A Culinary Adventure

A passion for great food and the desire for a culinary adventure is one of the many reasons to spend time in Paris. The city is a magnet for gourmets. And the one common denominator among all gourmets is a love of cooking as well as of dining out. What do you do if you are visiting open air markets and want to buy fragrant melons or aromatic perfectly ripe cheeses you discovered at a wonderful little cheese store in the 6th? Do you really want to bring them back to your hotel? Imagine being given a key to a luxury apartment in Paris that has a huge gourmet kitchen stocked with all the items you would ever need to create exquisite meals. It could have a bookshelf full of cookbooks. Pin-point lighting and marble counter tops. The latest convection oven. Having your own gourmet kitchen offers you the choice of cooking at home or taking the ultimate Paris restaurant tour through the Michelin stars. You can decide from meal to meal and day to day, because you have the option of cooking at home or going out—an option you don’t have in a hotel. If your apartment has a gourmet kitchen, then it will also have what the French call l’art du table (the art of the table, to bring beauty to the table): tablecloths, napkins, china, candles and crystal to create a setting as sumptuous as your meal. And you won’t have to get dressed for dinner! There are stores and markets in Paris you are going to absolutely fall in love with. Patisseries, chocolate shops, cheese shops, speciality cookware shops and boutiques with antiques for dining. Fauchon is one of them. Located on the Place de la Madeleine, it is a French institution. It is known for sourcing the ultimate produce from regions around France, from petites legumes from Brittany to foie gras from Perigord, and precious little cartons of fraises des bois (wild strawberries). They will deliver by uniformed chauffeur right to your door. Au Bon Marche on the Left Bank has La Grande Epicerie de Paris, a sprawling emporium of a food market, including freshly baked macarons, meats they gift wrap for you to take home, chickens with pedigrees, smoked salmon, foie gras, breads, fruit, vegetables, aisles of only salts and peppers, and gastronomic feasts ready to go. Paris’ two giant department stores, Au Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, both have equally giant food halls to amaze your eyes and awaken your taste buds. You can also stock your wine cabinet in your luxury Paris apartment from Galeries Lafayette’s copious wine store. Both stores deliver. How perfect is that? Some of the most celebrated cheese shops in Paris that you’ll want to visit are La Ferme Saint-Hubert in the 8th, and Barthelemy in the 7th. Tell them what you like, or simply let them take you through their selection, sample by sample, until you come away with enough for a cheese platter at home that evening. For freshly made ice cream to stock your refrigerator with, the famous Berthillon has over 70 flavors, freshly made every day. You’ll have fun finding Berthillon. It is on a little island right in the middle of the river Seine—on St. Louis en L’Ile. Look down the cobble stone street for the line of people and you will have arrived. Open air markets are a feast for the senses and a must-see when you are in Paris. You have your own kitchen, so indulge! For anything from fresh game, to green walnuts, candied fruits, line caught fish, and local honey—everything is fresh and everything is for sale. Some favorites are the markets on Rue Cler, the Rue Buci, Rue Montorgueil, and Rue Mouffetard. And you won’t want to miss the experience of lining up on a Sunday morning with the rest of Parisians at your local patisserie to carry beautifully wrapped fruit tarts, pastries, and crusty breads home. Stop into the traiteur as well for robust pates and farmhouse cheeses. Oh, and don’t forget to stop at the chocolate shop and the flower shop! So order the lobsters. Bring back that cheese and fragrant melon. Make a Galette de Truffes. Bake a Coffee Creme Caramel. Chill the champagne. Fill the vases with flowers. Light the candles. And bask in the joy of cooking in the gourmet capital of the world. Bring your appetite to Paris and we’ll find you your kitchen.

Which Culinary School Is Right For You?

Are you fresh out of high school, and appreciate good food? The United States has many culinary schools and the job market is booming, so if you have ever been curious about the possibility of turning a natural love into a career, read on. At the very least, you will have fun choosing which culinary school would be perfect for you. 1. Art Institute (AI) This institution’s culinary program is excellent. They are actually one of the leading institutions for students who are looking for not just a culinary school but a place that greatly specializes in the creative arts. Culinary programs of the Art Institutes are top-notch education and training in the following culinary fields of expertise: culinary arts, the art of cooking, restaurant and catering management, baking and pastry and culinary management. The availability of these culinary programs may vary from one Art Institute culinary school to another. It’s best to call your chosen campus location first to verify if they’re offering the courses that you’re interested in. This will help you save time in trying to find the best suited culinary school for you. 2. Atlantic Culinary Academy The Atlantic Culinary Academy is actually a division of the popular McIntosh college. This culinary school boasts programs that specialize in Le Cordon Bleu training as well as associate degrees in Culinary Arts. This culinary school is known for being able to teach and train its students in just 18 months. And, in addition to the completion of their culinary courses, the students will also earn the Le Cordon Bleu Diplome, a highly recognized international culinary arts diploma. 3. California Culinary Academy In San Francisco, California, this school is located in San Francisco’s Civic Center district as well as in the hip and stylish Portrero Hill district. Aspiring chefs flock to this culinary school because it is internationally known for being able to produce some of the world’s best chefs. This is made possible through their extensive training programs, great cooking facilities, and excellent instructors. 4. Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts This school has several locations in Atlanta, Minneapolis, Las Vegas and Florida to name a few. It is a culinary school that is highly revered for its Associate of Occupational Science Degree In Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts. There is a fifteen month program that includes a highly extensive cooking technique and training program, but what makes this school unique is their inclusion of an internship wherein the students of this culinary school will gain over one hundred hours of real on-the-job experience before they ever leave. This is a classical culinary school for aspiring chefs, and oh yes, one more thing, it is also incredibly demanding. 5. Online Certificate For those who simply don’t have the luxury of time to just actually go to a normal culinary school, there is the Art Institute Online, that hopes to be able to reach out to more students who are interested in taking up art courses as well as courses regarding culinary arts. This online program is actually uniquely designed for working people who have already earned their Associate’s degree. Of interest, this program combines all kinds of courses such as human resource management to law and ethics and accounting. Why, you ask? The program is aimed towards culinary arts students who are thinking of opening their own restaurant someday.

Knowing What To Expect From A Culinary Arts School

Classes offered in culinary arts school cover a wide range of topics, from conditions for sanitary food preparation to the basics of diet and nutrition. Module options don’t end there however. Students may find themselves in a wine appreciation course, or even in a class that can help them acquire the necessary skills for being a hospitality ambassador.

Graduates of culinary arts school are in demand just about everywhere. The reason is that there are a growing number and variety of restaurants worldwide, particularly in developing countries where more and more people can now afford to dine out. Hence, the demands for culinary experts are almost endless, ranging from restaurants to schools to hospitals to all places in between that offer some kind of food service. All these places need experts to ensure that they can serve a balanced diet to the many people they have to feed.

Culinary arts school can appeal to a wide range of demographics. From those who want to have a change of career to high school graduates seeking to enter the food service industry. Not only are these classes offered in many places, they are also available in the evenings and on weekends in order to accommodate a person’s current job or lifestyle.

Before applying to a culinary school, students should consider several factors to make sure that their school can help them move toward a successful career in this field.

Accreditation is among the most important considerations. Like many other schools, a school in culinary arts must undergo examination of their teacher qualifications, student-teacher ratios, curriculum, and facilities prior to receiving an accreditation from the government or any recognized body or association. The process of accreditation involves a series of examinations to determine whether or not a culinary school is qualified to train students to work in this industry.

For many schools, this may be a rather long process and achieving it can be considered a major accomplishment. So when searching for a great school to attend, it is important for students to ensure that their prospective school has been duly accredited prior to applying for admission.

Cost is another important factor to consider when choosing a culinary school. Unfortunately, studying in many schools (especially specialty trade schools) can be somewhat costly. However, with a little research, students can also find some that are not as expensive, and some that offer scholarships to deserving students for attending their school. Loans are also available for most schools, but students should bear in mind that they must be paid back later on, and not burden themselves with more debt than they can handle when they enter the work force.

The type of school should also be carefully considered before applying for admission. Most culinary schools are designed towards a particular end goal. For example, students who plan to manage a restaurant or a hotel in the future must take this into consideration when choosing their school. Those who want to be a professional chef in their own business must also look at the focus of the school. Some schools specialize in pastries, others in baking, and still others in international cuisines. Knowing what an individual wants to do with their degree prior to applying to any college will likely be a big help.

School facilities should be another concern when it comes to choosing a culinary school. Before deciding to attend in any school, a student must first find some time to visit. One important thing to check is to see if the school is using up-to-date equipment. Cooking equipment is always changing. This is why it is important for many students to acquire the skills they are seeking using the most modern equipment.

Following these guidelines can help students move toward building a successful career in culinary arts. Before entering, it is good to realize that there’s more to this career than just cooking. It is a broad discipline that ranges from creating and designing practical menus to offering the best hospitality both to loved ones and customers. Enrolling in a culinary arts school can help individuals attain the career they are seeking in the food service industry.

Deliciously Healthy Typical Guatemalan Foods

I recently wrote an article on Guatemalan enchiladas and how they are not at all like the Mexican enchiladas we know in the US. While a Guatemalan enchilada may be served on a fried tortilla, it is also piled high with wonderful vegetables, meat and egg. The use of vegetables like beets and cabbage, along with green beans and carrots give them a variety of vitamins. The tomato sauce used in the enchilada is homemade from tomatoes, tomatillos, onion and garlic. The meat is cooked and fried and offers protein, along with a slice of egg. The enchilada is served with a sprinkling of cheese and parsley. It is a delicious, nutritious salad on a plate.

Enchiladas are not the only typical Guatemalan food to be high in nutrition. Black beans are a staple food, eaten one to three times a day, offering lots of protein and fiber. The addition of rice and corn tortillas to that meal makes a complete protein. Plantains are also eaten at any meal, and used as a vegetable if green. When green, plantains are not very sweet or soft, so cooking them in water gives a slight sweetness, making an excellent side dish to any main course. A serving of plantain is higher in fiber, vitamin C and potassium than a serving of bananas. They are also used as a dessert, simply cooked when very ripe, or made into various dessert dishes.

One dessert made with plantains is frying slices and serving them in a mole sauce. Guatemalan mole sauce is made from tomatoes, tomatillos, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and cinnamon, with the addition of chocolate at the end. Using all the vegetables and seeds give a great addition of fiber to the diet, along with vitamins and minerals.
A common Guatemalan salad of minced radishes mixed with some chopped tomato, mint, onion and lime juice makes an extremely high flavor and low calorie dish, rich in fiber and vitamin C. Corn tortillas made from cooked field corn with the germ left in are high in fiber and vitamins and these are eaten up to three times a day.

Most any soup or thickened dish made in Guatemala is thickened with the use of shredded tortillas, bread, ground nuts or seeds, instead of flour. The various kinds of tamale eaten in Guatemala have their basis in either hominy or rice or a combination. As stated, the hominy, or cooked whole field corn, contains the whole kernel, with more nutritional value than a can of hominy without the germ. Any sauces added to the tamales are made by grinding together tomatoes, tomatillos, bell peppers, dried chiles, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cinnamon and sometimes chocolate. These particular flavors are a common theme throughout Guatemalan foods.

Another type of tamale that is used as a treat for breakfast, dessert or any time of day is called tamalitos de helote. We all understand a tamale is usually corn, ground and wrapped into a corn husk or banana leaf and steamed. Helote is young corn not the sweet corn we know here in the US for corn on the cob, but field corn that has not matured to complete dryness. The kernels are removed from the cobs and ground, with sugar and cinnamon added for flavor. The green corn husks are used to wrap these little tamales, imparting a particular flavor and goodness. The use of the whole corn kernels in this dish is a healthier way of eating that a milled corn flour with the germ removed. My husband questioned, why not just slice the kernels from the cob and make the whole process easier? My answer is that the flavor and look would be different, and most of the nutrition would be left behind.

Guatemalan typical dishes may take time to prepare properly, but the end result with all the nutrition packed in is invaluable. I value highly all the complex and flavorful typical recipes I learned there over 30 years ago, and I use them to this day.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it was informative and helped you along your own culinary journey. You will find many more recipes and helpful tips on my web site. I am on Facebook at A Harmony of Flavors and share a recipe or tip each day to the fans that have liked my site. I hope to see you there soon.

Food In India And The Snack Industry

Culinary methods and varieties differ from nation to nation. You will find a great difference in taste, cooking, garnishing, and the ingredients used. With changing lifestyles, the traditional eating has witnessed a revolutionary change. You need not spend hours in the kitchen, as you get ready-to-eat snacks to appease your appetite. So, when you are in a hurry or just spend some leisure time at home or at the restaurant, you will love savoring snacks and sweets food.

Food in India is different from rest of the world; you get countless varieties. You can satisfy your palate as per your choice. It is not only meals but also snacks and sweets that are specific to one particular state in the country. And food in India is a legacy carried from generation to generation. In few of the culinary specialties, you will get a blend of various cultures and ages. It would not be an exaggeration if the statement of food in India that of being influenced by numerous civilizations is made. Tourists who have visited the various parts of the country have spoken volume about snacks and sweets food.

No Indian festival or marriage ceremony is complete without sweets. Right from serving to gifting, sweets food have found their way into the homes of all Indians. And given the increasing demand, there are brands that have maintained a market rapport with a quality collection of sweets. Going by the online trend, you also get sweets and snack food online no matter where you are located. Most of these brands have their own chain of outlets spread across the country or franchise centres. These brands also represent the wonderful food in India, most etching distinctive identities not only in the Indian market but also globally.

The Indian snack industry is one of the largest when considered in the global level. As aforementioned with rising standard of living, people are more resorting to snacks items during breakfast, supper or any time; snacks most often take the place of meals. Right from production, using up, export and growth prospects owing to emerging markets, increasing demand, and incorporation of latest technologies, the snack industry in India has witnessed a dramatic change. Ready-to-eat foods, samosas, kachoris, namkeen, chips, are few of the snacks that are most preferred by Indians. Given the rising demand, the snack industry is going to witness further growth in the future.

If you are looking for franchise business opportunities in the snack industry that also encompasses sweets, you can go online and look for such deals. You can also visit the corporate sites of the leading brands to find out if franchise business opportunities are offered or not. It is like starting your own business – especially a lucrative business. The greatest advantage of purchasing a franchise is that you become your own boss but representing an already established brand. So, you need not create a market as the market is already created for you!!

Delicious Slovak And Serbian Traditional Easter Foods

Both my grandmothers have been gone from my life for over 40 years, but the impact their foods made on my life was strong. My grandparents from both the Serbian and Slovak sides of the family came from Europe in the early 1900s, bringing their knowledge of the foods and traditions along with them. Easter, along with Christmas, are the two holidays I associate with the most traditional foods.

Both sides of the family made traditional baskets of foods to take to their respective churches to be blessed. Though Slovakia and Serbia are not close to each other, the traditions of the area are very widespread. As the last Easter I may have spent with one of my grandparents was about 44 years ago, my personal memories are sketchy in some areas, and vivid in others. Lately, it has felt important to reach out to my siblings and learn what memories they might still have that are gone from my recollections.

The items traditionally placed in the basket of foods to be blessed are ham, sausage, egg cheese, bread, beets with horseradish, salt, butter, Easter eggs and a candle. There may be other things that were added. I recall the baskets being taken to church, but not too much more.

Traditional Foods

Some of the traditional foods that are less common here in the US are the beets with horseradish and the egg cheese. It seems lately that beets with horseradish recipes have been popping up all over. Not like the traditional one my grandma made, of course, but that combination suddenly has become apparent.

Beets with Horseradish

The recipe that my Serbian grandmother passed down was from grated cooked or canned beets, mixed with bottled horseradish to taste. The recipe amounts are fluid, depending on the size of family and how much horseradish one can tolerate. For two jars of beets, well drained and shredded, about 1 tablespoon of horseradish may be added. This amount may be increased or decreased as needed. A little sugar is added, from 1 to 3 teaspoons. All ingredients are mixed well, and then can be spooned into jars until needed.

This beet dish is used as a condiment, to go with the ham and other Easter foods. It can be used as a side dish on the plate, or it can be used on a sandwich of the traditional Easter Paska Bread with ham or sausage. The Serbian name of the beets and horseradish dish is not one I can recall. I have read that depending on the area it is from, this may be called Ren, Hren, Chrin and many other variations.

Egg Cheese

This particular dish is one that I firmly recall only being called by its Serbian name, Sirets. The pronunciation of this word is SEE rets, with the letter R trilled. It is one of the traditional foods I have never cared for, but my Dad just loved. Since my Mom never made it, I asked Grandma for her recipe so I could carry on the tradition.

She told me to take one quart of whole milk and a dozen eggs in a pan and mix them together really well, adding in a little bit of salt and sugar. Over time I have found that about 2 teaspoons each of the salt and sugar work well. The mixture is cooked slowly on the stove, stirring constantly, until the eggs begin to cook and separate. Once the mixture has completely separated, it is poured into a cheesecloth lined colander to drain. Once drained, the ends of the cheesecloth are brought together and tied, and the ball is hung to continue draining. Grandma hung the cheesecloth ball from her kitchen faucet. Once the egg cheese ball has cooled it is placed in the refrigerator to continue to firm and chill. When ready to eat, it is unwrapped from the cheesecloth and sliced.

Paska Bread

This rich butter and egg bread was made mainly for Christmas or Easter. My Slovak mom also made it for Thanksgiving. The bread is delightful, and I have made this recipe as our daily bread since the 1970s. It may have started as a traditional bread used only for these special feasts, but it is far too delicious to limit its use. I have now created a version that is easy to make in my heavy duty stand mixer. For Easter, the bread is braided, either in a ring shape, or a round loaf with a small braid on top or in a braided loaf.

Keeping traditions alive for your children is a worthwhile endeavor, giving them a sense of place in the world. It is not meant to divide or separate cultures, but to keep the foods in their purest state so they maintain their ability to stand out from the crowd in these days of fusion cooking.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it was informative and helped you along your own culinary journey. You will find many more recipes and helpful tips on my web site. I am on Facebook at A Harmony of Flavors and share a recipe or tip each day to the fans that have liked my site. I hope to see you there soon.

History Of Buffets, Infusions Restaurant And The Okanagan College Culinary Arts Buffets

It was the 18th century, and in France the modern day buffet was developed which soon spread across Europe. Serving a meal to oneself has a long and interesting history, but the original term buffet referred to the sideboard where all the various types of food was served, although, eventually this style of eating was converted to modern day buffets.

The second half of the 19th century, especially in the English speaking world, buffets became extremely popular for meals. Lunch, or an informal luncheon which was originally a very light meal that was consumed between breakfast and dinner, and often replacing dinners. Buffets came in two styles of a meal, and started at the fashionable hour of “One O’Clock”. The “buffet” luncheon, and at which time the dining guests would stand while they eat their meal, or the luncheon served at small tables where the dining guests would be seated.

All buffet food must be eaten with a fork or a spoon, and the knife was strictly forbidden at these “buffet” lunches. The essentials of a “buffet” luncheon are covered by these following dishes. All types of beverages including coffee, tea, punch or chocolate which was poured from urns, or brought from a pantry on trays in filled cups. Hot entrées of various types which was served on a platter or from a chafing dish, and preceded by hot bouillon. Cold entrées such as salads, lobster, salmon, shrimp, crab, potatoes, chicken, and served with heavy dressings. Hot rolls, and sandwiches that were wafer-cut in size such as tomato and lettuce, ham, and many others. Plus desserts such as small cakes and pastries.

Buffets are very popular with people today, because, it offers plenty of food variety at a reasonable price. People with large appetites can feed themselves without waiting for their food to be served. Especially families with children, this is often a very important point when dining out. Buffets are definitely a nice dining alternative to conventional restaurants, because people can get the foods they want in the quantities they like. People can create their own dishes with more meat, less vegetables and fewer side dishes, plus creating salads with appealing ingredients that they enjoy. Buffets offer people the opportunity to try new types of food that they would not order off a menu in a restaurant.

Infusions Restaurant at the Okanagan College hosts several buffets every year, and the last “buffet” was held a week after their Okanagan Wine Festival Gourmet Dinner which attracted a sellout crowd of over 80 dining guests. Guests were treated to a “Five Course” gourmet dinner with special Okanagan Valley wines to accompany each course.

The Okanagan College Culinary Arts Buffet was prepared with the special talents of the new, up and coming future chefs of your favorite restaurants, cruise ships, hotels, ski and golf resorts, all directed and instructed by World Class Chefs. The buffet included fresh meats, poultry, seafood of all types, and of course Okanagan Valley fresh vegetables and fruits.

Infusions and the Okanagan College Culinary Arts Bakery had a spectacular dessert buffet for this special night with freshly made gourmet desserts, and with a delicious assortment of as many freshly made Pastries, Cakes, and Chocolate Confections as a person could possibly eat after the meal.

The Culinary Arts buffet offered a HUGH selection of seafood and seafood platters that were served at the buffet from Sushi Rolls, Dim Sum, Salmon, Coulibiac of Halibut to Shark and Lobster. Dishes containing Gratin of Potatoes & Yams, many types of Pasta with Grilled and Glazed Vegetables, and of course the Roast Beef and Beef Tenderloin, and ALL for $15.00!

For tourists, visitors or people in the Kelowna area and the Okanagan Valley who missed this “Spectacular Feast”, there will be another buffet held in early December at Okanagan College’s Infusions Restaurant.

Infusions Restaurant is run by future culinary chefs in the Culinary Arts program at Okanagan College with instruction from World Class Chefs, and the restaurant offers their dining guests a chance to experience fine gourmet dining at very reasonable prices.

The Professional Food Magazine

Are you looking for the perfect cooking book that can teach you anything? Well cook books are informative, but it can be a little bit “static”, the best way is to look on some magazines. Rather than cook books, magazines are a lot more fun to read than a cook book. Magazines will not only give you its ingredients and procedures, but also some tips, facts and suggestions from different professional chefs.

There are also a lot of Food Magazines around the world, and even here in the Philippines. Here in the Philippines, there are some Food Magazine Philippines that is a good source of information on how to cook, and M-Express can help you get some of those Food Magazine Philippines.

The M-EXPRESS is the first ever door-to-door magazine delivery service in the country. It is the convenient way to order magazines anytime and anywhere you are in the Philippines. You can place subscriptions or order per title allowing you the flexibility to control your budget.

M-Express can offer their clients with different kinds of Food Magazine Philippines such as F&B World: The Philippines’ Only Food Magazine Philippines and FOOD: The Philippines’ Largest Selling Food Magazine Philippines.

About F&B World: The Philippines’ Only Food Magazine Philippines: F&B (short for Food and Beverage) World is a trade-oriented publication that covers all aspects of the food service industry. Inserted in each Food Magazine Philippines issue of F&B World is Baking Press, geared more for home-based bakeries and baking enthusiasts.

About FOOD: The Philippines’ Largest Selling Food Magazine Philippines: Since October 1995, Food Magazine Philippines has helped foodies enrich their culinary skills and repertoire with delicious, doable recipes. Through the years, FOOD: The Philippines’ Largest Selling Food Magazine Philippines has evolved into a total Food Magazine Philippines, giving readers information on cooking and baking, on dining out, on food in its various angles: food for health, food as destination, food as history.

FOOD: The Philippines’ Largest Selling Food Magazine Philippines helps readers make informed decisions on food shopping, food sources, culinary techniques, dining and entertaining—making it the indispensable kitchen companion.

Going On A Food Trip In San Juan, Puerto Rico

Your experience of a place would not be complete without a taste of its culinary offerings. In Puerto Rico, its criolla dishes are a must-try although international and fusion cuisines are also served in a lot of restaurants. Dining options run the gamut from upscale places to casual diners. The capital, San Juan, offers a wide and interesting variety of restaurants and is the perfect place for the ultimate Puerto Rican food experience.

Comida criolla or creole food refers to the local cuisine in Puerto Rico. It’s a melting pot (no pun intended) of traditional Taino food, Spanish culinary influence, and African cooking. Some of the most popular criolla dishes are lechon asado (roasted pork), adobo (seasoning made of vinegar, paprika, oil, garlin, and oregano), asopoa de pollo (stewed chicken), habichuelas (rice and red beans served with meat), and sofrito (a sauce made of cilantro onion, garlic, pepper, and other seasonings and spices). Criolla cooking also features several manners of cooking plantains. There’s tostones which is mashed green plantains, platanos which slightly varies from tostones in cooking style, and mofongo which is a ball of crushed plantains mixed with meat or seafood that were fried and flavored with seasonings such garlic and tomato-based sauce.

Being nestled in the abundant waters of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico certainly cannot do without seafood cuisines. The tastiest seafood dishes can be found in the coastal cities. The Caribbean lobster is one of the premier catches in restaurants although the dolphinfish and red snapper are popular as well. The most well-known seafood specialty however would probably be the conch stuffed with tomato for a fritter or served with a ceviche salad.

To further promote criolla cuisine to travelers, the government has created the Mesones Gastronomicos program. In this project, the 30 participating restaurants throughout the island will all serve traditional Puerto Rican fare. It doesn’t mean though that you can only taste authentic criolla cooking in these dining places. Smaller restaurants that offer native cuisines abound in San Juan and the rest of Puerto Rico.

Other upscale restaurants specialize in what is called the Nuevo Latino cuisine, a culinary style similar to criolla but predominantly uses fruits, fish, and tubers as main ingredients with tropical marinades and dark rum sauces as primary flavors. Most ingredients in Nuevo Latino cooking are locally sourced so as to maximize the fresh flavors of the produce. Restaurants serving this cuisine are mostly found in San Juan and other bigger cities of Puerto Rico. Tourists who crave for international cuisines won’t be disappointed as well. There are a lot of dining areas in San Juan that serve Italian, French, Arabian, Mexican, American, German, and Latin American dishes.

Along with the sumptuous food, another major part of Puerto Rican food is the beverage. This Caribbean island is also known for its strong drinks, its national beverage being the rum. There are about 20 different varieties of rum here. Puerto Rican coffee also packs a strong punch. It can be served as espresso, sweetened or with milk which is known as cafe con leche. If you’re looking for a milder drink, you can try coco frio which is served on a chilled coconut and a selection of fresh fruit juices.

Budget meals in Puerto Rico usually range from $5 to $15 while higher end dining can go up to $35. Upscale restaurants often require a dress code such as collared shirts for men and stylish apparel for women while the most expensive dining venues are usually black tie. Making a reservation is recommended especially from mid-November to April when tourists are usually flocking to Puerto Rico.

5 Modern Trends Shifting the Culinary World

There are so many new trends in the world – from shirts that are sheer in all but one or two places to new recipes that are completely vegan. However, the trends in the culinary world are all but uninteresting.


Making restaurant quality burgers at home is one of these modern trends in the culinary world. Fatty’s Online, the site for Fatty’s Burger and More, is one reason this trend has sprung up. They offer three recipe packages – the original Fatty’s Burger, the Batter-Up Bacon burger, and the turkey burger. Each package has buns, patties, cheese, condiments and other necessities.

Use It All!

Another trend that is coming on strong is being able to use the entire animal. Knowing a good butcher is a key asset to this trend, but being able to use everything is an art that has been all but lost to the ancient arts. Ancient man used to use all the meat for food and bones were extremely versatile, as was the fur.

Get Your Own

Small plates meant for a single person are making a large and fancy entrance. While the shared tapas came storming in a few years ago, the small plates are coming back and gaining a lot of popularity. With today’s egocentric world (and the fact that selfie is now a recognized word), it makes sense that this type of plate is coming back into popularity with full force.

Fruit in Soup

Fruit was long reserved for desert. However, there are many more savory dishes that now feature fruits. Bar Tartine in San Francisco, for example, features a chilled apricot soup. Apples are often found as sides when kids are involved, and grapes, strawberries, and cherries show up in salads more often now as well.

Got it From Asia

Another trend that has come on strong is putting Asian influence into foods. From sriracha sauce on chicken to the Japanese Pocky candies that are available in many large world markets, the influence of these odd and interesting foods has come far and wide since they were first introduced into the Western world.

From having plates for yourself to the entire animal being used and back again, there is so much that has come back with full force or that has come with full force for the first time. Whether there is a need for the trends or not, they have become quite popular.