Food Bites: Limoncello

Food Bites: Limoncello

Stroll along the beautiful, cobblestoned streets of Sorrento, or in other villages along the southern coasts of Italy, and chances are that you will find an array of shops displaying attractive bottles filled with a zesty liqueur, coloured in a bright yellow hue.

Stored within the bottles are Limoncello, a sweet Italian lemon liqueur. This liqueur is mainly produced in the southern parts of Italy, in the regions near the Gulf of Naples, the coast of Amalfi and the Sorrentine Peninsula.

Serving it Right

Limoncello is usually served ice cold, in chilled aperitif glasses. It is handed out at the end of a meal as a digestif.

Variations: Giving the Limoncello a Twist

A good number of varieties of the liqueur are produced, such as an intriguing-sounding Pistachiocello (flavoured with pistachio nuts), the Meloncello (made from sweet cantaloupe melons), as well as the ruby-red Fragoncello (containing the tart flavour of strawberries).

Those who seek a liqueur with a richer taste should give the Crema di Limoncello a try. Translating to mean ‘cream of Limoncello’, this liqueur contains a lower percentage of alcohol, and boasts a sweeter taste and thicker consistency compared to the original version.

Take a Shot at Making Your Own Limoncello!

Do not be daunted by the thought of making your own Limoncello at home!

Unlike other kinds of liqueurs, making the Limoncello is a fairly simple process, with few ingredients and tools required. If you are a passionate home-cook yearning to serve out several shots of Limoncello to your dinner guests, do take a look at Limoncelloquest for detailed instructions on how to make your own Limoncello.

Looking for a taste of excellent home-made Limoncello? Be sure to dine with our convivial BonAppetour Host, Alessandro in Rome, Italy!

Image Credits: Diane Abroad, Fmms, Foodrepublic

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Food Bites: Nasi Tumpeng

Food Bites: Nasi Tumpeng

This interestingly shaped rice dish, known as Nasi Tumpeng, is prepared using a cone-shaped container woven from bamboo strips. The rice may be prepared in different ways – it can be steamed and served as plain rice, cooked with coconut milk (also referred to as uduk rice), or coloured with a hue of yellow using a turmeric spice.

Nasi Tumpeng is usually served on tampah, a circular contained made of woven bamboo covered with a banana leaf, alongside with a variety of Indonesian side dishes.

What is the Significance of serving Nasi Tumpeng?

Traditionally, Indonesians prepare this dish to celebrate a special occasion. The appearance of the cone-shaped rice holds deeper meanings – the height of the one is a symbol of the greatness of Allah, while the food items surrounding the base of the cone represents the abundance that nature provides.

Dishin’ out the Nasi Tumpeng: What are the Yummy Sides Served?

An assortment of Indonesian dishes are served along with the soft, fragrant rice. These sides may include ayam goreng (crisp, crunchy chunks of fried chicken), ayam bakar (flavourful, grilled chicken), emapl gepuk (fried slices of tender beef cooked in a sweet and spicy sauce), sambal goreng ati (liver cooked in a appetisingly spicy sauce), boiled eggs and other dishes.

Our BonAppetour guests enjoyed a feast of Nasi Tumpeng with our lovely BonAppetour host, Nadya recently. It’s your turn to do the same now!

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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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Tagliatelle VS Tagliolini

Tagliatelle VS Tagliolini

You might have already heard about Tagliatelle and Tagliolini without actually knowing the difference between them. This might be something to clear up before your next trip to Italy!

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What’s Tagliatelle?

Tagliatelle VS Tagliolini

The tagliatelle, derived from the Italian word tagliare – meaning “to cut” – refers to a type of pasta originating from the Emilia-Romagna and Marche regions of Italy. This pasta, similar to the fettuccine and has a flat, ribbon-like appearance.

Instead of water, it is made with eggs, with a ratio of one egg to one hundred grams of flour.

How to cook Tagliatelle

Being an absorbent pasta, the tagliatelle remains firm when it is served with heavy, meaty sauces such as the bolognese sauce. Meat dishes containing rabbit, veal, pork, or beef is also commonly served with this pasta.

What’s Tagliolini?

Tagliatelle VS Tagliolini

The names of these two kinds of pasta may sound a little similar, but do not confuse tagliatelle with tagliolini. Tagliolini is a variation of the tagliatelle pasta.

The difference between these two kinds of pasta lies in its form. Tagliolini has a cylindrical shape and has a paper-thin thickness with a dimension measuring less than 3 millimeters.

How to cook Tagliolini

Unlike tagliatelle, smooth, thin sauces work best when one is whipping up a dish with the tagliolini pasta. One will often find this pasta prepared with a white truffle sauce.

Being a versatile pasta variety, richer sauces, such as the carbonara, or other sauces containing creamy ricotta also work well with the tagliolini.

Over to you

Want to find out more about these Italian delicacies? Find out more about these types of pasta – and even try cooking them – with local chefs during a visit to Rome. Sandra, a local home chef in Rome, would be happy to have you at one of her pasta making cooking classes! 

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