Syria is renowned for its ancient ruins, impressive mosques and traditional handicrafts, but Intrepid’s Jess Lee has another treat on her Top 10 list in this amazing country…
“Bahar, the house manager, is laughing at me. Yet again I am begging for his hummus recipe. Of course I don’t have a chance. This is the same man who once declined to give King Carlos of Spain a recipe from his kitchen when he dined here, and was only convinced to do so after a quiet word from President Bashir Al-Assad.
Set in a grand old Damascene house, Al-Khawali Restaurant in the heart of Damascus’ Old City is a feast for the eye as well as the stomach, but it’s for the latter reason that my Intrepid group have followed me here. I’ve promised them the best hummus in the Middle East and in this region, where the revered chick pea dip originated from. That’s a pretty tall order!
Some of the richest real life experiences revolve around food, and where better than Cambodia to combine flavourful local experiences with exotic regional dishes.
Cambodian cuisine is often described as a mixture of Thai and Vietnamese – but don’t tell that to a Cambodian. They believe their cuisine is in a class of its own, and they’re right!
Highlighting the delicious delights of Cambodian cuisine is non-profit organisation Friends-International. We are thrilled to announce the launch of their second cookbook From Spiders To Water Lilies, now available on-line. It features over 160 pages of mouth-watering traditional recipes, (one of which we share with you here), plus exquisite photography and inspiring stories from one of Asia’s most fascinating countries.
Aside from Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dr Evil, the most famous things to come out of Belgium are definitely food and drink related. Everyone immediately envisages beer, waffles and chocolate when thinking of Belgium, but as Intrepid’s Hannah Cartmel explains, that’s not even the half of it…
“Did you know French Fries were actually invented in Belgium? Mussels, often cooked in beer, are another local favourite. The Dutch influence has made stoemp, braadworst and speculaas national dishes – these respectively being, a type of mashed potato, a bloody sausage and a spiced biscuit. French flavours include a local version of boeuf bourguignon and Salade Liegoise, which is a take on the famous Salade Nixoise. The endive (witlof or chicon) is often deliciously gratinated, and yes, the Brussels Sprout is commonly eaten in the country’s capital city, only it’s usually drowned in butter.
Intrepid travellers who have joined our Road to Budapest and Balkan Adventure trips have remarked that they should be named ‘Katie’s Fruit Dumpling Tour of Eastern Europe’, especially when belts need to be loosened by the end of their trip. But they’re not complaining and there’s no argument from Katie Olsson, as she explains why she developed this sweet obsession…
“It’s such a simple concept – boiled dough, fruit, topped with melted butter or cream – yet it’s such a delicious, tasty treat. Eastern Europe is the home of comfort food and fruit dumplings are a great way to top off a meal of potato perogies, cabbage rolls or goulash.
If you’ve travelled through Poland then we hope you got the chance to try delicious kolaczki. These sweet flaky pastry treats can also be enjoyed in other Central European countries, but much like Australia and New Zealand arguing over who invented the Pavlova, the debate of who first baked kolaczki rages on in Europe.
Kolaczki come in various shapes and sizes, round, square or diamond, and you can fill them with your favourites, such as raspberry, apricot, strawberry, blueberry and the famous sweet cheese.
With this being the season to celebrate with family and friends, Intrepid Express thought you might enjoy trying these less traditional recipes, that embrace the international flavours of the festive season. Happy holidays and seasons greetings!…
Malaysian roast turkey with lime and lemongrass stuffing
Italian-style roast pork
Spicy potato tagine with olives
Frozen pistachio nougat with praline and caramelised figs
It’s believed by many that the world’s first recipes date back to the time of the Pharoahs. In ancient Egypt the staple diet included bread, honey, peas, beans and tasty vegetables such as garlic and onions, with meat only consumed on special occasions.
Today many delicious vegetarian dishes can still be enjoyed in Egypt and here are two recipes that have definitely stood the test of time…
In the markets of Vietnam you will see mounds of fresh and delicious tofu – so many different kinds cooked in every way possible.
Here are a few recipes for you to enjoy at home, to keep your wonderful memories of Indochina on the tip of your tongue…
Tofu Soup (Canh Dau Hu)
3 large dried shiitake mushrooms
6 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
20 rau ram leaves, plus extra for garnish, or 10 sprigs cilantro, plus extra leaves for garnish
6 ounces baby bok choy, root ends trimmed, and leaves separated, or spinach
10 ounces medium-firm tofu, rinsed, drained, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
coarse sea salt
freshly ground white pepper
1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally
It was confectioner Haci Bekir who first perfected sade lokum, known to the world as Turkish Delight.
In fact, his family still runs the store that he first opened in 1777, but if you can’t make it to Istanbul or want to re-live your Turkey travel memories at home, here’s a delicious recipe to try…
Sabah’s ultimate taste-bud sensation is the famous hinava tongii. A combination of Spanish mackerel, chilli, ginger and shallots in lime juice, with grated bambangan seed. This indigenous variety of mango is the secret ingredient, and Intrepid Express reader Gay Everitt lifts the lid on more local delights in Borneo…
“The bustling markets of the capital of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, are crammed into acres of waterfront warehouses bursting with exotic foods and artefacts, all competing for space in the dimly-lit, but thankfully cool, interior. Street hawkers from nearby villages pursue you on the fringes and families watch with amusement from the decks of their fishing barges tied to the wharf.