Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Binoy Nazareth Goes On a Gator Trail in Florida

Explore Exciting Encounters in Fantastic Florida

What could be more exciting than to journey through “the Sunshine State” where the brilliant light brightens your day and takes the taste buds on an adventurous mode? I planned my sunshine with great excitement to include Florida’s fantastic food and its perfect days filled with sunshine. Known as the “Land of Flowers” in Spanish, Florida in the United States of America evolves on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean with its borders ranging over the Gulf of Mexico and Alabama.

Sensational with sunny days filled to the brim with encounters of exciting days, I headed to the gorgeous shores of Daytona Beach, West Palm Beach, South Beach and the Panama City Beach. Rocking with life and exhilaration, my days were leveraged with awesome vibrant activities at Florida’s theme parks and water parks. Yes, Disney World was definitely on my itinerary including Sea World, Universal Studios, Wet and Wild, the Discovery Cove and the marvelous Islands of Adventure. Quenching my thirst with the famous Florida Margaritas, frozen yogurt, delicious ice creams and sweet teas, my hunger pangs were satiated with the mouth-watering Cubano (Cuban sandwich), innumerable types of seafood, barbeque, grits and Caribbean food. I indulged my taste buds with glorious Florida specialties which included Key lime pie, Strawberry shortcake, orange juice, Mojitos, Café Cubano and sun-filled trips to incredible wineries.

Each of my forays into Florida was filled with refreshing cultural offerings and a pasture for my quest to discover the craft of culinary cravings. I indulged in steaks, subs to Biscottis to going the whole “Hawg’ in Jacksonville or Jax besides lazing around on the beaches. I was amazed by the display of rich and awesome cuisines which included coffee to custard to the catch of the day.  To my surprise, I discovered that Florida has two time zones! Lounging around on white sandy beaches at Daytona while taking foodie breaks with Asian, Italian, Mexican and other culinary delights, I have never before enjoyed a unique two-time zone with such immense attractions.

Speaking of entertainment for both mind and body, I was completely fascinated with Orlando which boasted of over a dozen theme parks which I made it a point to visit. Driving down the ocean side highway (The Strip) at Fort Lauderdale was exhilarating and divine. I just loved chilling out in the bars and shopping at the famous boutiques besides visiting the popular attractions.

Discover a Gourmet Gator Trail

Every minute of my breath-taking holiday in Florida was topped to the utmost with hiking, backpacking, fishing and cruising around the calm waters.   Between sightseeing and shopping, I took off to discover my main reason for this vibrant break which is exploring all the restaurants which served alligator meat. I had heard so much about alligator meat that the chef and the intrepid adventurer in me simply had to taste, feel and ingest the essence of a gourmet trail.
This was going to be a tasteful adventure which I knew my taste buds would thoroughly enjoyed while anticipating the flavor of smoked, barbequed, marinated, spiced and oh so delicious delicate gator meat. Have you tasted the healthy, lean alligator meat high in protein and low in fat? I just loved it and relished the alligator meat dishes so much that I visited all the restaurants which specialized in this delectable culinary skill. I satiated the senses with all things alligator such as gator nuggets, sautéed alligator and blackened alligator, seasoned alligator meat ribs, barbecues and smoked alligator ribs. Served with barbecue sauce on the side and also served as an appetizer or even a meal, these amazing dishes hold memories which take the palate on a delectable sojourn.
Celebrate the Spirit of a Delightful Journey
Punctuating my explorations through the Nature Coast Manatee Tours, the Everglades National Park and the Busch Gardens in Tampa, the gator meat dishes kept beckoning with inviting enticement. Florida opened out a virtual sea of entertainment with Lake Okeechobee, the Shark City, the inspiring Seminole or Miccosukee Indian reservations including myriad attractions and I stopped off to record all my experiences. I gave in to my gator cravings with Alligator Gumbo, Gator Pucker which is a burger with gator meat and pork, Shrimp and Chicken & Alligator Combo and Gator Tail a la Fud which I not only relished but made sure that I took photos of these memorable dishes. I particularly enjoyed the Gator Ribs which was accompanied by hushpuppies, coleslaw and French fries, the zingy Cajun Fried Gator Tail and the Alligator sausage blended with pork or turkey.
Lounging on the beach as I took a break between my gator trails with intoxicating cocktails and mojitos, I marveled at the amazing southern Florida wildlife and landscape. Of course, I did make time to attend the incredible music festivals that Florida offers to keep the mind on a ethereal journey and to celebrate the spirit of talent. But I vowed to come back to Florida to pursue, enjoy and relish the gator dishes which would whisk my taste buds on a divine tour of all things tasteful and thrilling.
Binoy Nazareth Invites the Brave Hearts to Indulge in a Gator Food Adventure

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The Ruminations of a Gourmet in Montana

Exploring Mesmerizing Montana

Loving every minute of a passionate adventure through the food trails around the globe and being an ardent and avid gourmet, I decided to treat my palate to a spin around Montana to discover the health and the wealth of bison steak. With thoughts of food fit for the adventurer and being an intrepid traveler, I dreamt of traversing the diverse terrain of Montana to indulge in a treasure trove of the most authentic and delicious dishes to add to my repertoire of food tours. With the awakening of exotic appetites and the deliciously colorful carousel of the food train, my taste buds took me across the diverse terrain of Montana to capture the love of food and the pleasures that it offers to a passionate soul.

Who can suppress the spirit of an adventurer who can carve eternal solace with a delightful spread of food trails? The aspiring chef in me brought out a way to soar to the highest pinnacle of ecstasy while choosing a culinary adventure. Vast and wild, Montana displays wide-open spaces with the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountain, the Glacier National Park and uncultivated regions which offer the essence of adventure. There is nothing like wide open spaces which celebrate the spirit of freedom and Montana perfects the art of diversity with its snow-called peaks and innumerable hiking trails that whip up the appetite to a crescendo of palate-pleasing experiences.

All for the Love of Bison Steak

My culinary journey yearned for the aroma, the texture of flavors and the fragile yet fresh natural ingredients that go to conjuring up a masterpiece. Born of the desire to taste and relish bison meat and its various concoctions, my travel through Montana took my taste buds across a heritage of a rich agriculture and products grown locally. I looked forward to the delicious treats that lay ahead of me as I went touring across the famous ghost towns for Bannock State Park, Virginia City and Nevada City with its 19th century structures and incredible artifacts. Perfect and pleasurable, Montana offers hot springs, wineries, scenic drives and great activities. Yes, in-between sight-seeing and quenching my thirst with awesome wines, I took off to enjoy the much-sought after Bison steaks, Bison burgers and Bison meatballs.
While the gourmet and the foodie in me sampled delectable Huckleberry macaroons, steak and potato pasty, breakfast frittata, Rancher’s pizza, elk burgers and Lifty Dog, I wallowed in the delicious dining scenario. My taste buds crackled and I heard a distinct echo of my stomach congratulating me when I spent considerable amount of time relishing Bison steaks at the popular historic Montana Lodge and Bison Potstickers. Dating back to well over a thousand years, bison meat is nutritious and tasty and has become an authentic American food. The Native American tribes used almost all parts of the bison with the bladder being transformed into medicine bags and the bones becoming shovels.

Discovering the Brilliant Bison Food Tour

You can almost predict my culinary travel through Montana which is one of the best bison meat producers in the U.S.A. Every nerve in me declared that I should take the food trail in Montana which leads to the best bison meat restaurants. Off I went through beautiful scenic sights which took me to the popular Cafe Kandahar which served game sausage, game paté and grilled bison tenderloin. The Andiamo Italian Grille at Big Sky Resort took me over the moon with their special Montana Osso Buco or the Chianti Braised Bison Shank which is a slow-roasted bison dish. You can imagine my delight as I discovered many other Montana restaurants which served bison entrees with the taste buds tingling from the lasagna to burgers.
While the traveler in me took off to enjoy great sights, Butte beckoned with its jaw-dropping adventures through underground tours and a much-talked about history. My innate talents as an aspiring Chef were inspired as I tasted the Montana favorites such as sausage onion soup, the famous Sleigh Ride Dinner, Buckwheat pancakes, the twice-baked potato casserole and a kaleidoscope of delightful dishes. Making a vow to visit mesmerizing Montana, I made notes in my journal for a future date to rediscover the pleasures of the palate with the brilliance of bison meat delectables.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Binoy Nazareth Traverses through the Cuisines, Culture and Curries of India

Unique. Unusual. Unforgettable.

Satisfying my wanderlust and the innate intrepid nature of an adventurer, I gave in to my passion of exploration and the excitement of sampling new and delectable cuisines. Traveling around to capture the essence of life and lifestyles, I took off on a tour that was an unusual but perfectly chosen whim that was just up my alley. Knowing my adventurous nature, it was just like me to choose a journey that combined cuisines, cultures and curries!
With my wanderlust for the unique and the unforgettable, my trip blended the quintessence of travel and though a long one, it was filled to the brim with lasting experiences for the explorer.

With adventure flowing in my veins and anticipating the thrill of discovering exotic cuisines and the perfect holiday destinations, Binoy Nazareth decided on a trip to India. I was thrilled to travel through the vast and diverse terrain of an exotic South Asian country which evolved over 5 millennia from the famous Himalayan Mountains to the Indian Ocean coastline. Surrounded by an exciting and exotic history, India is the second-most populous and the seventh-largest country with over 1.2 billion people.

And then…it was nostalgia time with a great trip to the Taj Mahal, Agra which is about 3.5 hours from Delhi. Inspiring me with its love story, the Taj Mahal or the Crown of the Palace spoke volumes with its passion. I was over-awed by the Mughal architecture and its spectacular features which was illuminated with the fact that this gesture of love was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. My journey through time began as I traversed the charisma and culture with historic sites which ranged over the Red Fort, the Qutb Minar, Jama Masjid, Humayun’s tomb and other wondrous sights of the city. Delhi took me on a voyage of culinary discoveries where I went on a long yet delightful culinary journey with the popular street food, Mughlai and Frontier cuisines. 

Experiencing the Aromas of India

I looked forward to visiting Mumbai where I grew up playing gully cricket, eating world famous street food, indulging in Golgappes, Misal Pav, Dahi Misal and Pav Bhaji. Binoy Nazareth went through a much-needed culinary travel, tasting the delectable side of life with traditional Shahi Mughal dishes, Biryani, and Butter Chicken and innumerable fabulous, spicy dishes in Mumbai. 

Bringing back memories of adolescent days, I escaped in to the landscape of ‘Mumbaiah’ cuisine and re-experienced delicious culinary delights. Taste bud tickling spicy Chaat snacks such as Vada Pav, Bhelpuri, Dahipuri, Panipuri,  Sevpuri,  Ragda Pattis, Kebabs, popular Mumbai Sandwiches including other local favorites were a source of authentic  gastronomic pleasures which recalled memorable times.  The Mumbai culinary scenario has constantly filled my soul with scrumptious and robust fare as I took off on a repertoire of Konkani coastal meals, South Indian meals and snacks, seafood, Bori Mohalla cuisine, Mangalore meals, North Indian dishes, Parsi food trails and other regional bests. My all-time favorite desserts were Kulfi, ice golas and incredible mouth-watering sweet concoctions. 

After buying a few mementos for my friends back in the USA at the Bombay Bazaar, I strolled down the Mumbai Marine Drive and watched the sunset throwing a beautiful aura of light on the great architecture of the Taj Palace. My enchanting and tasteful Mumbai diaries tripped on a delicious vegetarian sojourn at the famous Ram Naik Sadya House in Matunga which served South Indian Sadya or meals, flavored with coconut and authentic South Indian masalas, this great must-taste meal took my palate on a diverse travel.

With ‘Khau’ meaning good dish and ‘Galli’ or small lane, the Mumbai street food goes on a delectable journey with any number of food stalls displaying visual treats with multiple vegetarian and non-vegetarian choices. The Khau Galli near Churchgate served up the sweet life with sandwiches, Pav Bhaji, strawberry juice, sugar cane juice, milkshakes and other great options for the sugar addicts. And what can I say about the humble yet rich in flavors Bade Miya behind the Taj Hotel which cooked up a storm with kebab and curry dishes which was a treat for the weary adventurer? This was total bliss which added a replete sense of fulfillment. 

Relaxed and rejuvenated with a laid-back mode, I touched down in Goa as she beckoned with her lovely beaches, Goan concerts, incredible cuisine, sun, sea and sand. Combined with a bohemian lifestyle and a carefree frame of mind, I set off to enjoy the culture, the curries and the cuisines of Goa. Indulging in fish curry and rice along with other local seafood fare, I ventured into Portuguese flavors which involved Pork Vindaloo, Sorpotel, Calfreal and Beef Xacuti that took the palate to a pinnacle of delicious heights. Robust and satisfying, Britos in Calangute on the beach presented a charming environment with great seafood. 

While the Ritz punctuated my culinary voyage with prawns in Goan masala, crab cakes, pork vindaloo, chili pork and other supreme dishes, my flavorful journey was quenched with the local brews comprising of cashew and coconut feni. Peppers, Margoa sprinkled my encounters of the tasteful kind with traditional Goan seafood classics and a few global dishes while I let my taste buds go on a sweet journey with Bebinca and other local treats.  

My diary of travel notes was burgeoning by the time I reached home which created a bubble of expectation and delight as I planned yet another exploration into the myriad colored world of travel.
Enchant the Taste Buds on an Exotic Travel of the Senses with BinoyNazareth