For a moment I am caught off guard and almost fall overboard. Piranha jaws sharply tug at the chunk of fat I had fastened on the hook. Pablo, my host, guide and friend helps me pull in my line until the feisty creature plops on the bottom of the boat in fluttering spasms. Continue reading
Maybe you think the Philippines are all about beaches. Not so, there are lots of mountains. In the northern part of Luzon, the biggest island, we came across this mountain tree, drunk by the local people.
Couple of leaves, hot water, let it sit for a bit, and sip.
If I wanted to blend in with Brazilian culture I better started liking the traditional Brazilian food of beans and rice – Brazil’s staple food. Brazilians live on white beans, black beans – or feijão branco and feijão negro. Another typical bean dish is feijoada.
Beans come with every single Brazilian meal, no matter where in the country. They are served in private homes as well as in every single self-service restaurant, and are principally served during lunch – Brazilians’ main meal of the day.
Brazil’s Staple Food and Mealtimes
After a year of traveling in Brazil I concluded that beans and rice must be more important to Brazilians than coffee to Americans or cheese to the French. There simply is no meal served without them. In fact, it’s so common and we got used to it so quickly that we never took a single picture of this typical meal. Continue reading
Paying 5 euros (6 US dollars) for a chocolate bar? What kind of price is that?
Yves Delecroix’ presentation of his chocolate making process came with une dégustation – a tasting of his homemade, organic chocolate. You don’t need to be a connoisseur to immediately appreciate this pure chocolate, made with 72% cacao.
Suddenly 5 euros is not that bad a price to pay. Continue reading
During Coen’s photography assignment for evrevrijde Wereld, a Belgium NGO that supports agricultural projects with a focus on food security, we visited various rural communities in Bolivia. One of the aspects I loved most during these meetings was lunch as it was a great way to taste Bolivia’s traditional dishes.
After a meeting, which included checking out new vegetable gardens or irrigation systems, we would return to the community center, which most rural villages in Bolivia have, for lunch. According to tradition each woman brought her share and the dishes were shared. Sometimes they laid a table and put out chairs or benches, but that was only because they had visitors. The common practice was to have a picnic on the ground. Most dishes consisted of potatoes, corn and rice and so I thought about contributing something they were unfamiliar with. Would they appreciate it? Continue reading
During Coen’s photography assignment for Bevrijde Wereld (locally called Mundo Nuevo), a Belgian NGO that supports agricultural projects with the emphasis on food safety, we visited a project focusing on women empowerment: a yoghurt factory in Koari, central Bolivia.
INCCA is one of Bevrijde Wereld’s partner organizations in Bolivia and the yoghurt factory was one of their successful projects. Soon after the start of the yoghurt factory, the women were given the opportunity to sell yoghurt to schools in Tiraque (near Cochabamba), where it would be part of the school breakfast, which meant a weekly production of 14,000 bags with 100 mls of yoghurt. How did they manage?
During Coen’s photography assignment for Bevrijde Wereld, a Belgian NGO that supports agricultural projects with a focus on food safety, we visited various rural communities in Bolivia. In the village of Kolga Koya each household received six fruit trees and was instructed on how to plant and maintain them.
Planting trees? You dig a hole, put in the tree, close the hole and water the tree, right? Or is it not that simple? Continue reading
The Bolivian cuisine is not as diverse as its landscape. Even though there are regional variations between the lowlands and Andes Mountains, traditional Bolivian meals are mainly a result of versatility in the use of the country’s staple food of potatoes, corn and rice.
Having said that, we do like Bolivian food and would say is most certainly worth a try when visiting the country. After all, food is not only fundamental, but also a way to learn something about a country’s history and geography, as well as its daily life.
Every day – roughly between twelve and two thirty – part of Bolivia closes down. It’s lunchtime. For everyone. Within minutes local restaurants are packed and waiters are serving customers as fast as possible. We daily join the crowds to have a taste of Bolivia’s simplest yet most plentiful meal: almuerzo. It is the perfect way to get a feel for Bolivia’s traditional food. Note that the food discussed in this blog post is focused on the highland (altiplano). Continue reading
Bolivia is one of the world’s producers of Arabica coffee. While the Yungas (north of La Paz) is Bolivia’s traditional and principal coffee growing region, the country’s largest exporter is situated in the department of Santa Cruz – in Buena Vista, to be exact. A friend suggested to check out Hacienda El Cafetal, to visit the coffee plantation and factory and, of course, to taste some high-quality, organic coffee. Continue reading
For the past couple of weeks we stayed with friends in Cochabamba (Bolivia), who have a beautiful garden. Gardening is something I miss in our life on the road and I loved getting my hands in that soil again. Most of all, I have always appreciated vegetable gardens. I used to have my own and took great pleasure in harvesting my vegetables, fruits and herbs. Continue reading
This is day 7 in the 30-day series “An Act of Kindness by a Stranger”. We have stopped for lunch at a roadside restaurant in east Bolivia.
The owner asks what I’d like to have. I can choose between costilla frita and milanesa. I ask if I can have the milanesa without the milanesa, if she understands what I mean. We arrived in Bolivia only a couple of days ago and after two years of speaking Portuguese, English, French and Dutch I have to dig deep to find any Spanish word at all, and am not sure if my question makes sense. Continue reading
Do you know anybody who doesn’t like peanut butter? I don’t and nobody has ever understood why I didn’t like it.
Neither did I. I just didn’t.
Until, one day, we were traveling in the Rupununi Savanna of Guyana*. In the village of Aranaputa we saw a sign: “Peanut Butter Factory”, and were intrigued. Continue reading
We have been staying with a family in a gold-mining town. Uma, our host, lives with her parents and her young son Nigel on the outskirts of town. She suggested we should visit one of her aunties and family for a celebration. It takes a bit of patience but we are rewarded with how it feels to eat with our fingers again. (For some reason we have no photos of this particular day, but these will give you an impression of Guyana’s countryside). Continue reading
What were we going to do with 100 limes? An hour ago we thought we were going to be stuck with a bottle of cachaça and a kilo of sugar which had become useless as the main ingredient for our favorite cocktail had been missing: limes. And now we had 100… Continue reading