I spent the first beautiful weekend of summer in Ithaca, NY. Between hiking, ultimate frisbee, and yoga, I had a little bit of time to check out the local food co-op and grocery store.
Ithaca is home to a thriving vegetarian scene, including the landmark Mosewood Restaraunt, so I couldn’t wait to try the locally made organic tofu I found. Each individually-wrapped, golden brown block of Ithaca Soy Tofu-Kan cost around $2.00, and came marinated, baked and ready to eat.
After using it in this recipe, I fell in love with this ingredient. Continue reading
Posted in $1 Ingredients, Downtown, Recipes, Recipes- Vegetarian, Travel
Tagged Asian food, buy local, curry, gluten free recipe, healthy cooking, ithaca, New York, noodles, organic, recipe, Thai food, vegetarian recipe
My good friend is leaving for Puerto Rico today, so to follow through on a last minute promise, here is my version of what’s good in Puerto Rico–to eat, see, and enjoy–based on the three months I lived there in 2007. The first installment is about an area of San Juan I frequented regularly:
On Thursday and Friday nights, the bars surrounding this market plaza are so packed with locals that the crowds spill out into the street, where they dance to live music, gather around tables with beers and fried seafood, and socialize beneath the large trees that line the plaza. I was there about twice a week, but it was usually at midday, instead of midnight.
This is because the Placita de Santurce is also home to a farmer’s market where you can find the best fresh fruits and veggies in the city. Inside the plaza’s turn-of-the-century structure, you can find everything from red bananas to yellow avocados. One vendor sells exotic herbs like yerbabuena, wild tarragon, and Puerto Rican lemongrass—all especially good for flavoring cocktails like mojitos.
My favorites from the Placita: guamas de la india, platanos, papaya, bananas and pineapple.
Another yummy add-in for mojitos is my favorite Puerto Rican fruit: guama de la India. Native guamas grow on trees, inside large green pods that look like giant peas. But in the summer, they are out of season, so, to keep up with year-round demand, another kind of guama tree was imported from India. Its fruit looks like an orange teardrop with tender white flesh inside—and the taste is like nothing else. It has the fresh, pine-y taste of juniper berry, the tartness of lychee, and the sweetness of Muscat grapes. You can’t go to PR without trying one…or twenty.
The Ramirez family sells guamas at their large stand in the center of the market. They also sell rum bottles full of homemade aji (spicy pepper sauce), which make for great souvenirs. Continue reading
Posted in Travel
Tagged Borinquen, budget travel, buy local, exotic fruit, farmer's markets, food, food travel, herbs, Latin America, Latina, low carbon foods, nightlife, Puerto Rico, Santurce, summer vacation, Travel, travel writing, tropical fruit