Discovering Indian Cuisine

Discovering Indian Cuisine

Spicy, rich, flavourful and diverse are terms that are frequently used to describe Indian food. All these words are apt in describing Indian cuisine, for it is diverse in variety and taste, and is made up from a wide array of regional cuisines throughout various parts of India.

Due to the differences in climate and soil conditions, the local cuisines in various regions may vary greatly from each other, as each region uses spices, herbs and ingredients that are grown locally. Culture, tradition and religion also play significant roles in influencing the cuisines and diets of the Indians.

North Indian VS. South Indian Cuisines

Here comes the oft-asked question: What is the difference between North Indian food and South Indian food?

Exploring Tastes of the North

Venture to the north, and you will find that roast meat dishes, cooked in the tandoor oven to be a common item consumed in daily meals. North Indians also consume rice dishes, such as the biryani, and flatbreads, like the chapati and poori. The flatbreads are usually eaten with thick, mild curries.

The cool and dry climate in the north provides a good environment for growing wheat and raising cattle. As such, dairy products are also a popular ingredient often used to flavour and thicken curry dishes. The North Indians like to dry roast their spices before grinding them, which results in the preparation of curries that have a toasty, roasted flavour.   

Flavours of the South

Now, make your way down south, and you will discover that the dishes have a tangy and spicy flavour profile. Instead of consuming curries with flatbreads, locals residing in the southern regions of India often have it with rice.

Differences can be discerned in the consistency of the curries prepared in North and South India. The curries prepared in the South are soupier relative to the thicker, richer curries found in the North.

This can be attributed to differences in the ingredients used. Coconut is a dominant ingredient, and coconut oil and coconut milk, rather than dairy products, are often used in the preparation of food dishes in the South.

In addition, unlike the North Indians, the locals in the South do not roast their spices. Instead, they ground their spices into wet masalas, before using them to cook spicy curry dishes.

Got a craving for Indian food? Savour a scrumptious selection of Indian dishes with our BonAppetour hosts in Singapore: Santha, Kirit, Amrita, Santhy, Kshitij and Shalu! A delectable meal with our lovely hosts will definitely leave you yearning for more!

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How to Choose Your Wine

How to Choose Your Wine

You’ve prepared the perfect meal and you are quite proud of yourself. It only remains to choose the wine, and the dinner can start. But wait…how do you choose?

The Art (and Science) of Wine Pairing

Wine pairing is something of a science and an art in itself. Following a few simple rules will give you an head start, and help you in selecting wines that will make for an awesome dinner.

Let’s start with the wrong way – the old saying that white wine goes with white meat, and red wine with red meat. Although it can be taken as a rough rule, there is a better way to pair wines with meals. The right wine, in fact, depends on the 'weight' and texture of the meal. What this boils down to is that heavier meals require bolder wines, while lighter meals do well with lighter wines.

Pair ‘em Up!

For example, you can choose a bold Piedmont or Cabernet Sauvignon for a heavy red meat. A lighter chicken or lobster meal, on the other hand, would match best with a Pinot Noir or Burgundy wine.

Here is an additional tip for spicy food lovers – your best wine is a slightly sweeter one, which enriches the flavor of the spices and will delight your taste buds.

To finish this post up, if you have not bought your wine yet, here’s how you can go about choosing one:

Original Source: How to Choose Wine

Go tipsy with our BonAppetour hosts, RyanTiziano and Fabio!

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Coffee Culture in Italy

Coffee Culture in Italy

Prendiamo un caffè?” (Fancy a coffee?)

It is a well-known fact that the Italians love their coffees. They have also invented a coffee culture that is unparalleled to any other place in the world.

The coffee drinking habits and culture of the Italians may not be easy for foreigners to understand (is it really odd to have a cappuccino or caffé latte during the afternoon?), but these habits are considered as the norm in Italy.

As the saying goes, when you are in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Italy, drink coffee as the Italians do (this will save you from more than a few curious stares and raised eye brows!).

The Five Coffee Commandments

1. Do not order yourself a cappuccino, caffé latte, or any other milky variations of coffee after the morning has passed. The Italians cannot stomach the idea of consuming hot milk after having a full meal.

2. An espresso is the default cup of coffee you will get when you order yourself a serving in coffee places throughout the country. The term ‘espresso’ is not used – instead, locals place orders for their coffee with the term ‘un caffè’, which refers to a single espresso.

3. A single espresso may not look like much, but do not belittle this tiny cup of caffeine, for an Italian espresso is known to pack a powerful punch.

If you think you are in need of a huge jolt of energy, you may choose to order a double espresso (un caffè doppio). However, do note that this is uncommon among the locals. The Italians do drink ample amounts of coffee, but they usually consume them in small doses throughout the day.

4. Like your coffee strong, but want to have something other than an espresso? Order yourself a cup of caffè lungo, which is an espresso with hot water added to it. This beverage is less diluted compared to the caffè americano.

5. If you really cannot imagine having coffee without a single drop of milk, a cup of caffè macchiato will float your boat. This coffee, unlike the type of macchiato that is served in places outside of Italy, refers to an espresso containing a tiny froth of milk.

Enjoy your coffee the Italian way with our BonAppetour hosts, Francesca and Cristina! Even if you are not a fan of coffee, check out other BonAppetour dining experiences in Italy!

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