Tag Archives: Travel

Oktoberfest – Austria and Munich

One of the most exciting things about visiting a new country for me is experiencing their culture – Food, Drinks, Music, Fashion. This year I have been fortunate enough to travel around various European cities and one of my recent ventures was to Austria and Munich during Oktoberfest. I know the locals get rather annoyed with thousands of tourists flocking to their country during this time of the year but you gotta experience this massive beer fest once in your lifetime.

For those who are not aware, Oktoberfest is the world’s largest funfair held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16-day festival running from late September to the first weekend in October with more than 6 million people from around the world attending the event every year. Locally, it is often simply called Wiesn, after the colloquial name of the fairgrounds (Theresienwiese) themselves. The Oktoberfest is an important part of Bavarian culture, having been held since 1810. Other cities across the world also hold Oktoberfest celebrations, modeled after the original Munich event. (Yes, I copied this from Wiki)

Wearing a Drindl and drinking beer!
Wearing a Drindl and drinking beer!

 

Things I did and recommend:

  • I decided to stay in Salzburg instead of Munich, because accommodation in Munich is extremely expensive during this time and Salzburg is one of the most beautiful cities you will ever visit!
  • I bought a Drindl – Yes! It drilled a massive hole in my wallet but it was worth it. I did feel like very German besides the fact that I am half their height!
  • Drank gallons of beer – That is the whole point of Oktoberfest! The ones I loved are – Stiegl and Eidelweiss
  • I took the train from Salzburg to Munich – It’s an extremely beautiful train ride. Takes only 1.5 hours.
  • Walked around Salzburg and discovered the pretty city – Mirabelle Gardens, Mozart Museum, Little alley’s with shops. There is a lot to do in this pretty Austrian city.
  • Went on one of the super scary rides inside Oktoberfest after drinking tons of beer – It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, on the contrary it was a lot of fun!
  • Ate a lot of bread – you will not find such fresh and tasty bread in UK!

Here are some photographic evidence:

Get paid to travel and write an Asian cook book!

A big shout out to all my fellow foodies!

What if someone paid you to go anywhere in Asia and research for your own cookbook? Sounds too good to be true? Well Asia House hosts The Yan-Kit So Memorial Award for every year to assist armature chefs (like me and you, if you are also like me) who are interested in writing about Asian cuisine.

This award is offered in memory of Yan-Kit So (1933-2001) – Britain’s leading authority on Chinese cuisine. A tireless promoter of food in Asia, her first book The Classic Chinese Cookbook (1984) went on to win major awards such as the prestigious André Simon Awards and Glenfiddich Award for the Best Food Book of the Year.

You can find the application download form and more information on the Asia House website.

Camp Food Chronicles – Guest Post by Vahishta Mistry

Vahishta Mistry is a traveling foodie, who quit his job, sold his house and is currently backpacking and blogging his way across the US, Central and South America.

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I recently spent about ten days camping in Utah, and every meal I had was on a

bonfire – so I thought I’d do a quick guest post showing off what I learned!

First off, you must realize that cooking over coals or fresh firewood improves the

taste of food like nothing I’ve ever tasted. The dried mesquite wood indigenous to

the Utah region provides a wonderful flavor even to such normally insipid items as

rice. I found myself using less salt and spices so as to properly appreciate the woody,

smoky flavor.

The best thing to make when outside and cooking on an open wood or charcoal

flame, is steak. My traveling companions and I bought some nice thick beef steaks

from a local supermarket and froze them for our camping trip. Every evening, we’d

pull out a couple and defrost them, drizzling them in olive oil, salt and pepper an

hour or so in advance.

Building up the flames is an art in itself. A good rule of thumb is to have the coals

be hot enough that placing your hand about 6 inches above the coals becomes

uncomfortable after about six seconds. That’s when you know the heat is just right.

Of course, a complete meal doesn’t consist of just meat. We cut up some broccoli,

cauliflower, beans, carrots and onions, drizzled oil, some fresh rosemary and thyme

and then stuck them in packets of aluminium foil and placed them directly onto

coals. The sizzling noise and the aroma tends to drive you a bit nuts with hunger,

especially after a good day of hiking, but the results are well worth it. Another good

option is to cut a potato in half, scoop out a bit of the inside from each hemisphere

and then spoon in some cheese and butter. Re-form the potato by putting the halves

together, then wrap in foil and place on the coals. In about 35 minutes you’ll have

the best potato meal you’ve ever eaten in your life.

The steaks themselves are an art. You want to cook them thoroughly but not burn

them or lose the juicy pink in the centres. Usually this comes down to timing and

practice but a good trick is to look for when the fat comes dripping down. Turn at

that point and you should be ok!

Finally, a point about presentation. Because you’re most likely in rustic

surroundings, even a little bit goes a long way when it comes to presentation. A

spring of parsley, some garlic sauce laced across the steak and the veggies arranged

artfully across the plate can make a huge difference in the way your meal is

perceived!

Good luck with your camping cuisine and let us know how you fared (or even share

your own tips) in the comments section below!

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Hope you enjoyed this post,  you can also follow Vahishta’s blog on http://www.vahishta.com