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How to Relive Holidays Through Your Taste Buds

How to Relive Holidays Through Your Taste Buds

I’m not a great cook. I am, however, a great eater. And one of the thrills of traveling is the chance to eat new and unusual foods that you’ve never heard of before. That’s why I started to make it a habit to “bring home” some new food ideas from every trip

so that now and again I can sit down to a meal or a snack that has me reliving some of my favorite travel moments. I’ve put a few tips together to help you do the same. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/Sifu Renka)

Learning About New Foods While You’re Traveling

The key thing about collecting taste bud memories of your travels is to try everything. Being in a foreign country is no time to let your taste buds get shy. There are many ways to make sure you get to taste plenty of new and different foods, including:

  1. Study up first (online or in a guidebook) and have a list of new meals you might find on a restaurant menu
  2. Take a random stab at a menu and be surprised with what the waiter brings out (not recommended for vegetarians!)
  3. Ask a local to recommend a special dish for you, one that they think is typical for their country or city
  4. Visit the supermarket and buy packets of unusual snacks or strange fruit to try
  5. Sign up for a meal with a local family – there a bunch of programs like Meeting the French where local people will prepare a typical dinner for you in their own home
  6. Attend a cooking class while you’re abroad, if your budget stretches that far (they’re becoming more popular and are sometimes reasonably cheap — especially as you get a meal thrown in)

It’s important to be brave while you’re trying new foods. Some things might taste awful at first, or have a texture that you’re just not used to, but it pays to persevere. For me, the most extreme example of this was in Japan where I sometimes ate objects that even my Japanese hosts couldn’t identify. Sometimes they were pretty awful, but other times they turned out to be delicious. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/Noshzilla)

But before you all go out and try badly-prepared fugu, remember to be sensible. But before you all go out and try badly-prepared fugu (that Japanese pufferfish that can kill you if you eat the wrong bit), remember to be sensible. Don’t forget the rules of eating in unhygienic spots, like only eating fruit that can be peeled and avoiding salads that were washed in unclean water, and so on. Be brave, but sensible.

Bringing New Foods to Your Old Kitchen Table

Once you find a meal or dish that you like and would like to “take home” as a souvenir, then the tricky part starts. Of course — eating is always the easy part of life! If you want to recreate this food back

home, you need to be armed with information.(Photo courtesy of Flickr/mike_harre)

This might sound easy if you’re in an English-speaking country, but even then, there are plenty of things you shouldn’t take for granted. If a local friend is giving you the recipe, or even if you’ve found something on the internet, then check that you understand what they’re talking about. There are all kinds of problems you might have with a recipe once you get home, including:

Converting strange measurements. The metric or imperial system is just the start of it. My German sister-in-law is astounded that half our recipes here in Australia use “cups” and “tablespoons” — she thinks it’s so imprecise and doesn’t have a clue how much that should be!

Locating unusual ingredients. You have to know what it is you’re looking for. A translated name will help a lot, or the local name written down carefully. There will be things that are impossible to find, but these days in many big cities across the world, I actually believe that you can find anything as long as you know where to look.

Following the recipe. One of my best Japanese friends kindly wrote out the recipe for okonomiyaki for me before I left Osaka — and she demonstrated it for me as well. I traveled for a while and didn’t get a chance to try to make it again for a year or so, and when I tried to follow her recipe, I was totally bamboozled. A less-than-perfect translation and lack of experience meant I made several okonomiyaki disasters before I created something edible!

Now… Sit down, eat, and reminisce

This is my favorite bit. I’ve got recipes from all over the world, from places I’ve been and from places I haven’t when my foreign students have taught me, and I love to serve these meals up for my family

and friends. And on the other hand, when I travel abroad and stay with foreign friends, I try to create something Australian for them to enjoy, too.

Like I said at the start, I’m no cook. This is not a suggestion just for gourmet kitchen-lovers. Anyone can collect food ideas from around the world on their travels and enjoy them later — just like looking at photos, only much more satisfying for the stomach.

Do you have any favorite dishes or snacks that you’ve learned about on your travels? I’d love to hear about them in the comments! (Photo courtesy of Flickr/elana's pantry)

by Amanda Kendle

Visit Vagabondish.com for the latest budget travel tips and advice.


4 Tips To Help A Foodie Get Through Chemo

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, it was clear that I would be thinking about a lot of things — myriad doctor visits, multiple tests, surgeries and chemotherapy.

Here are some things I knew about chemotherapy going in: it is unpleasant it poisons your body it makes you nauseated.

But there was also something I wasn't quite as aware of: it plays havoc with your taste buds and even impacts your reaction to food smells and food textures. In short, eating can become an unpleasant chore. As someone who both loves food and loves to cook, I prepared myself to enter a period of not eating or at least not enjoying eating.

But does it have to be that way? Not necessarily. Here are four tips I learned to help cope with treatment.

1. Avoid Risk. Pay attention to the list your doctors give you of what you can't eat. It took me some time to realize that this list resembles the list of things to avoid when pregnant: unwashed fruits and vegetables, raw and undercooked meat, raw milk products, salad bars, among others. Rather like in pregnancy, your body is undergoing a chemical change during chemo, and with a compromised immune system you have to be careful not to expose yourself to unwanted pathogens.

2. Manage Nausea. No duh! But this involves not just the amazing drugs you can now get as part of your treatment it can also involve some homemade remedies, which offer a nice break from all the medications you will be on.

For me, that old standby, ginger, really did work. One of my favorite cookbooks to use was The Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson. I found the ginger syrup recipe quite the tonic, along with her Magic Mineral Broth (recipe below). I would say these were staples. In fact, that broth (don't let the secret ingredient — seaweed — scare you) is still standard repertoire in my cooking, long after the end of treatment.

3. Beat Metal Mouth. Depending on which chemotherapy regimen you are on, you may find yourself with extreme dry mouth and also a metallic taste in your mouth. If you eat with metal flatware, the metallic taste will be worse. Time to get out the plastic forks. This doesn't last forever, but it really makes a difference.

4. Focus On Flavor. Does it taste good? If it does, eat it. If it doesn't, don't. Could this be more obvious? Well, you will be surprised at how much you will resist this seemingly simple bit of advice. "Oh, but I must eat X because of its anti-cancer fighting properties," you'll say. When you are in the throes of treatment, you don't really have to worry about that because, well, you already have cancer, and you are fighting the cancer by going through treatment!

Eating should be a pleasure, and we tend to lose sight of that fact. In fact, eating should be as much about pleasure as it is about health. So don't destroy the pleasure by now forcing yourself to eat something that doesn't smell or taste good to you.

I continued to eat yogurt during my treatment because I thought it was good for me. The texture was unbearable, and my gag reflex would kick in, but I soldiered on. Now I can't eat yogurt without loading it with granola or fruit to distance myself from that unpleasant memory that I associate with its texture.


Blazing bruschetta

(Serves 4 – £1.15 per serving)

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 3 minutes

  • 300g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (1 minced and 1 whole)
  • Small handful of basil, torn
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 slices of crusty bread
  • 250g ricotta
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Balsamic glaze (optional, to drizzle on top)

METHOD: Place the tomatoes in a mixing bowl and add the olive oil, crushed garlic, basil, chilli and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper and mix.

Toast the bread or place it under the grill for a few minutes, then rub with the remaining garlic clove.

Spread the ricotta evenly across each piece of bread and then top each with the tomato mixture.

Add basil to garnish, a crack of black pepper and a drizzle of balsamic glaze and enjoy.


How To Stay Healthy During The Holidays

Let's face it, the holidays might be a good time for your taste buds, but it isn't exactly an ideal season for your waistline (looking at you, eggnog and mince pie!).

But what if you could enjoy the glorious holiday repast without sabotaging your health?

Be a smart cookie by following these simple steps to stay healthy during the holiday season:

  • Eat mindfully. When you're eating, sit back and allow yourself to truly enjoy your favorite holiday flavors. Pay attention to the taste, aroma and texture of the foods. "When the attention shifts from your body, redirect it back to your internal fullness and satisfaction cues," says Alissa Rumsey, a New York-based dietitian, nutrition therapist and owner of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness. Since it takes a few minutes for your stomach's "I'm full signal" to reach your brain, it's advisable to take a 10-minute break after your first helping, suggests Patrick Skerrett in a Harvard Health Blog article. "You might realize you are full or want only a small portion of seconds," explains the author. Other than that, don't attend a party on an empty stomach as it makes you prone to overeating. As for the dessert, eat only one or two dishes you really love instead of sampling each and every option available on the table.
  • Stay hydrated. "Water accounts for 60% of our body’s total weight and we need to stay hydrated in order to maintain this ratio. Water is also necessary for several bodily functions, including maintaining our cell’s fluids and delivering nutrients," notes Rumsey. Drink plain or infused H2O as often as you can throughout the day. Limit your intake of high-calorie drinks like eggnog, martinis and margaritas. "If you're consuming alcoholic beverages over the holidays, try alternating with glasses of water in between your cocktails. Your body will thank you the next morning!" says the nutrition expert.


This Restauranteur’s Cookbook Will Make You Relive Your Bubbe’s Recipes

Maya Jankelowitz should be your taste buds’ best friend. She is the co-owner of the popular bistro Jack’s Wife Freda in Manhattan, New York with her husband–which is a blend of American and Mediterranean cuisine with a down to earth atmosphere. Jankelowitz also recently released a book with the restaurant’s recipes.

What makes this restaurant so different is the fact that it’s centered around a Jewish immigrant love story. As their website explains:

“Freda & Jack met and married in Johannesburg circa 1930’s. They had a son and daughter and a handful of grandchildren. Their grandson Dean always dreamed of America, the America on TV and as a teenager he packed his few items and began his great adventure. It wasn’t until 2003 that life opened it’s mighty divide and Dean met Maya. Maya too had come to NYC to find that spark and special something. Dean convinced Maya that they could make a life together. And they got married in Maya’s homeland Israel at their spiritual center the Western Wall.”

Dean’s grandmother Freda was an incredible host, gracious & warm, always having family, friends, and couple strangers over-—and always lots of food. So when we woke up and said “Jack’s Wife Freda”! we laughed and laughed some more, and then said ‘why not?'”

Even if you don’t live in New York City and can’t make it to the restaurant, the cookbook makes it possible to have amazing dishes your bubbe would love, with a fresh twist.

Bloody Mary Mussels

A post shared by Jack’s wife Freda COOKBOOK (@jackswifecookbook) on Apr 17, 2017 at 5:32pm PDT

We were able to talk to Maya about some fun stuff, like her favorite Yiddish word, what book publishing it like, and her favorite TV show:

What’s your favorite Yiddish word:

Balaboosta (a good homemaker)

What’s the most surprising lesson you’ve learned since getting a book deal?

The whole publishing process was a fun learning curve! The biggest surprise was just how personal this project was to us and then working together with so many people to bring it to life.

What are you favorite dishes to make at home with the kids?

Chicken schnitzel with mashed potatoes! They love to help pound the chicken and mix the eggs, just like I did when my mother taught me her schnitzel recipe.

What TV show have you binge watched?

Biggest pet peeve:

If you were a Jewish holiday, which one would you be?

Childhood goals:

If you could serve a meal to one celebrity, dead or alive, who would it be?


How to Dull Your Taste Buds

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Plenty of people find themselves in situations where they'll need to eat or drink something that just doesn't taste good. Whether it's a polite situation with food you can't decline, or acrid medicine you can't stand to swallow, the bad taste might be unavoidable. Fortunately taste is like all the other senses and can be dulled or diminished. Equally fortunate is that this is as simple as controlling your breath or reaching for the salt.


Travel with your taste buds – recipes from around the world by Britain's top chefs

Allow Britain's top chefs to take you on a culinary tour of the world Credit: Getty

Follow the author of this article

F rom zingy chilli crabs in the Caribbean to creamy coconut curries in Kolkata, top chefs share their favourite dishes from around the globe to transport us to far-flung places.

Sardinia, with Letitia Clark

Three years ago I visited Sardinia with a boyfriend, Luca, for Sa Sartiglia, Oristano’s Mardi Gras festival, complete with medieval horse racing, drinking and eating. Oristano is one of Sardinia’s great medieval cities, with cobbled streets and balconies blowsy with bougainvillea. During Sa Sartiglia – the equivalent of the Palio horse race in Siena – the city-centre piazza shuts down and it becomes the course. Riders get dressed up in elaborate costumes with white masks, bells and silk, and do acrobatics on the horses.

Luca’s family home was a stream of friends and family, the TV blaring out live coverage of the race, though it was happening less than 100 yards away – there was too much eating to be done to leave the house. There was a table spread with suckling pig, roast lamb and chicken (all from the family farm), ragù, ravioli, bread, olives and grilled aubergines. The viola aubergines in Sardinia are enormous and beautiful, and you taste the sun when you eat them.

Grilled aubergine, feta and mint

Serves four to six as an antipasti

3 large aubergines, sliced ½cm thick

80g feta or ricotta salata

zest of half a lemon, grated

5 tbsp best-quality olive oil

• Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3.

• Toast the pine nuts on a baking sheet for a few minutes, until golden.

• In a griddle pan over a medium heat, grill the aubergines in batches until they have softened, making sure they take a good amount of colour on each side.

• Arrange on a platter and sprinkle over the mint, the nuts and the ricotta/feta. Mix the ingredients for the dressing together, whisk well, then drizzle over the top.

Bitter Honey: Recipes and Stories from the Island of Sardinia by Letitia Clark (Hardie Grant) is out on April 30

Devon, with Tom Aikens

My fondest travel memories are from childhood holidays in south Devon. Pottering about in the rock pools on Salcombe beach, seeing bright sea anemones and crabs for the first time, and using our little nets to catch fresh shrimps by the bucketload, which my parents would cook up for tea.

We stayed in the picturesque village of Newton Ferrers. At low tide we could walk right across the causeway to Noss Mayo, all the boats keeled over in the mud. It was and still is very beautiful, a largely untouched landscape on the estuary of the River Yealm where you can see herons, kingfishers and egrets.

My father had a 19ft sailing boat and we would go mackerel fishing with a long line and flies on the string. Any mackerel dish I make still takes me back to these memories of Devon.

Ceviche

To make a great ceviche, coarsely chop 200g mackerel and marinate in lime juice and zest, 20ml olive oil, half a teaspoon of caster sugar, a teaspoon of chopped coriander, a pinch of chili flakes, salt, a teaspoon of finely chopped shallot and a little chopped garlic. Serve with tartar sauce (make your own by adding chopped gherkins, capers, parsley and shallots to mayonnaise).

Muse by Tom Aikens, 38 Groom Place, London SW1 (musebytomaikens.co.uk)

Barcelona, with Clodagh McKenna

After checking into Soho House Barcelona one Friday last spring, my boyfriend and I headed to the bar for pre-dinner drinks, where we were immersed in the young vibrant energy. We ordered chilled manzanilla (Spanish crisp dry white sherry) with a platter of green olives, almonds and Iberico ham – simple Spanish bar food, but it was fantastic, so much so that it has become our ritual aperitif during lockdown.

Early the next morning we visited La Boqueria, a buzzing market with jaw-dropping displays of fresh fish, cured meats, spices, cheeses, vegetables and an extraordinary array of beans. We called at Bar Pinotxo for brunch – it’s the oldest bar in the market, a small counter seating only about 12 people, and the food is sensational and incredibly good value.

We ate lightly smoked sardine fillets, chickpeas with black pudding, slow-cooked beef cheeks and squid with Santa Pau beans (a local bean similar to borlotti). All accompanied by an ice-cold local beer! Inspired, we hit the stalls, and I bought an array of fabulous spices and oils including saffron to recreate a fish dish when I got home for a taste-escape back to this magical place.

Spanish fish stew with almonds and saffron

800g white fish (ling, haddock, hake or whiting), cut into small pieces

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tbsp whole almonds, finely chopped

a good pinch of saffron, soaked with warm water

2 tbsp fresh flat parsley, finely chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

• Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

• Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the fish, season and cook for 30 seconds on each side. Transfer to a casserole dish.

• Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and stir in the onions and garlic, cover and cook for two to three minutes. Then stir in the tomatoes. Season and cook for a further five minutes and transfer to the casserole dish with the fish, almonds, and the saffron and water, plus white wine and one glass of water.

• Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, then stir in the parsley and serve with basmati rice or a big green salad and lemon wedges.

Try more recipes in Clodagh’s Suppers or get daily inspiration on IGTV @clodagh_mckenna

Kolkata, with Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon Club

King prawns in malai curry sauce is a perfect holiday dish. It transports me to Kolkata, one of my favourite places in the world. Usually reserved for special occasions, it takes me back to when I worked at The Oberoi Grand hotel and the Bijoya celebrations between the Durga Puja and Kali Puja festivals. Malai refers to the creamy, tender meat inside a young coconut.

Freshwater king prawns in malai curry sauce

400g large freshwater prawns, peeled and deveined

3 red onions, blended to a fine paste

2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste

2 green chillies, slit lengthways

4-5 green cardamom pods, ground

• Marinate the prawns in turmeric and salt for five minutes. Sauté the bay leaves and onion paste in vegetable oil over a medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, sear the prawns in oil for a minute on each side.

• Mix turmeric, ground cumin and ginger-garlic paste in 75ml water, add to the sautéed onions, and cook gently for two to three minutes, stirring.

• Add the remaining salt, green chillies and prawns and stir for a minute.

• Add the stock, then mix in the coconut milk and simmer for two or three minutes, adding more stock if necessary.

• Season and sprinkle on the ground cardamom and chopped coriander.

• Squeeze over the lime juice and serve with basmati rice.

From Spice at Home by Vivek Singh (Absolute Press, £25) cinnamonclub.com

The Philippines, with Jason Atherton of Pollen Street Social

On my first trip to the Philippines with my wife, Irha, she took me straight to Café Laguna in Cebu, where she’s from. It’s a popular local restaurant that’s always packed. I had eaten Philippine adobo before, in Dubai – but the adobo at Laguna was the best I’d ever had. It makes such a difference eating a national dish in its place of origin.

Afterwards I had to go to my mother-in-law’s house to taste the family recipe. Initially, I was worried: what if I didn’t like her mother’s version as much? Thankfully it was amazing, and Irha’s mother taught me how to cook it. Now we enjoy this recipe as a family at home and it always brings back memories of that astonishing trip.

Pollen Street Social, London W1 (pollenstreetsocial.com)

Extremadura, with Ben Tish of Norma

In this region of Spain, on the Portuguese border, the black pigs roam semi-wild, feasting on acorns before they become exquisite iberico pork. From the pigs, they also make sausages and the most amazing smoked paprika, garlic and cumin-spiked chorizos. I tried it while I was there, grilled over open flames (there may be nothing better than that smell for grabbing attention at a gathering), alongside roasted peppers. It’s the finest chorizo I’ve found, made even better by the cooling saffron aioli.

Ben’s barbecued chorizo with roasted peppers

350g soft, spicy cooking chorizo (about six sausages), peeled

1 large yellow bell pepper

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

50ml extra virgin olive oil

50ml white balsamic vinegar

2 pinches of saffron strands, infused in a splash of warm water

sea salt and black pepper

200ml aioli or olive oil mayonnaise, to serve

• Light the barbecue or use a hot griddle pan.

• Put the peppers on the grill and blacken all sides.

• Transfer the peppers to the indirect heat zone, and cook for 20 minutes.

• Put in a heatproof bowl and cover with cling film.

• Leave to steam for 15 minutes, then deseed and peel off the skins. Roughly slice, then put in a bowl with the garlic, thyme, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and seasoning. Marinate for 15 minutes.

• Cut the chorizo in half lengthways, place on the grill and cook for two minutes on each side until lightly charred and cooked through.

• Whisk the saffron-infused water into the aioli/mayonnaise.

• Spoon the marinated peppers on to the plates and serve with the chorizo and a dollop of aioli.

Norma, 8 Charlotte Street, London W1 (normalondon.com)

South-east Asia, with Gizzi Erskine

One of my all-time favourite dishes that evokes memories of travelling in South-east Asia is black pepper crab. A whole pile of small mud crabs comes to the table and there is nothing more satisfying than picking out the sweet crab meat from the claws and shells with your hands, whilst getting absolutely covered in this amazing peppery butter – a heady combination of garlic, curry leaves, oyster sauce, dried shrimp, chillies and a shed-load of black pepper which gives it this amazingly addictive, fiery astringency. I had it again recently at a night market in Kuala Lumpur with my best mate, sitting on plastic chairs in the street in the middle of this electric energy, with ice-cold beers to wash it all down.

The Caribbean, with James Cochran of 12:51

For the past 10 years, my best friend and I have travelled to the gorgeous Tobago Cays in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. There is nothing like the waters there anywhere in the world – so crystal clear it must be paradise.

Every morning a local fisherman goes from boat to boat selling lobster and crabs, and one day we bought a couple of crabs which a chef at a local restaurant cooked up for our dinner. It was an incredible dish: simply cooked crab dressed in a zingy chilli dressing, and enjoyed with a rum punch.

In these days of lockdown I love to mix some rum with pineapple juice and some fresh lime and make out like I’m in Tobago enjoying the freshest seafood with my best friend.

12.51 is on 107 Upper Street, London N1 (1251.co.uk)

Marrakech, with Alex Claridge of The Wilderness

My overriding memory of my honeymoon in Marrakech was the immediacy of it all. The overwhelming assault on the senses in the old town, where hustlers shriek and shout, tottering around Djemaa el-Fna with their wares stacked on trolleys, and smoke billows from street-food traders, grilling simple meats and vegetables to order.

We stayed on an organic farm where the daily meals were simple renderings of raw or roast produce from on site. On our final night we enjoyed a smoky baba ganoush with simple fresh bread while the setting sun burned fiery.

To recreate the baba ganoush at home, throw a couple of aubergines on an open flame and cook until they are blackened and the skin is brittle (or roast whole at 180C/Gas 4 for 45 minutes). Blend with roasted garlic then finish with tahini, a good-quality extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and plenty of salt. It’s best eaten fresh and in the moment.

The Wilderness, 27 Warstone Lane, Birmingham (wearethewilderness.co.uk)

Brittany, with Pierre Gagnaire of Sketch

There is a magical island just off the Quiberon peninsula called Belle-Île-en-Mer, meaning Beautiful Island at Sea. I went there on honeymoon 12 years ago, and now we have a house there. The island is heaven on earth. It has a picture-perfect landscape, vast meadows and valleys, beautiful beaches, dramatic cliffs and a picturesque fishing port. It feels like a mini version of Brittany.

Belle-Île lamb is a native dish from the island. You can taste its unique climate – the spray from the sea, the rainfall and the spring sun – and wild herbs: thyme, savory and hyssop, which are rubbed into the lamb. It is subtly sweet and salty at the same time, and likely to entice anyone to discover this beautiful, silent island.

Belle-Île Lamb

Rub a leg of lamb (for six people) with thyme, savory and hyssop, and drizzle with a few spoons of olive oil, a day in advance. Salt with fleur de sel then cook in a casserole (start with a cold oven set to 235 degrees).

After 30 mins turn the leg and add 20 fresh garlic cloves 15 minutes later add two finely chopped onions, then 20 small fresh turnips, chopped.

After 20 mins, turn the oven to 160 degrees for 15 minutes, add a few tablespoons of good quality white beer. Stop the oven, let stand for 30 minutes. Serve with fresh borlotti beans with mint, small slices of toasted bread spread with butter with fresh herbs.

Sketch, 9 Conduit St, London W1 (sketch.london)

Bangkok, with Saiphin Moore of Rosa’s Thai Café

Pad krapow is a national dish found on many a street corner – it’s a nice reminder of my travels to Bangkok every time I fire up my wok. In Thailand we use holy basil, the very pungent sister of Italian basil, which is a key ingredient in Thai cooking. You’ll notice the sudden bursts of aroma as soon as you start tossing the ingredients together over a high heat – it’s a smell that wakes up my senses every time and takes me back to the streets of Bangkok, bustling with street traders and hawkers and all the amazing dishes that bring colour and life to the city.

Saiphin Moore’s Pad Krapow

• Grind red bird’s-eye chillies and three cloves of garlic to a paste.

• Heat oil in a wok (high heat).

• Add the paste, stir-fry for 30 seconds now add 150g tofu chunks, a tablespoon of light and half a tablespoon of dark soy, half a tablespoon of palm sugar and white pepper and cook, tossing everything around in the pan, for about a minute, until the tofu is well coated and has taken on a little colour from the sauces.

• Add onion, sliced red and yellow bell peppers and green beans and cook for a further 30 seconds, tossing together.

• Throw in a handful of basil and kaffir lime leaves and stir-fry for a further 30 seconds.


Babies have about 30,000 taste buds that regenerate approximately every two weeks.

We’re born with innate cravings for things that will help us survive and thrive, like the sweetness of a mother’s milk.

As we grow older, though, we lose a lot of those taste buds. By the time we’re adults, we’re left with only about 10,000.

Though the average adult’s taste buds still regenerate every couple weeks, they may find certain foods less overpowering than they once did.

So when, exactly, does this transition happen? The magic age is apparently 22.

For a 2015 study, U.K.-based researchers asked approximately 2,000 adults when they started liking strong-tasting foods like pickles, garlic, spinach, oysters, asparagus, and horseradish. Most people didn’t enjoy these “grown-up” foods until their early 20s.

While culture and environmental factors can certainly influence when you begin to develop an appreciation for certain flavors, it makes sense that the amount of taste buds in your mouth can directly affect which foods you like.

If you’re curious, here’s the full list of pungent foods and at what age the study’s participants began to enjoy them:


Travel the World Through Your Taste Buds With Spice Tribe

Wanderlust has never been stronger. With international travel essentially ruled out and many travelers still hesitant to hop on a plane, even simple escapes&mdash scenic road trips , staycations close to home , and camping weekends &mdashfelt exciting and luxurious this year. While there is hope on the horizon, the thirst for adventure grows stronger by the day, especially now that Californians are stuck at home again.

Though you might not be able to physically travel and discover a new destination or return to a favorite city in the near future, cooking can help provide a sense of adventure by transporting you to a new place through your taste buds&mdashthis is exactly what Trent Blodgett, founder of Spice Tribe , aims to accomplish with his spice blends. The Bay Area chef and avid traveler became inspired to start a small-batch, ethically sourced spice line while traveling around the world from Thailand to Haiti. Throughout his trip, he filled his suitcases with spices and brought them home to experiment with, creating blends that captured the sights, smells, and tastes of the faraway lands he visited.

Every spice blend offered by Spice Tribe has a story of adventure that Blodgett hopes you can channel at home&mdashwhether it be the Long Tail Sunset spice blend, inspired after a day fishing with locals in Thailand the Mombacho Café spice blend, which came about after exploring Nicaragua&rsquos Mombacho volcano and indulging in flavorful Nicaraguan street food or the Mama Manje, a Caribbean spice blend created after a trip to Haiti with Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making maternity and childbirth safe for all mothers around the globe. The San Francisco spice company now offers 20-plus different products (and works directly with small farms around the world to procure their spices), so there&rsquos no shortage of new places to discover.

So, the next time you&rsquore consumed by wanderlust, get transported to new culinary lands with Spice Tribe. With the recipes below, you can travel through your taste buds and visit the vibrant marketplaces of Marrakesh, the arid desert of Egypt&rsquos Nile Valley, and the bustling street food stalls of Japan.


8 Ways to Combat Taste Changes

There are a few tried and tested ways that chemotherapy patients overcome their taste changes. The following is a list of tips that might help mask the different taste sensations you may be feeling:

  1. Avoid eating for 2 to 3 hours after chemotherapy treatment.  
  2. Chew ice before eating certain foods. You want the nutrients of spinach, but your recent taste changes have been making that spinach taste like gasoline to you. Chew some ice to numb your taste buds before eating that good-for-you food.
  3. Drink tart drinks like lemonade or limeade to mask the metallic taste. Be sure to avoid these drinks if you have dry mouth or any mouth sores.
  4. Some people on chemo swear by plastic utensils instead of metal ones to cut down on the metallic taste of some foods.  
  5. Think curry. Cooking with strong herbs and spices will help cover up the metallic taste of most foods.
  6. Marinate your food with sauces like teriyaki, barbecue, or ketchup.
  7. Minty fresh can help in between meals. Chew a sprig of mint, mint-flavored gum or hard candy.
  8. Try making an ice-cold fruit smoothie and add vegetables and protein too. The sweetness of the fruit will offset the bitterness of green veggies and boost your nutrient intake too.