Tag Archives: study abroad

London Fare: Globetrotting Edition

For all you London lovers out there, I apologize. This week I’m going to write about some country hopping I’ve been doing and all the cuisine I’ve gotten to try. Never fear, there’s plenty to eat and write about in London for the rest of the semester.

A little background on the schedule here. I had only ten weeks of classes, which ended at the end of March. Then I have finals in May. So basically what is known as Easter break here consists of the entire month of April, or if you’re like me and your finals aren’t until the end of May, your break is pretty much two months long. Talk about a foreign concept.

So this extremely long break has given me the opportunity to do some traveling. I visited Marrakech, Berlin, Vienna, Athens, and Santorini over the span of 18 days. In a comic twist, almost every place had unseasonably cold weather for the days I was there. There were hailstorms in Berlin, snow in Vienna, and wind strong enough to knock you over in Santorini. Even with the unfortunate weather I had the time of my life. The history, architecture, and of course food in each city was unique and unbelievably amazing to immerse myself in.

I definitely enjoyed the food in Greece the most. I ate fish the most fresh and local fish of my life on a pier in the town of Oia, had a traditional lamb dinner at a restaurant on Santorini’s highest point, and gobbled down what my waiter referred to as “the best of the best” lemon soaked potatoes. The salads were light and refreshing, the cheese plentiful, and the baklava soaked in the most fragrant and delicious honey. It also helped that most meals were paired with a breathtaking view of the ocean, a nearby volcano, and more islands in the distance. My only complaint was the coffee. For some reason the Greeks seem to be very partial to NesCafe instant coffee and watery filter coffee. Not really my thing.


This little guy was swimming that morning!
This little guy was swimming that morning!
Traditional Greek dessert made from a boiled apple soaked in syrup
Traditional Greek dessert made from a boiled apple soaked in syrup
See what I mean about those views?
See what I mean about those views?

The rest of the trip featured much heavier fair. The food in Marrakech was a bit too much for me. I am a sugar fiend and would eat dessert with every meal if I could but even this cuisine had me dreading sweetness. Most dishes featured lamb, couscous, and maybe some vegetables, usually smothered in caramelized onions, raisins, and dates. Fabulous the first time but enough to give you indigestion the next. The famous mint tea might have been syrup and a lot of the traditional Moroccan salads even had candied vegetables on them. Way too much sugar if you ask me.

A selection of traditional Morroccan salads
A selection of traditional Morroccan salads
Lamb couscous
Lamb couscous

Vienna was stocked full of homey and heavy food. Bratwurst, bread dumplings, and schnitzel were just a few. The portions were big, the meat sliced thick, and the vegetables less than plentiful. Given the cold outside though, often meals like this were warranted. I had some absolutely delicious sauerkraut served piping hot in a big bowl and some perfectly salted beef dumpling soup. Boiled beef was very popular there, which admittedly is not my favorite way to cook beef because I think it strips it of its flavor, but sometimes it was served alongside the broth it was cooked in, which was positively packed with meaty flavor.

Traditional Viennese breakfast
Traditional Viennese breakfast
Roasted pork, bread dumpling, and sauerkraut
Roasted pork, bread dumpling, and sauerkraut

Berlin was the curveball of the trip. I had gone expecting the traditional German food I found in Vienna. Instead I got French, barbeque, Vietnamese, and Italian. I found Berlin to be a city brimming with growing and youthful culture. It was by far the trendiest and most cosmopolitan city on the trip. The Jewish quarter brimmed with art galleries and museums, Mitte was Williamsburg’s twin, even the oldest section of the city was covered in adorable little cafes set along the bank of the river.

French food in Germany!
French food in Germany!

For the architecture lovers I recommend Vienna, the World War II buffs Berlin, the outdoorsy Greece, and the adventurous Marrakech. For the foodie, all of them and more.


London Fare: Teanamu Chaya Teahouse

If there’s one thing I was determined to do in London this semester it was to have high tea. What’s not to love? Small sandwiches, scones, sweets—this is the stuff of dreams. I imagined my first high tea would be at the Ritz or some other venerable institution with frilly white tablecloths, three-tiered trays, and waiters in suits. As it turns out, that’s also how everyone else imagines their tea experience, so I wasn’t able to get a spot at Claridge’s, a London institution, until mid-February. After searching through many Buzzfeed posts and “Top 10” articles in local papers, I found an intriguing spot that could seat me and a friend within a few days. Enter Teanamu.


Located in a residential area of Notting Hill, Teanamu is easily missed among its neighboring houses. This restaurant offers a Chinese twist on the classic British experience. You still get your tea, sandwiches, scone, and dessert, but with variations representative of a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.


I decided on a jasmine tea, which the tea master approved of. Apparently jasmine tea, which is actually a white and not green tea, is perfect for a relaxing afternoon get-together. Green tea, he advised, is far too “frisky” for such an occasion. Unusually, the more times you steep jasmine tea, the stronger the tea becomes. It’s meant to be drunk lukewarm, not hot. The actual process of steeping the tea was a bit complicated. Boiling water from a kettle had to be mixed with cold water from a pot, at which point it was then poured into another pot to steep, poured back into the first container, and then each mouthful of tea poured individually into the smallest china cup I have ever seen. I’ll admit, I’m not the best at pouring and transferring hot liquid from one pot to another, but luckily there was a sort of basin at the center of the table with a grated top. As long as you poured over that, it didn’t matter how messy you were about it.


But onto the food! The first two “courses” were dim sum. The first was a lo mai fan lotus leaf rice parcel. It was my favorite dish of the meal. Sticky rice filled with a red bean curd and braised mushrooms, it oozed a sweet fragrance. I had a bit of difficulty eating it with chopsticks, but that has more to do with my chopstick handling abilities than with the food itself. The second dim sum plate were vegetarian dumplings with sze chuan chili oil. The dumplings were filled with a mushroom mixture, so even though they were vegetarian they still seemed nice and meaty. The tangy sauce contrasted beautifully with the umami flavor.





The next course was a take on the finger sandwich. Instead of a traditional egg salad there was an egg mayonnaise sandwich covered in chili-soaked bamboo shoots. Cucumber and cream cheese was replaced with a more flavorful garlic miso-pickled cream cheese (tangy and a little spicy) with thinly shaved cucumbers and schichimi pepper. The “cheese sandwich” was an extremely bold clash of a sweet and spicy ginger and plum preserve with a creamy and salty mature white cheddar. All of the sandwiches were served open-faced on thick slices of wakame seaweed brown bread.


The final course was a dessert tray featuring snow skin marzipan with guava, sze chuan peppercorn and peanut honeycomb (a new addition to the menu), chocolate hazelnut truffles covered in coconut shavings, mango seed cake, and what our waiter somewhat ruefully referred to as “the obligatory scone,” which came with clotted cream and rose petal jam. I don’t much like coconut shavings but everything else was very good. Each item had a unique and interesting flavor profile with subtle hints of Chinese flavors. The marzipan had a texture similar to mochi and the honeycomb smelled of spices when you brought it close to your mouth. By the end of the meal I understood why the scone was only there out of obligation; it was the most boring part of the entire experience, although still a melt-in-your-mouth, biscuit-like beauty.




I left feeling incredibly satiated. Everything about the experience, from the small wooden tables to the wafts of incense and tea had taken a quintessential British experience and turned it into a more lazy afternoon full of chatting, laughing, and of course, good food.



Coach House
14a St Lukes Road
(Lancaster Road)
Notting Hill
London W11 1DP


Le Ventre de la France

Paris versus New York von Vahram Muratyan

      Le Ventre de la France

La Rencontre: « One must eat to live, and not live to eat » Molière, L’avare, Act III, Scene 1. Apologies Molière, but that might have been one of the times when you were wrong…


“Oh my god that was good, I love my people”


Sometimes things can get lost in translation, but when it comes to expressing that pure ummyummyohMYGODgoodness of sensory ecstasy, c’est facile! These were the words of Jeanne Bernard, a visiting student at Barnard this year from the one, the only, Paris, and also one of your future guides to Le Ventre de la France. So introducing my Francophone “Watson,” the expert du goût and accomplice of all things French food : Jeanne, a twenty-year-old Parisian, baguette obsessed, and now re-impassioned French food enthusiast. Bienvenue et bon appétit!


This is a column about eating, learning, and finding out all about French food, culture, and the best places to discover the closest thing to its authentically delicious flavors in New York. Feeling your palette beginning to dawn a shade of blandness ? Check in with us every other week to spark your curiosity in the delectable ! That being said,  Vous aimez vos croissants bien croustillants et vos époisses forts en goût? You’re just absolutely deprived after that glorious semester abroad in this sushi and yoghurt-on the go culture? You’ve never even heard of coq au vin, but Hell, doesn’t that just sound good? Point in case, all food enthusiasts’ welcome !


Now that brings us to the term you’ve been dreading to hear, dare you call yourself a “food-ie”? While right off the bat, I’ve just got to be frank with you– je déteste ce terme de “foodie.” “Foodie” implies an elite club that turns the simple recognition of a daily sensory MIRACLE into a dreaded image of pompous eaters that like the connotations that surround the wine and cheese clan today, are too “high class” for me and full of jerk-like snobbery (both the genre hipster and old-men included). So dear World, please do not do to America’s wonderful young generation growing more and more food-conscientious what you have done to the poor people of the vines, and soon to be cows too. Let’s keep food real and call ourselves “enthusiasts” because as Americans, we’re a little late to this whole art de vivre scene when it comes to loving good food, and it’s about time we just became hungry over food’s amazing quality to inspire our quotidian!

So some guidelines to becoming a good ‘ole “enthusiast”: the simplicity of good food lies in three things: Seasoning, Seasonality, and Simplicity- that is in regards to the crucial aspect of quality ingredients! And personally, being synesthesia-obsessed, I’m going to throw in Aesthetic Artistry of Craft in there, because however much I’ll acknowledge a good boudin (yea seriously google it if you haven’t dared tread the waters of « blood sausage ») does taste strangely good, you’ve got to dash some fleur de sel and speckle some REALLY bright greens on there to disguise that black blob of subconsciously hidden, but oh so really disgusting looking deliciousness before me. As however dubious it may be it’s actually a proven fact that color does influence our perception of taste! (http://www.eufic.org/page/en/page/FAQ/faqid/food-colour-structure-influence-taste/)



But here is where we arrive at our next fundamental issue; who am I to assert all these claims about food? Still working through some late philosophy homework here now, I’ll answer Hume’s jargon-filled Standard of Taste stipulations: What makes you a good critic and can taste be educated? Well, my name is Amelia and I’m also a new transfer student this year at Barnard. Long story short, I took a year off after high-school and went to culinary school in England for a while, did some pastry training in France, and came back and somehow started running my own little odd catering “company” (although let’s just say “lucrative operation” for now in case any Board of Health & Sanitation devotees are lurking in the background). Fortunately, the following year, I was lucky enough to spend my first semester abroad in Dijon, France, la maison de l’escargot, la moutarde, le cassis, et le MEILLEUR vin du monde (my apologies to all Californians reading). Anyways, my time in France, mostly thanks to my formidable host family, changed my whole conception about food and life, and most of all, how passionate I had become about food just through a culture (oh yes, did I mention my motivation in first learning to speak French the year before was mostly so that I could spend a semester EATING in France? Hey, don’t judge ok, food is puissante!). Fast-forward to my phase of one day aspiring to become a cheese-monger, all the way to last Spring when I found myself literally writing my transfer essay about the metaphorical education of “liberal arts through artisanal cheese” et me voila la bienvenue dans la ville de mes rêves, la capitale américaine de la gastronomie! So here’s a quick “taste profile” speed-dating: My last supper would consist of copious amounts of Mont d’or, a good bottle of Nuits Saints George Red année 2009, Belon Oysters, the deepest darkest chocolate hazelnut espresso dacquoise on earth, crispy duck with a huge pot of moutarde à l’ancienne on the side, Serrano ham, King Trumpet mushrooms, and spankin’ pink raw tuna- omg wait I forgot Humbolt Fog Goats Cheese on Polâine bread with lavender honey OF COURSE ! I know, the collected combination probably makes you wants to barf slight, and even in saying it aloud myself am slightly disconcerted- well, welcome to the world’s funkiest palette.


Alright, now before I lose you, here’s my quick “philosophy” on Hume’s second stipulation; educating taste (in the realm of food). Here’s the thing, of course “good food” (well-prepared with quality ingredients) is going to taste good, that’s an innate sensory reaction that we all posses. But, like walking into MOMA and staring at a painting that makes you feel something inside- some sort of emotion, but you just don’t know what or why. Donc, being a cook will help you be able to identify and appreciate ingredients and original stimulating combinations. Secondly, being exposed to a lot of different flavors and good dishes in your life, will ultimately help you get from just Pepperidge Farm, to asking for that brioche bun actually, s’il vous plaît. Thirdly, growing up in an environment that appreciates or places importance on food might make you more prone to love this artistry we forget to classify as an art form often (Fact: The shaping of taste preferences begins in the womb and continues through the rest of our lives. Even Though our ancestors have gathered taste experiences, our own food behavior is rarely mere intake, but rather coupled with emotions, social aspects, and digestive processes that may influence the mere exposure effect (http://www.eufic.org/article/en/health-and-lifestyle/food-choice/artid/how-taste-preferences-develop/). That being said, I am no child of diverse Brooklyn-hipster parents, and sure my mom threw a Greek yoghurt in my lunchbox, but I didn’t grow up particularly obsessed or interested with good food (but to my wonderful mother’s defense, thank-god she never let me buy Fruit Roll-Ups). I’m a cook (leaning more towards aspiring pastry chef/cheesemonger one day!) but I’m no “pro,” and I still haven’t crossed Ethiopian or Kimchi off my list. All I am, is a girl who loves to cook, eat, encourage others to recognize the daily delicious art form we can experience every day, and someone who fell in love with a particular cuisine through a culture where food is life. So here’s the prerequisites guys for French “food-ist” appreciation initiation: To appreciate food- French or not- just please get hungry, in both the literal and figurative sense, to be more conscious of the miraculous in the seemingly mundane, and just maybe why it is so. To be a true enthusiast, is to just be hungry.


Bon, finally this is a blog about French Food, but why so? Because it’s what I love and I know (and am still learning myself!), not because French food ranks high on some stupid “hierarchy” of worldly cuisines. French food has got a Hell of a lot of history, a lot that makes it no better than, but definitely special, among the world’s cuisines, and is more so a living part of culture that so fiercely defines its patriotic roots in the distinctness of its wonderful people, who in turn identified themselves originally by hundreds of years of strongly regional culinary traditions- of which these days will literally they will do anything to protect (heard of the AOC? Google away!). So here we go, a gourmet parisienne et une américaine obsédée par le monde francophone, are here to guide you through the best places to find “authentic” French food in New York (and Paris!), the ins and whimsical details of its food and cultural education, and of course, offer some mouthwatering tips and tricks to recipes, shopping, and finding l’esprit du ventre français in your everyday life. So don’t be afraid- yea, you’re twenty-something and you’re hungry to be enthusiastic about French food.

Bon Appétit à tous !


Check Back in a few days for our first OFFICIAL post on demystifying le “Bistro” and get to know our newly arrived frenchy – you know that one who’s in such a tiff over all the yoghurt she has been eating while walking. 



A.A et J.B


Moroccan Tea


Sweet and minty, a glass of Moroccan tea hits just the right spot after a long morning of labor and construction under the scorching sun. Often served with biscuits and nuts at the end of lunch, it was something I look forward to every day that not only satisfies my sweet tooth but also reenergizes me for the afternoon work. 

A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to work on an Engineers Without Borders project—building a bridge in a rural village in Morocco. I can’t help but smile every time I say I’m building a bridge, but I’ll be honest here, it’s no big stone bridge like the Golden Gate in San Francisco or the George Washington in New York. In fact, it is a polymer rope suspension pedestrian bridge that is designed for the villagers of Ait Bayoud in an effort to bridge two villages and offer easy access to the market, schools, and the hospital.

But enough about the project, I’m here to share my Moroccan tea experience. 

Local Moroccans may live a simple life, but they do take pride in their tea—the quality, preparation, and custom. It’s almost like a show they put on. In comes the platter with a silver kettle surrounded by many colorfully patterned glasses. Then enters the mint, blocks of sugar cubes, and tea leaves. The kettle with water and tea leaves is placed on top of the buta-gas tank and allowed to boil to let out the natural fragrance; perhaps it’s their opening line to let the audience know that the show is about to begin. At this point, the eldest and most respected member of the family (the grandfather) would perform his duty; he pours the tea out a few feet from the rim of the glass and creates a lot of bubbles in the tea. But he only pours out two glasses… hmm, are we suppose to share these among a group of ten? Be patient, the show has barely started. Next, he pours the tea from the glass back into the kettle and adds in the fresh mint leaves and generously drops six to seven large sugar cubes. Our eyes open and our jaws drop; is that going to be too sweet? My answer is: no. At this point, he returns the kettle back on the gas tank and waits. He sits there with a smile on his face as if he thinks we can’t handle the sweetness or that he’s satisfied with the tea he’s about to serve. He takes the kettle off the heat and distributes the tea among all the glasses, effortlessly creating a waterfall from the mouth of the kettle to the bottom of the glass. Tea is served; the show is over.

The show may be over, but the tasting is yet to begin. A good quality tea is one that is well aerated and is layered with bubbles on the top. It is strong yet sweet with a touch of minty aftertaste. With its unique recipe, every household claims to make the best tea—whether it be stronger or sweeter or less mint flavored. I try to judge and make a preference, but at the end of the day, I know I just want to have a glass of the Moroccan tea and chew on a biscuit before heading back to work.


MIDNIGHT MUNCHIES (Summer Edition!): Hotpot in Beijing

Hello all! I’m studying in Beijing and Santiago as a Global Scholar for six weeks this summer and would love to share my culinary experiences in both cities. This post covers a Chinese style of eating with which I was previously unfamiliar: hotpot.

The principle is simple–boil a variety of meats and veggies in a giant bowl of broth until everything is well cooked–but the logistics are surprisingly difficult. Picking up a fish ball with chopsticks while trying to avoid burning your hand on the central heating mechanism is quite tricky. Also, the noodles, mushrooms and tofu tend to sink to the bottom of the pot, so fishing them out is an adventure as well. But once you’ve learned the rhythm, the meal becomes quite unique.

My favorite aspect of hotpot (beside the enormous quantities of veggies involved) is the peanut sauce in which you’re supposed to dip the items that you’ve fished out of the pot. The sauce itself is rather salty, but adding substantial doses of chili and garlic oil, as well as fresh cilantro, add a welcome umami heat. There are several hotpot places in New York (see here and here), so when you return to the city, be sure to sample this Chinese staple!

Taste of Mendoza: Riquezas Rellenas

My host's mom's empanadas de carne

Empanadas are by far the best thing that’s happened to me since arriving in Mendoza. Actually, scratch that: empanadas are one of the many awesome things that I’ve gotten to experience in Argentina. I’ve been known to exaggerate, but my enthusiasm and enamor for this most delicious, stuffed finger food is more than sincere. Whether picking them up from a cheap eatery in town to enjoy in one of the city’s plazas, heating up my host mom’s in our kitchen’s little toaster oven when she isn’t home to prepare lunch, or coming home from a long day of classes to see my host mom (she’s the best) stuffing and pinching their edges closed, I’m a happy girl when it’s empanadas on the menu.

The picadillo (filling), dough, and baking procedures are numerous and vary according to region. Nevertheless, here’s the basic idea: the filling is made from a mixture of meat (beef or chicken), onions, and spices, then stuffed into a wheat-based dough, and then either oven-baked or fried. The type of meat (ground or cubed), proportion of meat to onions, combination of spices, addition of extra ingredients (hard-boiled eggs, raisins, olives, etc.) and the way the empanada dough is sealed, all depends on the region in which they are prepared (and, of course, on the cook’s personal taste). There are even empanadas de choclo that are filled with corn and cheese, and empanadas de atún, filled with tuna or another type of fish. My host mom’s atún version even has a bit of sugar dusted onto the outside of the dough, which is super delicious because the sugar caramelizes a little while baking.

As you might imagine, my host mom makes the best empanadas in Argentina. Her empanadas de carne are adapted from the classic mendocinian version: 1 part ground beef to 2 parts chopped onion cooked with chili, cumin, salt and pepper, and a bit of white wine (that last ingredient isn’t a classic one, but it sure is a good addition). When filling the dough, she adds either green olive or hard-boiled egg slices. Eaten fresh out of the oven, these empanadas are juicy and flavorful. The acidity of the olives complements the sweetness of the filling, and the egg whites and yolks add texture. Overall the best argentine comfort food to rid away any morsel of homesickness.

Danes and Danishes

A natural place to start in our exploration of Scandinavian food cuisine is with the pastry that has, in English, become synonymous with Denmark: danishes.


Ironically enough, the Danes call danishes “wienerbrød,” which literally translates to “Vienna bread.” Unsurprisingly, the name comes from the pastry’s origins in Austria. As the story goes, the mid-1800s brought massive baker strikes in across Denmark. To stay in business, bakeries hired foreign workers who, unfamiliar with Danish recipes, made pastries and bread from their home countries. One of these became especially popular among Danes, who tweaked the recipe and gave the pastry the name Vienna bread.


Although obviously an homage to these origins, the name can also be understood within the context of the booming agricultural trade in Denmark at the time. The increase in trade led to an influx of foreign goods, many of which were considered exotic and exciting. The name, then, also gave the pastry an exotic flair.


It might go without saying that danishes in Denmark are nothing like the prepackaged food-shaped-objects living for months at a time in vending machines across the United States. Danish wienerbrød has a delicate and flaky texture, with a generous amount of filling, often either chocolate, custard, or some type of high quality fruit jam. It’s difficult to look graceful while eating a genuine danish, but it is well worth the humiliation if you ever have the opportunity to try one.


While wienerbrød is quite ubiquitous in bakeries all over Denmark (and all of Scandinavia, for that matter), they are far from the only pastries gracing shop windows. The options, in fact, are too numerous to mention in such a short post, but here are some of the most significant (and, in my taste, delicious).


Fastelavnsboller is a pastry that is almost exclusively available in late winter. It is the traditional food item to accompany a holiday called fastelavn, which is similar to Halloween in the US. Children dress in costumes and knock on houses in their neighborhoods one Sunday afternoon in early February. When the door opens, the children sing a song in which they ask the homeowners for buns (festelavnboller, in fact!) to eat, although often small amounts of money are given instead. Some sources say that the tradition started as a socially sanctified way for less fortunate families in Denmark to receive public food support as food supply dwindled after a long, cold winter. However, its proximity to lent may also indicate that the sweet is a holdover from the Fat Tuesday tradition that officially subsided when Denmark became Protestant in the 15th century.


The pastries come in many varieties, and there is an especially large diversity when all of Scandinavia is considered (as all have similar traditions). Danish fastelavnboller are generally sweet pastry buns filled with cream and a bit of jam, and topped with more cream frosting or chocolate. The buns in other Nordic countries, however, tend to be more like normal wheat rolls.


A favorite among Swedes is the kanelbulle, or cinnamon bun. Americans are generally familiar with cinnamon buns, but it may come as a surprise to many that they have roots in Scandinavia, especially Sweden. Little information is available about the pastry’s specific origins, but it seems to be clear that by the 1920s they were hugely popular all over the world. Today, the buns often play a prominent role in the Swedish cultural institution of fika (which Amanda is exploring in her blog series “Fika Fridays”).


Scandinavian cinnamon buns are typically smaller and not quite as sweet as those Americans are accustomed to. They also often include cardamom, and instead if icing, large sugar crystals are often out on top of the buns. IKEA offers very reasonably priced Swedish-style cinnamon buns in their restaurants and food sections, if you happen to find yourself at one. This coffee and kanelbulle were only 10 DKK, or about $2!


Hindbærsnitter is a pastry that, despite its convoluted name, has quickly found a place in my heart here in Denmark. Its original attraction is its surface similarity to Pop-Tarts, but unsurprisingly they are so much tastier. The name translates to raspberry cutting, alluding to the jam filling. This filling is between layers of thin shortbread. On top, there is usually white frosting or glaze and rainbow sprinkles. Yes, it tastes as good as it looks.


So, now we’ve explored Danishes in Denmark, along with other local pastry favorites. Any questions? Do you have a favorite Scandinavian pastry? Let me know in the comments!

Fish and Chips!

It is only right that I kick off my Hungry Abroad series with a dish from my host country: the United Kingdom! Fish and chips shops are unsurprisingly everywhere and I knew that I wanted to try the dish but I just didn’t know where to go or what shop to wander into. All that confusion and uncertainty ceased to exist after I wandered into my flat’s kitchen and saw some of my flat mates going to TOWN on some Fish and Chips! After asking where they found what seemed to have descended from the greasiest part of heaven, they pointed me towards a Fish and Chips joint named Olley’s and fortunately for me Olley’s was only a few minutes away from our flat.

“Try our Haddock and Chips!!” was the sign that greeted me as I entered the quaint shop and I obliged. After I told the man behind the counter what I wanted, he grabbed the thick and meaty fish from under the heating light (the fish just came out of the fryer) and then grabbed enough chips to feed a small village. He then pulled out the vinegar and salt, ran both over the fried haddock and chips, and then wrapped it all up and sent me on my way. This meal, which only costs £6, literally could feed two to three people

I enjoyed the fish very much but the chips were very thick and proved to be too much for me. Overall, I enjoyed my first UK fish and chips experience and I look forward to whatever else the UK and the rest of Europe has to offer me….in the form of food!

Spring 2013 Series!

I’m happy to announce our Spring line-up with several new series and writers! Click on Schedule to see what day the posts are, how frequently they’ll occur, and our calendar of events. Below is a brief description of all of our series. I hope you find something that will become one of your favorite series! They are organized below by theme.  The links will let you read series already in existence!

Get Off Campus!

Need somewhere to go?  Use these restaurant reviews to find just the right place to check out for whatever you’re looking for.

The Bucket List by Dawn | making a list and checking it twice, recipes & restaurants to try before leaving nyc

Curious Flavors by James | great ethnic cuisine and unusual combinations

Fika Fridays by Amanda | coffee shops and cultural commentary on Swedish “fikas”

Hidden Gems by Melina | secret, hidden venues throughout nyc

Meaty Vegan by Bukola | a recent vegan reviews restaurants and can offer opinions from both sides of the table

Savor Your Sweet Tooth by Peri | reviews of famous and interesting desserts

Sweets & the City by Jenny | neighborhood adventures + glorious photos

Veg Out by Elyse | monthly visits to veggie-centric restaurants especially those decadent

What’s Cookin?

Thinking of eating instant ramen?  Think again, and read these series to find recipes and inspirations galore for your kitchen adventures.

Ice Cream Sundays by Kierstin | homemade ice cream and deliciousness abound

In-Season by Pippa | incredible creations focused around in season produce

The Seasoned Kitchen by Savannah | recipes and advice from a cook familiar with the spice cabinet

Season’s Eating by Julia | recipes that focus on farmer’s markets and fresh ingredients

Creative Options

These series provide unique perspectives on a variety of different food choices, including vegetarianism, veganism, gluten-free-ism, and more.

Bait and Switch by Carmen | a vegetarian takes classic dishes and gives them a twist

Keep Calm & Veg On by Gwen | healthy and fun ways of eating on a diet or just with veggies

The Gluten-Free Manifesto by Jean | recipes and comedy from a guy who’s gluten-free (and lactose intolerant)

Meaty Vegan by Bukola | a recent vegan reviews restaurants and can offer opinions from both sides of the table

Vegan & Oil-Free by Elizabeth | clean and tasty eating ideas and options

Bon Voyage

These posts come from our Study Abroad correspondents and offer individual students’ perspectives on their different locations.

Hungry Abroad by Shaynah | posts involving recipes & eateries from London and Shaynah’s travels throughout Euorpe

Postcards from Paris by Kelcey | writings from the city of lights and Kelcey’s kitchen

Simply Scandanavian by Jonah | historical, cultural, and of course, gastronomic explorations of “new Nordic cuisine”

Taste of Mendoza by Manon | the culinary life and times for a semester in Argentina

Refreshing Views

These series are Special Interests that the bloggers have developed to explore exciting, particular concepts through writing.  Browse to learn (and love) something new.

Anything Tuesdays by Rachel | miscellaneous musings about life in New York, cultural holidays, and personal recipes

Foodie Flicks by Amanda | whether referencing or centered around food, check this series for movie ideas

Colors by Courtney | these recipes cover the joys and tribulations of cooking, as well as color-coordinated cooking

Fika Fridays by Amanda | coffee shops and cultural commentary on Swedish “fikas”

Twisted Food by Tiffany | coverage of quirky combinations of bright flavors

West Side Watch by Sarah S. | reporting of products at our local grocery store, sharing suggestions

Your Body is Awesome by Rebecca | a scientific look at proteins and other things our body needs & where we can get them

Postcards from Paris : Macaron à la main

My first macaron, with fabulous "feet"

Kelcey achieves a gold star worthy achievement in the Culinary world: making her own macarons.  Notoriously complicated and time-consuming, Kelcey’s story and pictures and recipe lead the way.

I’m a pretty lucky girl. For one, I’m in Paris. Two, I’m not working, interning, or bombarded with extra-curriculars. Third, I am surrounded at all times by amazing food. And finally, my study-abroad program organizes things like macaron-making classes for us, which is exactly where I found myself last Tuesday morning at 10 AM – in a professional kitchen learning to make macaron from an expert French baker. Does life get any sweeter?

Considering I don’t think of myself as a baker in ANY respect – my baking comfort zone doesn’t go much further than banana bread and brownies – the fact that I not only made macaron but made REALLY FREAKING GOOD macaron was awesome. And my macaron even had feet. “Feet ,” in macaron language, refers to the little bubbly looking portion of the shell immediately below the smooth top that indicates you achieved the perfect whipped consistency in your batter to make the cookie rise ever so delicately, as opposed to puffing up like a soufflé or spilling out all over the cookie-sheet. Never in my life have I been so excited about “feet” in my whole life. Except maybe after a really good pedicure. Continue reading Postcards from Paris : Macaron à la main