Going Gluten Free: Not Just a Food Fad

To say that I love food is an understatement. I love to eat, and love to cook even more. I especially enjoy my carbohydrates; there are few things better than chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven, fresh waffle cones, and a hearty bowl of macaroni and cheese.

Pho

Pronounced “FUH”, this traditional Vietnamese breakfast soup is my go-to comfort food. During their month-long stay in Vietnam, my parents watched people slurping up this soupy goodness on the streets, and came to love it themselves. At Thuan Tinh Island Cooking School in Hoi An, my mother learned the secrets to Pho, and passed them on to me. Though not the simplest of recipes, Pho is worth the effort, as it is comforting and packed with nutrition and flavour. 

Tastes of Calabria

Have you ever been to Italy? Probably. Have you ever been to Calabria? Probably not. But here’s why you should.

Essential Thanksgiving Ingredients

I can’t help but lament that if I were at home right now, I’d be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic en route to Thanksgiving in New York instead of holed up in the library writing about how the identity of a reader impacts their interpretation of literature.

A Local’s Guide to Moscow

I love trying to get a more authentic perspective on new places, I’ve always been the embarrassing tourist with a big camera and an even bigger map, who asks for directions to something like the Louvre while standing right next to it. I’ve now come to terms with my inner tourist, yet I was still mortified at being mistaken for a tourist when I moved back to Moscow, my hometown, after eight years of living abroad. So I took it upon myself to find that local Moscow, the fun, fascinating and often overlooked Moscow, and here’s what I found:

Dining in Dubrovnik: A Top 5

I went to Dubrovnik in early August, peak tourist season. On the last day of our visit, our taxi driver told us that the city was expecting seven cruise ships that day alone. Such a huge, steady influx of tourists does not usually lend itself to unique local cuisine. I was expecting endless menus featuring pictures of the food, which, unless you are actually at a chain American diner off the Interstate, should encourage you to run in the opposite direction. My dad, however, was more optimistic, hoping that Croatia had “learned something from their Italian neighbours.” There are indeed a lot of pizza joints dotted in and amongst the medieval alleys in Dubrovnik’s city centre, but that’s about all the Italian influence I saw, which turned out to be a good thing. Though there is a time for stuffing yourself with rich meat and pasta dishes (hello Scottish winter), it is not during a breezy beach vacation. Dubrovnik allowed me to sample a wide variety of freshly prepared seafood, some of which I had never heard of before. And when I was feeling like this was just too healthy, I discovered the best donut I have ever had. All this washed down with some, um, colourful Croatian wine made me a perfectly happy peak season foodie.

Travels of a Vegetarian

No matter where I’ve been I have never had a problem being a vegetarian. I will admit that I have never been to the Mongolian steppes or a small village in Africa, but in my experience being a vegetarian abroad is easy. Yes, the waiter at a café I went to in Montmartre in Paris didn’t quite understand that vegetarians do not eat ham as a general rule, but these sorts of linguistic and cultural differences are bound to happen, especially when one person speaks only a sort of garbled Franglais that’s the sad result of two years of French classes. That aside, I’ve always quite enjoyed being a vegetarian abroad, as it forces me to go on hunts for nice cafes and cosy, local restaurants. Plus, I invariably have seen more of a city in my wanderings, even if that has meant that by the time I’ve reached a nice café I am so exhausted I have flopped into a chair like a rag doll for two hours.