Sunday, May 27, 2012

Food Festivals Around the World

No celebration is complete without good food and drink, but sometimes the food or drink itself is the reason for a party. It may be to welcome the coming of spring or harvest time; to rejoice in the arrival of seasonal produce; to pay tribute to a traditional local skill; or simply to celebrate a feast day handed down through the generations. Whatever the reason, the next eight pages give just a taster of the tens of thousands of food festivals that take place each year around the world – the best, the oldest, the most rustic, and the quirkiest. To take part in any one of them is to get a real sense of the place and the people, and is an opportunity not to be missed.

Feijoada in Rio de Janeiro

There is nothing that the people of Rio de Janeiro enjoy more than the beach. Unless it’s a feijoada. Brazil’s national dish is not so much food as the center of social celebration. After a swim off Ipanema Beach, a walk through Tijuca National Park, or a bit of shopping, families get together on Sunday lunchtimes over this hearty bean-and-meat stew to catch up and chew the fat.

Country Cooking in Colombia

Butting up against the rugged peaks of Colombia’s Cordillera Central are rounded mountains in a dozen shades of green, their lush, forested slopes interspersed with wax palms, banana trees, and bamboo, and acre upon rolling acre of plantations. This is coffee country – perfect for touring, hiking, and all manner of outdoor recreation, with robust, rustic Andean cuisine to sustain you.

Chicharrones in Caracas Venezuela

Venezuela is a dream road-trip destination. Drivers navigate against a dramatic backdrop of snow-capped Andean peaks and white-sand Caribbean beaches as they cruise through the lush Orinoco Basin, the skyscrapers of Caracas or the grassy savannas of Los Llanos. The savanna roads are lined with gaily painted food stands selling chicharrones, the nation’s favorite travel snack.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Curanto in Southern Chiloe Chile

An enchanted island archipelago, Chiloé is a bewitching place of silent forests and craggy peaks that tumble down to fishing villages and mist-shrouded bays. Once believed to be a place of demonic and benevolent spirits, its fishermen still look out for a beautiful mermaid, La Pincoya, who is said to ensure a bountiful catch – and fresh ingredients for curanto, an ancient feast.

Moqueca in Espirito Santo and Bahia

Moqueca on the Brazilian Coast The coastline of the Espírito Santo and Bahia states is dotted with tiny fishing villages and glorious bays, where turtles nest in warm white sands and whales calf around the coral islands offshore. It was here that Europeans first set foot in Brazil, 500 years ago, and were doubtless offered a form of moqueca, a creamy seafood stew that is still the regional dish today.

Steak Around the World

Buenos Aires leads the world in the preparation of succulent, tender beefsteaks. But global travelers can enjoy great steaks at several other cities that lie close to lush, free-grazing grasslands and pride themselves on their beef-eating cultures.