NYC Foodies Will LOVE the Duckathlon!
If you're going to be in New York City this weekend, don't miss the Duckathlon.
Wait, what? Yes, the Duckathlon is a daylong food festival that will take you on an "experiential journey" from farm to table. Presented by D'Artagnan—which produces some of the tastiest poultry and game meats by working with small farms and making sustainability and humane farming practices a priority—Duckathlon will include demonstrations and challenges led by top chefs and farmers.
When you're not tasting great food or watching a chef teach kitchen skills, you can interact with farmers and chefs to learn more about responsible farming and local sourcing. And if you're game, you can participate in some of the two dozen interactive challenges, such as identifying cuts of meat with Chef Shane McBride of NYC's Balthazar, taking a quiz on squab husbandry (yes, squab husbandry is a thing that exists), and test your knowledge of swine anatomy using a pig puzzle. Prizes will include wine, kitchen knives, whole hams courtesy of D'Artagnan, restaurant gift certificates, and Duckathlon medals.
The Duckathlon is a benefit for Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian agency that feeds malnourished children and helps communities become self-sufficient. The agency's FoodLove initiative connects food enthusiasts and brands to the fight to end world hunger.
When: Saturday June 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th St., NYC
Tickets: Open to adults 21 and older, $60 (groups of four will receive a 10 percent discount).
The Corso de Wong Parade in Lima, Peru
Peru celebrates its independence with a three-day festival known as Fiestas Patrias. The three officially recognized dates for Fiestas Patrias are July 24th, July 28th, and July 29th. However, the weeks surrounding these days are also filled with fun activities. As an added bonus, you'll find that the residents of Peru are in the mood to party during these days since most Peruvians receive time off from work for the holiday. One of the great events that happens annually during Fiestas Patrias is the Gran Corso de Wong. The Corso consists of a massive parade that winds through the streets of Miraflores in Lima. Generally the Corso happens a week prior to the actual independence day of July 28th, however, I've seen the date of the parade changed at the last minute due to inclement weather or other factors. In truth, it's a bit of a difficult event to plan for since it's subject to delays and postponement. The best thing to do might be to plan to spend your Saturdays in Miraflores in the weeks before and after July 28th and hope that the parade happens when you're there. Scouring El Comercio (Peru's leading paper) for announcements is also a nice tactic, but I find that news travels fastest by word of mouth in Peru, so it might be best to simply ask somebody. It's almost comical to think of viewing a parade as something of a scavenger hunt, but when you do get a chance to experience the Corso, you'll find the effort was very much worth the result. To put it simply, the Corso is a wonderful event. There are marching bands, troops performing traditional dances from every region of Peru, soldiers on horses, and a wide variety of floats and other moving displays. The Corso offers you a chance to see absolutely everything that Peru has to offer all in one convenient location. Like any parade, viewing the Corso is an exercise in patience and endurance. When you first arrive you'll find the main thoroughfare of Larco barricaded off in anticipation of the performers. However events like this never seem to start until an hour or so after the indicated time—and that assessment is even more true in Peru. The temptation is to arrive early so as to assure yourself of an unobstructed view, but I would recommend a later arrival, especially if you are attempting to watch the Corso with small children. The most popular area for viewing the Corso is by far the Ovalo de Miraflores. However, I would recommend that you resist the temptation to follow the crowd and instead pick out a spot further down Larco. The reason is that the crowds tend to arrive late. It's very possible to arrive early and claim a wonderful viewing spot from within Parque Kennedy, but as the parade progresses, the influx of spectators is going to make it very difficult to leave. By the time the Corso is at its peak, the throngs of people gathering around the Ovalo de Miraflores can be somewhat out of control. I would definitely not recommend passage through the Ovalo de Miraflores with small children during the Corso de Wong because the crowds are just too dense. This problem is completely avoidable by simply hiking further down Larco where the streets don't become nearly as congested. When the parade finally finishes and darkness falls, you can stick around for a tremendous display of fireworks that explode long into the night. After that, the party is on as young people flock to the local discos to dance until dawn. There is a real sense of adventure surrounding the Corso de Wong. The parade represents a wonderful montage of the best of all the various cultural regions that Peru has to offer; and Peru boasts a diversity of landscapes most nations cannot match. The Corso is a great spectacle that you as the viewer need to approach with a bit of prudence based on the understanding that crowd control in Peru isn't as highly developed as it is in some parts of the world. However, with minimal preparation you can ensure yourself a perfectly safe and marvelous day. This article was written by Walter Rhein, author of the humorous travel memoir, Beyond Birkie Fever. You can read more about his adventures in Peru at StreetsOfLima.com. He penned this article on behalf of South American Vacations, providing Peru tours to Lima, Machu Picchu and beyond.
Five Hamburg Neighborhoods Best Explored By Bike
This article was written by Megan Eileen McDonough, Founder of Bohemian Trails. Despite being Europe's richest city, Hamburg's humble neighborhoods don't show off, but rather, showcase both old and new influences in true style. From alternative Sternschanze and lively St. Pauli to modern HafenCity, these five neighborhoods showcase the many faces of Hamburg. The next time you find yourself in the Baltic Sea Region, head straight to Hamburg and rent a bike for the best city views. SternschanzePerhaps one of Hamburg's best examples of gentrification, Sternschanze, or simply "Schanze," is Hamburg's hippest neighborhood of the moment. The graffiti-covered buildings and walls give the area a charming grungy appeal while the high-end restaurants, trendy cafes and fashion boutiques provide a stark contrast. Due to an increase in rents, many families and couples have flocked to the area but it's still a cultural playground for all residents. HafenCityEven from a distance, HafenCity looks completely different than anywhere else in Hamburg. This brown development project, when completed, will affect a total of ten neighborhoods of different sizes. In a nutshell, the entire area is undergoing a serious revamp, with hotels, offices, shops, buildings and residential spaces replacing old port warehouses. From an architectural standpoint, it's impressive to say the least and easy to get around by bike. St. PauliSt. Pauli might be better known as Hamburg's "red-light district," but there's also a bit of Beatles' history here. The Reeperbahn is the main street and serves as an unofficial divider between day and night attractions. On one side there are galleries and on the other, a slew of nightclubs. Things generally pick up around 11pm and it can get rather crowded, so keep an eye out for traffic. Swing by INDRA, the music venue where the Beatles first performed. KarolinenviertelAlthough technically the northern part of St. Pauli, Karolinenviertel has a distinct look and feel that deserves just as much attention. Park your bike near Marktstraße and and wander in and out of the shops. This area has experienced quite a bit of gentrification as well yet there are still remnants of what it looked liked years before. Fashionistas should head to Maison Suneve and those on the hunt for home goods with a twist will appreciate Lockengeloet. AltonaAn independent city until 1937, Altona is now part of Hamburg and an emerging one at that. The Altona Museum gives a great crash course into the area while Ottensen is the main street for shopping as well as bars, cafes and restaurants. Since Altona is more west than the other neighborhoods on this list, biking is a quick and easy way to experience everything from the architecture to the bohemian atmosphere and multicultural flair.
5 Desserts To Try In Thailand
This article was written by Sia Ling Xin, who travels and writes about it for Asiarooms.com, a blog and online community focused on travelling in Asia. You can also find her on Twitter. Thailand is famous for many things: her street food, shopping, and sunny islands among others. What many do not realise is the Land of Smiles also has mouth-watering desserts up for offer. Fresh back home from a trip to Thailand, I find myself plagued by insatiable sweet-tooth cravings night after night. I would gladly return to Thailand simply to feast on the wide array of sweet treats available there. If you are lucky enough to be heading there soon, here are five delicious desserts you have to try. Tub Tim Grob (Red Ruby)Crunchy bits of water chestnut, coated with gelatinous tapioca flour and dyed red, resembles the namesake of this dessert. Those sweet, vividly coloured ruby balls are served in a drink of cold coconut milk. The result is a velvety broth and delightfully chewy morsels with every slurp. This dessert feels impossibly decadent and refreshing at the same time. It can be found at most restaurants or food courts. Foi Thong (Golden Egg Yolk String)Egg yolk and sugar are forced into a thin, stringy form, and rapidly boiled in syrup flavoured with rose water or jasmine flower essence. A mix of chicken and duck eggs may be used. It is recognised for its impossibly bright orange-yellow colour, and is commonly served at weddings or other important occasions for luck. The thin strands of yolk, infused with the fragrance of the rose water, tastes striking yet delicate. This classy, intricate item can be found in most restaurants. If you are visiting street food markets, you may even spot a skilled Foi Thong lady making it fresh. Some grocery or convenient stores may stock it in the chilled section. Khao Niaow Ma Muang (Mango sticky rice)Mangoes are aplenty in Thailand, and those travelling to Thailand should be glad, for you are bound to fall in love with this sweet tropical fruit with its silky smooth flesh. Mango sticky rice sees a whole mango fruit, skinned and pitted, cut into bite-sized portions, and served atop chewy glutinous rice. Rice kripsies, peanuts or other crunchy toppings, alongside coconut milk, may be poured over the dessert. The magic that pulls it all together is the impossible sweetness of the normally tart mango—it's impossible to replicate the ripeness and taste of the Thai mango. This dessert can be pretty filling, and is worth saving some stomach space for. Mango sticky rice is the quintessential Thai dessert, and can be found anywhere from street food carts to high-end restaurants. Thai pancakeAnyone who has pounded the streets of Thailand would have passed by a pancake stall. A dozen of them can easily be found along any single tourist street. Crispy, greasy, and highly addictive, this pancake tastes like a cross between a sweet biscuit and a fire-baked uber-thin pizza. The pancake seller usually prepares little lumps of dough, which she will toss and stretch and throw onto a hot grill with sizzling margarine. On its own, it's quite savoury. You can opt for a variety of toppings, from condensed milk to Nutella to tuna. They all taste delicious! Coconut ice creamNot easy to find despite being so popular, so if you stumble upon a vendor who sells coconut ice-cream, go ahead and treat yourself to a cone. The Thais love their coconuts, and nothing is quite as refreshing on a sweltering day in the tropics as this dessert. It is creamy, mild, and tastes so light you may associate it more with sorbet than ice cream. Sometimes served on a hollowed out shell of a young coconut, it may come topped with nuts or sweet corn. This simple, homely ice cream puts complicated, new-fangled flavours to shame. The best thing is, it tastes as good as it looks.
Foodie Alert: The Ultimate Guide To Street Food In Penang, Malaysia
This article was written by Milda Ratkelyte, the travel community manager at AsiaRooms.com. She is currently exploring Asia and capturing the best moments in stories, photos, and films. Penang is a small tropical island connected to the northwest coast of Malaysia where, as one says, "the weather never changes so everyone talks about food instead." The island's fertile land and seas combined with a mixture of Malay, Chinese (mostly Hokkien with a smaller group of Cantonese and Teochew as well as the Straights-born Chinese known as Peranakans) and Indian cultures holds Penang as Asia's top city voted by CNN and the New York Times for street food for several years now. On top of that, Penang is also one of the safest places in Asia to try street food—the competition among the street vendors is so high that any dip in quality of the food is not tolerated here. During a recent trip to Penang, I rolled up my sleeves and hit the island's most famous hawker centers to find out for myself what all the fuss is about! Char Kuay TeowThe ever fragrant, garlicky and rich Penang Char Kuay Teow holds a special place in the hearts of foodies all over the world. Apart from sourcing the right ingredients and using them in the right ratios, the essence of char kuay teow is in how it's cooked. Wok hei, a smoky quality that translates as the breath of the wok, is essential. To get it, the hawker has to be working the wok with one hand while manipulating the fierce heat of the gas burner with the other, and because the dish is served scalding hot the second it's finished, there's no opportunity to taste and adjust the seasonings. Flat rice noodles together with oil, minced garlic, fresh prawns, soy sauce, bean sprouts, egg, and chives are fried in an iron cast wok to achieve the smoky aroma. The last ingredient is the cockles. The big plate of mouth-watering char kuay teow costs between $2 and $3. Asam LaksaIt was the Asam Laksa that launched Penang into stardom in the world of food. Ranked 7th in CNN's "World's 50 Most Delicious Foods" 2011 list. It is the only noodle dish in Penang to have a fish-based broth, which is made from pouched, boned mackerels stewed with lemongrass, chillies, and asam (tamarind). The rich broth is served with thick rice noodles, finely chopped ginger flower bud, sliced onions, cucumber, lettuce, red chillies, mint leaves, and prawn paste (har kao). The price for a bowl of heavenly laksa starts from $1.50. Hokkien MeeA bowl of comfort Hokkien meal in Penang is eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This dish of yellow noodles and rice vermicelli drenched in a think and spicy broth made of both prawn and pork is served with a garnish of water spinach and crunchy bean sprouts. It is usually finished off with a few slices of lean pork, boiled egg, prawns, and a sprinkle of fragrant fried shallots. To add more flavor, a spoonful of fried chilli paste is served along with it. This dish usually costs around $1.50. Nasi KandarThis famous meal originates from Penang. It is rice served with a host of curries, meat, vegetables and other side dishes. What sets the dish apart is the variety of curries. My recommendation for beginners would be to order "kari campur," which means a combination of various curries. The curries range from chicken, fish, beef, prawn, lamb, and many more. The price range is from $1.50 to $3. Chee Cheong FunThis famous dish is made of rice flour that is steamed and rolled up to about 10 cm long, hand-sliced, and served with a mixture of chilli paste, shrimp paste, a reddish sweet sauce, and sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds. The shrimp paste creates a slightly spicy taste. A plate of chee cheong fun costs about $0.60. Roti CanaiThe Roti Cenai is soft, buttery, and fluffy on the inside but crispy on the outside, very much like Danish pastry. The dough goes through an intense process of kneading before it is tossed and spun in the air until it becomes a very thin sheet. It is then fried on a hot iron skillet with lots of oil until the outer layers become golden. It is normally served with dhal, lentil stew, chicken curry, or anchovy sambal. Price starts from $0.60. CendolI must admit, I was not keen on trying cendol at first. The green, chewy noodle-like condiment made from rice flour and local herb "pandan" (which makes it green), palm sugar syrup, finely shaved ice, red beans and fresh coconut milk just seemed to be too much going on for one thing. But never judge by the first impressions, it turned out to be a very refreshing tropical delicacy, which is great in the heat Penang seems to always be in. One bowl of cendol costs about $0.60. Let's not forget the crispy seafood poh piah, super spicy curry mee, springy noodle wan tan mee, the signature mee goreng, the crispy and sweet peanut pancake, refreshing and sweet ice kacang and so many more mouth-watering dishes. Here is a short directory on where you can find these delicacies: Red Garden Cafe Food Court: north Jalan Penang; open 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Joo Hooi Cafe: 475 Jalan Penang; open noon to 5 p.m. Gurney Drive Esplanade: Persiaran Gurney; food served after 6 p.m. CF Food Court: 49-F Pengkalan Weld; open from 6 p.m. With so much food to try it's hard to feel like I've even skimmed the surface here in just one visit. Penang establishes the benchmarks and resets your perspective on just how good hawker food can be. And I cannot wait to go back.