How To Take The Tabasco Factory Tour

How To Take The Tabasco Factory Tour

After a week in New Orleans, we took the long way to Lafayette so that we could make one very important, and very tasty stop along the way. It’s no secret we like it hot, so a stop for the Tabasco Factory Tour seemed like a perfect stop while in Louisiana. The Self Guided Tabasco Factory Tour We arrived on Avery Island, the home of Tabasco. Avery Island is also home to the McIlhenny Company that has been producing Tabasco since just after the Civil War. The Tabasco Factory Tour starts in the Tabasco Museum, in the building that houses the ticket office. The museum focused on the history of Tabasco and the McIlhenny family. The tour continues through nine more phases, focusing predominantly on how Tabasco is made. The tour starts with a walk through a greenhouse that explains what kind of peppers are used to make the special sauce. Then, we learned about the barrels that are used in the aging process. This, to me, was very interesting. I didn’t know that they aged the pepper mash, or that the aging takes place in retired bourbon barrels. The blending floor includes dozens and dozens of vats where the peppers are mashed. The best thing? There is a little button to press that releases the smells from the blending floor. The smell alone was intoxicating. I could have stood there all day pressing that button. Then, we walked along the bottling floor, and through a separate section dedicated to advertising and marketing of Tabasco around the world. Although a relatively short tour, we learned a lot. Being that they offer a...
Dining at Locavore – Coming Home and Eating Local

Dining at Locavore – Coming Home and Eating Local

When we left Ubud 2 years ago, anyone who read the last of my Ubud blog posts would assume I would never return. In fact, when I left, I too assumed I would never return. But, when the chef at Locavore Bali invited us for lunch, I suddenly found an excuse to return to Ubud. I’m glad I did. Why We Returned to Ubud During our last week living in Bangkok, we attended an award ceremony for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, hosted by The World’s 50 Best. I’m still not entirely sure how we ended up on the invite list. I will assume it is because we met Joan Roca of El Celler de Can Roca, the 2015 best restaurant in the world. Or, that I am a budding culinary author with my recent publication of the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna, home to the 2016 best restaurant in the world. Sometimes, it’s just luck. We showed up at the W Hotel in Bangkok, where the top echelon of the Asian culinary world rubbed shoulders. We were fancy for one night. We tried to fit in. We drank Champagne. We sat in the large ball room and awaited the announcement of the top 50 restaurants in Asia. Only one of which we’ve actually eaten at. But, we met the chef during that visit, so I felt a little more fancy. At one point they announced the top restaurant in Indonesia, and without knowing anything more, one word crossed my lips: Locavore. In fact, Locavore also won the Highest Climber Award. Of the top 50 restaurants in Asia, Locavore rose from 49,...
The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna

The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna

It’s finally here! After hinting for the last several months, and after a full year of hard work, my first culinary travel guide is here! Introducing The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna: How to taste the history and tradition of Italy! It’s no secret that Eric and I love Italy, and about three years ago, we discovered Emilia Romagna. Since that time, we have made five visits to the region, that encompasses Bologna, Modena, Parma, and more. Why do we love this region so much? Emilia Romagna is home to some of the best food, and food products, in the world. It is home to Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, traditional balsamic vinegar, and more. It is the home to Slow Food and Fast Cars. It is home to amazing wines, including world famous Lambrusco, and some Italy’s secret wines, including Negretto and Albana. It almost kills me when people tell me they are traveling to Italy and limiting their trip to Rome or Venice. There is so much more to see of the country than the primary tourist spots. I do understand the draw to those cities. I understand wanting to see the Coliseum, or the Bridge of Signs. But, after Rome and Venice, where should you travel to in order to experience the REAL Italy? Where should you travel to in order to eat the best food in Italy? The obvious answer is: Emilia Romagna! And, my new The Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna can help you plan the perfect trip through the breadbasket of Italy. In a full 250 pages of culinary guide book...
Where To Eat in Europe in 2017

Where To Eat in Europe in 2017

It’s mid January, and we have virtually none of our 2017 travel plans in place. That is a little unusual for us. We know we are flying to Berlin in March, and will be eating our way through Costa Brava again in April. But, other than that, things are pretty up in the air. I do know we need a little break from Bangkok. I’ve been dreaming about European food and wine, and part of our planning seems to be focused on where to eat in Europe in 2017. I found this infographic about where to travel in Europe in 2017. Although this list is for overall travel, HomeToGo also had a specific list on where to travel to eat in Europe in 2017 as well. I was surprised at how similar their list was to the cities I would like to travel to this year.  Our Top 5 Cities to Eat in Europe in 2017 Barcelona and Catalunya We love Barcelona! It’s one of our favorites cities to visit, and has been for years. We love exploring the tapas bars, and drinking cava at adorable little champagne bars. But, there are loads of fabulous places to eat in Catalunya as well. Just one of the areas of Catalunya worth exploring is Costa Brava, which runs north from Girona to the French border. Luckily, we will be returning to Costa Brava this April, for an entire month of drinking Emporda wine and eating Catalan seafood. We can’t wait! Bologna and Emilia Romagna It’s no secret that we love traveling and eating in Emilia Romagna, the Italian region that includes Bologna, Modena, Parma,...
Where To Find the Best Food in Charleston

Where To Find the Best Food in Charleston

The last stop on our culinary road trip across the U.S. south landed us in Charleston, South Carolina. One of the American cities that was always on the top of my list of places I wanted to visit. I never thought that we would be ending such an amazing road trip in Charleston. And, I never thought we would do it by eating some of the best food in Charleston. Best Food in Charleston – Halls Chophouse Gospel Brunch We woke up early in Athens, Georgia and raced to Charleston. We had a deadline: to partake in a Charleston, low country tradition, Sunday Gospel Brunch at historic Halls Chophouse. Halls is a family-run restaurant, with a focus on service and hospitality. We saw it first hand when a member of the Hall family held the door open for us as we entered. Halls was hopping. Every table filled to max capacity. The Gospel choir sat just inside the front door. Just after we stepped in, they broke out into When The Saints Go Marching In. It doesn’t get more Gospel than that. Because we raced to Charleston, and the atmosphere inside Halls was electric, I felt a little on edge. That feeling quickly abated after I started in on one of their famous Bloody Mary’s, complete with pickled okra and a crisp, cool shrimp. Brunch was on. Halls Chophouse is not only known for steaks, and their Bloody Mary’s, but for classic low country cuisine. Low country cuisine is the phrase used for the dishes traditionally served in South Carolina, and along the Georgia coast. It is heavily influenced by...
Top Foods You Must Eat in China

Top Foods You Must Eat in China

Because we recently ate loads of tasty foods in Chengdu, I asked our friends Agnes and Cez, China experts, to share their recommendations for foods you must eat in China. Agnes and Cez are typical foodies who love to discover new flavors when traveling across the world. Living and teaching English in China on and off since 2011, they managed to try a great variety of traditional Chinese dishes. They share their culinary experiences on their travel (eTramping) and food (Run Agness Run) blogs. Check them out if you are looking for some food inspiration! Unique Flavors of Chinese Food There’s a reason why Chinese food is so popular among worldwide travelers and locals. Chinese cuisine is, above all, extremely tasty, aromatic and very colorful. It is also diverse as you can find extremely spicy meals in the Eastern part of the country, sweet in the South, salty in the North, and West is characterized by its sourness. In this way, everyone can find something for themselves when visiting different parts of China. Cez enjoying his jiaozi – traditional Chinese dumplings. Additionally, dining out in China is very affordable so you can eat more and pay less. Superior restaurants are much cheaper than you think, whereas the street food costs nearly nothing! Agness ready to try some fried pork with rice and veggies. Since we know that Chinese cuisine is worth tasting, let’s check out some of the top dishes you must eat in China when visiting the Land of Dragons. Top Foods You Must Eat in China Sweet and Sour Chicken in Batter This dish is a perfect dinner option as it...
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