this is the archive for the ‘foooood’ category:


this year’s annual october pilgrimage to bielefeld was probably our 10th or 11th visit to the city. between postcards and rubberstamping, the city that doesn’t exist has slowly become the second city we know best in the whole germany. although i like traveling and discovering new places as much as any fellow wanderluster, there’s also a comforting allure in familiar places, that allows us to dig a little deeper under the surface, discovering a bit more of its essence… or its deliciousness!

this time, we made a new local friend who took us to try kastenpickert, a local speciality.

pickert is a potato cake or pancake from westphalia, fried and served with jam or a savory side. there are different versions throughout the region, but the one we tried looked a bit like french toast made out of cake. there’s nothing about cake or french toast that i don’t like, so predictably, it was really good.

i picked sanddorn (sea buckthorn) jam because i love its tangy taste and it’s such a rare sight for us in the south tip of europe.

in the end, 3 slices might have been a bit of an ambitious goal for a mid-afternoon snack… but it was worth it for the company and the opportunity of unlocking a bit more of the bielefeld puzzle. :)


taralli was one of the best discoveries of our latest trip to italy. they are southern snacks and the version we tried was both salty and spicy, as well as extra crunchy from all the almonds in it. they look somewhat soft in the photos, but they’re actually quite hard and break into pieces when you bite into them.

it was delicious, and i wish we had the forethought to bring back a couple extra bags because the one we got was finished way too quickly… :( i shall be thinking of these rings of deliciousness until our next visit!

harvesting honey

remember the family hives? despite some hiccups along the way, we still have them after all these years! when autumn comes, the honey is collected and this year we were fortunate to have quite a bit of the sweet stuff. my brother recently harvested it and i made some videos of the process, skipping the opening of the hive as there were not enough suits for everyone.

i like beekeeping — every phase of the honey-making process is beautiful!

sweets in canada!

ok, so let’s get down to business and talk about canadian sweets. first of all, the omnipresent maple-syrup!

no complaints here, we’re big fans of it. the boiled sap of maple trees is a versatile product, which can be put in lots of things, including cookies, candy or glazing.

speaking of tim hortons, their selection is mouthwatering.

but if you’re not feeling like having a whole pastry, they have little donut holes called “timbits”, just a bite-sized hit of sweetness. timbits is also the name of their community program that sponsors kids sports teams.

next on our list, beavertails… these were a bit underwhelming, if i’m being honest, a limp piece of fried dough with toppings. i know dough is usually just a vehicle for a topping, but somehow, this sounded better than it tasted.

ice-cream! ice-cream was everywhere, and the canadians go all out on their flavours, making some fun combinations like bear claws (dark chocolate ice-cream with caramel swirls and choco-coated cashews), moose tracks (vanila ice-cream with fudge and peanut butter cups) or grandma’s cupboard (supposedly, all the sweets you find in grandma’s pantry)… and always in huge portions!

next, a mini peach pie that we had on a small roadside farmer shop on our way to niagara which was a-ma-zing! when i went to take the photo it was already half-eaten…

we also tried butter tarts, pudding chômeur, date squares… they’re all delicious and give you warm fuzzy feelings of happiness and christmas.

i guess canada’s spirit really comes through in their sweets. :)

poutine and friends

so besides eggs and smores, what did we eat in canada? well, to start, poutine!

what is there not to like in a dish of fries, topped with gravy and cheese curds? we liked it so much we even tried variations of it, and i can proudly say, i’ve never met a poutine i didn’t like…

… though i did meet one i couldn’t finish! :D

corn was in season during our visit, and our friend lynda taught us the proper way to eat it on the cob. goodness, sweet fresh corn is amazing! having convinced my parents to grow butternut and hokkaido squash (instead of the bland types), beetroots and spinach, i wonder if we could convince them to grow sweet corn as well…

another highlight: a proper grilled cheese sandwich with these fun lattice chips. we had them overlooking the river in a town called paris! :)

oh, and chipotle! we’ve been hearing about this chain and their tacos and burritos for years, so we were happy to finally try it out. it’s such a simple formula, but oh-so-good. what is it about mexican food that is so deeply satisfying?

cream soda is one of the boy’s favourite drinks, but it’s so hard to find on this side of the pond! so we had that too, along with root beer.

another thing we tried was kraft’s mac&cheese, which we’ve been hearing about for ages. we followed the instructions on the box, and managed to get a slimy load of carbs out of it — not bad, but for some reason, not as satisfying as i had imagined it. when talking to lynda about it, i got the impression that everyone adds their tweaks to the recipe, in order to improve it, so maybe that’s what was missing.

below is one confusing meal at a place called swiss chalet. with a name like that, we assumed it would be famous for fondue or raclette, or maybe something with sausages and potatoes? or chocolate, perhaps. but this place had none of that. instead, they’re famous for their ribs and grilled chicken! ahah. :D

goodness, chinese food! toronto gives berlin a run for their money in multiculturalism, and we basked in on it. gimme all the braised duck and soupy noodles!

also, while randomly walking around chinatown, we found one ajisen, which despite being a japanese chain, was one of our favourite places in shanghai. just the sight of their familiar mascot brings back so many memories of meals shared there. so we were super happy to go grab some ramen and ease all our longings.

aaaaand that concludes this quick tour of delicious eats in canada! but wait — what about desserts, you might ask? i’ll tell you about it on another post! :)