El Celler de Can Roca Menu

El Celler de Can Roca Menu

The meal that requires more than one blog post. I wrote about our surreal dining experience at El Celler De Can Roca. But, I wanted to dive more into the menu items, for the true food lovers out there. Here is a recap of the over 30 different courses and bites we had during our 4 hour Can Roca menu. We chose the Feast Menu, with about 15 named courses. The other alternative is a tasting of their classic menu. The tasting menu is about 7 courses, where you have a choice for two of the courses. Of course, we went all in. And, I did the best I could with photos considering the lighting, and I did not want to disturb diners nearby. Bear with me.   The Can Roca Menu: Snacks We started with The World, a paper lantern, ceremoniously untied at the table, and opened to reveal 5 bites reminiscent of flavors from all over the globe. In this case, our world included: From Thailand, Thai chicken, with coriander, coconut, curry, and lime From Japan, miso cream with nyinyonyaki, the Can Roca version of a fried, breaded snack From Turkey, focaccia with lamb, yogurt, cucumber, onions, and mint From Peru, a Causa limeña, or a potato based bite with avocado From Korea, a panko fried bread, with bacon, soy sauce, kimchi, and sesame oil The next snack was a Can Roca-themed diorama, with black of white photos of each Roca brother when they were young. This presentation is called “Memories of a bar in the suburbs of Girona, a reference perhaps to the family’s traditional restaurant,...
Surreal Dining at Can Roca in Girona

Surreal Dining at Can Roca in Girona

In part, this dining experience was not about the food. I mean, of course it was. But, having eaten in Costa Brava, and having learned about the history of gastronomy in the region, this was a pilgrimage. And, a surreal one at that. This was our experience dining at Can Roca in Girona. El Celler de Can Roca I’ve written about El Celler de Can Roca before. We were fortunate enough to have a little taste from the menu, after meeting all three Roca brothers, back in 2015. That visit occurred just after Can Roca won the number one restaurant in the world, and the whole world was a buzz about Girona. El Celler de Can Roca is set in a residential neighborhood, just outside the center of Girona. The 3 Michelin Star restaurant is around the corner from the family restaurant and bar, Can Roca. But, the two restaurants could not be more different. Can Roca is traditional Catalan. A family run establishment, for everyday dining. El Celler de Can Roca is not for everyday dining. It is, indeed, a surreal experience. We’ve dined at Michelin Star restaurants before, and even 3 star Michelin Restaurants. But, somehow this was different, and I am not sure why. Perhaps it was due to the influence of Ferran Adria and elBulli in the region. Perhaps it was because we were dining at the number 3 restaurant in the world. Perhaps it was because we scored a last minute reservation, and only had less than 10 hours to let it sink in that we were dining at Can Roca in the first...
8 Unforgettable Luxury Experiences in Costa Brava

8 Unforgettable Luxury Experiences in Costa Brava

Two years ago we happened upon Costa Brava, what we then termed the unknown culinary tourism corner of Europe. To be completely honest, we knew nothing about Costa Brava at the time. The only thing we knew was that the tourism board worked with bloggers, and for us, at that time, it was enough. Since then, we’ve spent enough time in Costa Brava that we decided to move to Girona! A lot of our decision was based on the food and wine, and some of the most unforgettable experiences in Costa Brava! What surprised me during this most recent visit was how many luxury experiences in Costa Brava there really are. I knew about the incredible gastronomy offerings, but we found so much more to experience during this last visit. Following the Michelin Star Trail One of the main reasons why we keep returning to Costa Brava is because of its food! Costa Brava is home to 14 Michelin Star restaurants. Now, this might not seem like a lot in comparison to Paris, New York, or Tokyo. But, when you consider the size of Costa Brava, and that it’s largest city is home to only about 100,000 people, it’s incredible. If you love food, and high gastronomy, then one of the most unforgettable experiences in Costa Brava is to follow the Michelin Star trail of restaurants that are sprinkled through the region. The Girona Teritori d’Estrelles, or Girona Land of Stars, is the perfect way to spend a holiday in Costa Brava. Eating. Is there any other way? Dining at El Celler Can Roca At least one of the...
The Best Guinness in Limerick – 2017

The Best Guinness in Limerick – 2017

Two years ago I wrote my first blog post that announced, in my opinion, where one could find the best pint of Guinness in Limerick. At the time, and over the last 2 years, this post, not surprisingly, caused a bit of controversy in the Limerick community. Since that first post, we’ve been to Limerick a few more times. We tried more pints and tested out more pubs. I thought it about time I update my original post. Now, for 2017, here is where to find the best Guinness in Limerick. 2015 Results For The Best Guinness in Limerick Before sharing some of the new pubs we’ve discovered over the last 2 years, here’s a look back at our findings from 2015. As I noted back then, I love my Guinness. I’ve been told what makes a good Guinness. It has to do with the length of the draw, or the length of the tube that moves the Guinness from the keg to the tap. It also has to do with how clean the draw is. Occasionally, I do taste a Guinness that is a little strange (particularly outside of Ireland). But, I’m no expert. Although with the number of pints I’ve drank over the last 15+ years you would think I would be an expert. What makes the best Guinness in Limerick, then, if I am a self proclaimed non-expert? The atmosphere of the pub, the story of the pub, and the people we are with. Because, as much as pouring a good pint of Guinness is important, many people head to the pub for the craic, or the conversation....
The Hoffmans Are Moving to Girona (aka Why It Was Time To Leave Asia)

The Hoffmans Are Moving to Girona (aka Why It Was Time To Leave Asia)

After spending most of the last four years in Southeast Asia, we felt it was finally time to leave Asia. As often happens, not only did we feel a little Life ADD kick in, but we realized we wanted some more comforts, and a different experience. Over the last 5 years, we’ve explored Central and Eastern Europe and Central America. We made Ubud, Bali, our home base for awhile. And, we kept an apartment in Bangkok. While living in Bali and living in Bangkok we continued to explore Asia, made frequent trips to Europe, and even took a culinary road trip across the U.S. But, even when we had these apartments, they never fully felt like home. We always referred to them as our home base, rather than our home. There were a lot of reasons for that, but in the end it meant we had one foot in and one foot out, and continued to feel like we were living a somewhat nomadic lifestyle. We left our apartment in Bangkok at the end of February, and have been on the move for the last 3 months. Within weeks of leaving, I knew we needed to find a new home base. I was tired of carrying everything we owned with us. In fact, over the last 3 months, I’ve managed to shed some of our possessions, in both Italy and Ireland, with a promise that we will be back soon for them. Overall, I was exhausted. I needed a home. And, I needed something more than just a home base. After a little deliberation, we are proud to announce,...
How They Make Parma Ham in Emilia Romagna

How They Make Parma Ham in Emilia Romagna

When I started traveling to Italy, I always wondered how they actually make Parma Ham. When I walked around any small town in Italy I always saw large legs of ham hanging from the ceiling. More often than not, they were stamped with a crown shaped marking that bears a single word: “Parma.” But, how did they get there? What is Prosciutto di Parma Prosciutto di Parma, or more generally, Parma ham, has been around since Roman times. There are stories from 100 BC referencing the unique flavor of the air-dried pork from the area surrounding Parma. At the time, pork was dried to extend its life and prevent it from spoiling. A group of Parma ham producers created a Consortium, Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma, in the 1970s, to control the quality of prosciutto. In 1996, the European Union gave the DOP designation on Prosciutto di Parma. Like all DOP and IGP products, the Consortium regulates the types of pigs that can be used, what the pigs are fed, and how the ham itself is produced. What Are The Ingredients in Parma Ham The Consortium likes to say there are only four ingredients in Parma ham: Italian pigs, salt, air, and time. In reality it’s really only two ingredients, although air and time are also key components. Parma ham is made by curing a leg of pork with nothing but sea salt. This increases the tenderness of the meat, and gives it a characteristic sweet flavor. The production process is overseen by a maestro salatore, or salt master, which has to be the coolest sounding title for a...
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