffees made from the different beans. I think I prefer the mellower Arabica since Robusta was too powerful.

Trivia time! Do you know why Italy is famous for coffee even though other countries (Holland, USA) imported the beans earlier? The owner said it was because the Italians learned how to roast coffee beans well and invented the espresso machines.

Truffle nibbling

Next stop was all about truffles. The staff of Procacci Company was still getting ready when we arrived so we hung around outside for a little while.

Bread with truffle and soft cheese

Bread with truffle and soft cheese

When we were in, we each sampled a small bread with black truffle and soft cheese.

There was also a large coffee book about truffles which Angela passed around.

Trivia time! Did you know that the truffle pickers used pigs to sniff for truffles since way way back when everyone in the picture dressed like peasants? Now certain types of dogs are trained to pick truffles because the pigs would eat up the truffles too often.

Wine sipping

We then headed to La Divina Enoteca near the central market to try out some local wines alongside some nibbles.

The shop itself deserves an introduction. Back in the end of the 19th century, the shop sold cod fish and kept the fish in white marble tanks. The tanks are still intact in the shop and now hold yummies such as jams.

For our wine tasting, we had a red and a white wine. Being a wine noob, I’ll tell you all about the tidbits that went with the wine.

Tuscan food that goes well with wine

Tuscan food that goes well with wine

With the white wine, we ate the bread decorated with a lace of salty Tuscan ham and Tuscan cheese made from sheep milk called Pecorino.

One of the cheese had a dab of jam, which was oddly matching since the sour/sweet of the jam blends with the cheese.

Central Market exploration

Our Central Market stop was packed with good eats and was a living museum.

There, we had a taste of Florence’s bread which, to my untrained palate, is a bit less tasty than French baguette (maybe because they don’t use salt).

We had a view of the butcher’s fridge which had stuff like cow’s stomach, etc. Of course all these bloody entrails did not surprise me since Chinese meals do make use of them. (And it’s yummy.)

Florence Central Market cow's stomach

Florence Central Market cow’s stomach

At the market, we had a sit down quick meal of fresh pasta with ragu at Nerbone.

Fresh pasta with ragu at Florence's central market

Fresh pasta with ragu at Florence’s central market

The pasta was flat and wide and was curly. The ragu wasn’t dripping off my noodles the way I like it but it was very flavorful with the dash of olive oil.

Everything else but gelato

By the time we’ve finished our pasta, our stomach level was approaching 90 percent but we still had two stops to go.

In the market, we stopped at Marconcini for olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ham and Vin Santo with cantuccini.

Living in Singapore and Malaysia, the olive oil that I eat usually is slightly rancid because of the time it took to ship and sell the oils as well as the tropical weather.

However, there at Marconcini, I tasted an olive oil (drizzled on bread) that had a “green” flavor.

I wasn’t a big fan of balsamic vinegar so I don’t have much to comment. However, it was surprising to find that the balsamic vinegar sold there was so thick it looked like thick soy sauce.

Balsamic vinegar tasting kit

Balsamic vinegar tasting kit

The last bite at Marconcini was the vin santo with cantuccini. We were told to dab our almond biscuit into the sweet, alcoholic liquor and it was a very delightful combination. (I totally get Orea and milk but biscuit and wine is a different thing to process in my brain.)

 vin santo with cantuccini

vin santo with cantuccini

Gelato licking

Gelato in many flavors

Gelato in many flavors

Our last stop was a gelato place called Antica Gelateria Florentina where they served interesting flavors including matcha.

The price here is cheaper than most places with the least expensive costing 1.50 euro. I think this means they are honest people and not out to fleece tourists.

I had two of the special flavors: one was called Buontalenti (the name of the person who supposedly invented gelato) and Ambrosia.

I have to admit that my tongue and stomach were not trained for gelato so most taste the same to me.

More information about Florence Food Tour

For the official listing of what foods you will eat (in case it changes), you can check out the list of tasting and the partners.

The price of the tour is 59 euro, which is about 17 euro cheaper than one competitor–based on my Googling skill.

The quality, quantity of the food and the variety that you can taste makes up for the price. Plus, you won’t need to eat lunch afterwards so you save on a meal.

Have you ever been on a food tour? Where was it and how much did you eat?

Steak

Glutton on a cruise

After the teaser post last week, I’m ready to show you some of the things I ate on my 15-night cruise.

It’s very dangerous to put a Glutton on a cruise, especially a 15-night cruise. I think all the imagined fat that I’ve burnt off getting lost cycling in Sri Lanka were replaced by the food I had been eating everyday on the cruise.

First off, I want to share that I’m quite disappointed that food on board is not free-flowing for 24 hours.You still have room service throughout the night (free food but please tip the delivery person) but that doesn’t really count, does it? Of course, no midnight buffet is actually a good thing as it avoids food wastage and overeating.

By the way, food on board is not fantastic. It’s a bit like plane food (but you know that I love plane food)

On board the Legend of the Seas, there are three main eating places I go to: Windjammer Cafe, Romeo and Juliet Restaurant and Park Cafe.

Windjammer Cafe has buffets for three meals while Romeo and Juliet has sit-down meals for the same three meals. Park Cafe serves snacks and opens when Windjammer is closed but only until around 1:00am.

Windjammer Cafe food

I prefer Windjammer over the dining room of Romeo and Juliet because you get to pick and choose only what you want to try.

At breakfast, you can order omelettes with fillings of your choice. My favorite types are ham, bacon, mushroom and cheese.

For lunch and dinner, I usually eat like a carnivore with loads of meat on my plate.

Generally speaking, the ship doesn’t do Asian food well. All the Chinese-inspired soups were filled with MSG.

Romeo and Juliet restaurant

For the dining room, there’s fixed seating at dinner and free seating at lunch and breakfast. For free seating, you’re usually guided to a shared table and everyone makes small talk.

I met a lot of new people at the free seating which is really good since I don’t go out and mingle about too much.

The dining room offered a menu with food that appeared more than once each week. The main dishes were alright but the desserts were usually rather good for cruise food.

During dinner, everyone has fixed waiters for the table. My two waiters were Jenny and Valent who keep the conversation going when I sit alone. There were two Indian couples who now live in the US at my dinner table too.

On the last night, the staff stage a singing show to bid us farewell. It made me a little sad to leave the ship.

Self-squeezed orange juice

Self-squeezed orange juice

I found out about self-squeezed orange juice from a blogger who was on a transalantic cruise. She made her own orange juice because freshly squeezed orange juice was too expensive on the ship.

On Legend of the Seas, freshly squeezed orange juice is US$4. There is also juice made from concentrate–which I love–but it’s different from drinking orange juice just freshly squeezed.

I make mine by cutting the orange with cutlery snagged from the buffet table. The inside can be crushed easily using a spoon. It’s a rather messy business by the end is worth all the effort.

Have you been on a cruise? How was the food?

steak-on-the-sea.jpg

#FoodFri Sneak peek of cruise food

steak on the sea

Hello all, I’m still be floating on the sea today so I’m giving you a sneak peek of my post next Friday’s Glutton on a Cruise.

This is a medium rare steak I got at the Romeo and Juliet Restaurant on Legend of the Seas. It was OK since the meat was a bit…clingy.

I’ll see you the next time I have internet in Italy. Ciao!