Photo of the Week: Lobster Sliders at Casa Picasso on Ambergris Caye, Belize

Today is Valentine’s Day and while it’s a very romantic day for most, it’s also a bit of a sad day here in Belize.

February 14 marks the end of lobster season. Yup, no more lobster until June starting tomorrow.

So, to ‘celebrate’ the end of this succulent crustacean for the season, I had one of my favorite lobster creations available here on Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Casa Picasso’s Lobster Sliders. Decadent nibbles that give you the taste of perfectly cooked lobster and drawn butter…on a bun.

Counting down the days til lobster season resumes in mid-June!

Lobster Sliders at Casa Picasso on Ambergris Caye, Belize.  http://ourtastytravels.com/blog/photo-lobster-sliders-casa-picasso-ambergris-caye-belize/ #belize #cayetobelize #ourtastytravels

Lobster Sliders at Casa Picasso on Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Photo of the Week: Rojo Poison Cocktail at Rojo Lounge, Ambergris Caye, Belize

It’s Friday and that means a couple things — a new edition of #FriFotos on Twitter and the weekend is here so time to enjoy some adult beverages! This week’s edition is conveniently — cocktails! It’s the perfect excuse to feature the newest cocktail I tried — Rojo Poison. It’s a signature drink at Rojo Lounge (now called Rojo Beach Bar) on the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize.

Rojo Poison Cocktail at Rojo Lounge on Ambergris Caye, Belize http://ourtastytravels.com/blog/photo-of-the-week-rojo-poison-cocktail-at-rojo-lounge-ambergris-caye-belize/ #cocktail #belize #cayetobelize #ourtastytravels

Rojo Poison Cocktail at Rojo Lounge on Ambergris Caye, Belize

This amazing creation features Chinese chilies, fresh ginger, a trio of rums, some local ginger wine, fresh juice and probably a few other secret ingredients. The Rojo Poison has several noticeable layers of spice from the fresh ginger and the Chinese chili peppers. It gets sweetness from the fresh juice and a nice kick from the trio of rums.

Thanks to my friend, and Rojo Lounge’s talented bartender Findley, who recommended this signature cocktail — definitely one I want to try again!

Rojo Lounge aka Rojo Beach Bar is located north of the bridge on the island of Ambergris Caye. It’s a bit of a bumpy haul in a golf cart, especially after a rainy day, or you can save your back and take the water taxi, which will drop you off right at the bar! Take note, Rojo Lounge is closed Sunday and Monday. 

Photo of the Week: Horse Conch Ceviche at Hurricanes in San Pedro, Belize

When I’m in Belize, I have ceviche at least once, and in some cases, like four times a week. Belize’s coastal location provides for some of the best seafood finds in restaurants throughout the country — especially on the cayes.

Shockingly, I’ve been in Belize now for nearly 10 days and I have not had ceviche once!

Thankfully, my amazing friend on the island helped me remedy that situation last night. After listening to some live music on the beach and chatting with friends (such a rough Sunday afternoon I know), we headed to Hurricane’s Ceviche Bar for dinner and drinks.

Horse conch ceviche at Hurricane's Ceviche Bar in Ambergris Caye, Belize http://ourtastytravels.com/blog/photo-of-the-week-horse-conch-ceviche-at-hurricanes-in-san-pedro-belize/ #ourtastytravels #cayetobelize

Horse conch ceviche at Hurricane’s Ceviche Bar in Ambergris Caye, Belize

Hurricanes Ceviche Bar is one of the few places I’ve found that has horse conch ceviche on a regular basis. If you are up on the seasonal foods of Belize, you might be thinking this is not conch season.  If you didn’t already know, horse conch and conch are not the same thing. While it has “conch” in the name, horse conch is a mollusk that is similar to “regular” conch, but belongs to different family classification and is locally referred to as Maimula or Mymula.

I find the consistency to be a bit less tough as compared to regular conch and the flavor more mild. It’s a good mix for ceviche as it really lets the flavors of the fresh onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and lime share the spotlight.

If you want to know more about horse conch ceviche in Belize, check out this article on Ambergris Today that tipped me off about it in the first place.

 

 

Photo of the Week: Garlic Bulbs at Market in Cesena, Italy

It’s been nearly a month since I was last in Italy for the final part of the BlogVille project with Emilia Romagna Tourism and I am still missing everything about the region…especially the food. I am excited I will be back in Bologna and the surrounding area this winter when my parents come to visit (my Mom’s first time out of the US!) and I am dying to hit the markets — we are driving so I already have plans to dedicate a portion of the small trunk space to bringing fresh produce, meats, and cheeses back with us.

During one of our BlogVille field trips, we visited the city of Cesena, which had a festival going on at the time. One of the streets we ran down (literally, as we were late getting on the road to the big food festival, Festa Artusiana, in the neighboring city of Forli) I spotted several stalls that had the biggest selection of garlic bulbs I’ve ever seen outside of the Garlic Festival in Gilroy, CA. There were some bunches dried and then endless mounds of fresh bulbs.

Garlic is one of my favorite ingredients so I wish I could’ve bought a few and brought back, but I am guessing my roomie might’ve banished me to the balcony!

Garlic bulbs for sale in Cesena, Italy http://ourtastytravels.com/blog/photo-garlic-bulbs-market-cesena-italy/ #ourtastytravels #blogville

Garlic bulbs for sale in Cesena, Italy

Photo of the Week: Strawberries and Parmigiano with Balsamic Vinegar

I’m still trying to get settled in here in Europe and I am also still dealing with not only withdrawals from my regular Asian foods, but also from all the awesome eats I had while in Italy for the BlogVille project. Last weekend we perused one of the biggest farmers markets here in the Netherlands and brought home some fresh vegetables and fruit, including a basket of sweet strawberries.

Strawberries just happen to be one of the best matches for traditional aged balsamic vinegar from Modena. Add some hunks of Parmigiano cheese and this became dessert Sunday night!

Fresh strawberries and Parmigiano cheese with aged balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy http://ourtastytravels.com/blog/photo-of-the-week-strawberries-and-parmigiano-with-balsamic-vinegar/ #ourtastytravels #italy

Fresh strawberries and Parmigiano cheese with aged balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy

Photo of the Week: Pecorino Cheese from Emilia Romagna, Italy

One of the foodie highlights of this past week was a trip to a boutique cheese producer in the Province of Rimini, Italy. We drove to the Montefiore Conca area in the hinterlands to visit this sheep cheese farm and sample some of their incredible creations. We tried a variety of cheeses, all of which I wanted to bring home! They were absolutely incredible — everything from ricotta to moldy herb crusted varieties.

This photo was taken from their cheese refrigeration area, which was impressive. I left there wanting to buy a home in the hills of Rimini and have my own sheep farm / cheese production facilities!

Wheels of Pecorino cheese in Italy http://ourtastytravels.com/blog/photo-pecorino-cheese-emilia-romagna-italy/ #ourtastytravels #blogville

Wheels of pecorino cheese in Italy

 

 

Photo of the Week: Chocolate Tacos at TBEX in Keystone, CO

During the recent TBEX (Travel Bloggers Exchange conference) in Keystone, Colorado, the opening night party featured the most impressive chocolate pastry display by chef Ned Archibald of Keystone Resorts. There were a number of other fascinating creations, but I have to say the tacos were definitely my favorite (probably my subconscious craving for good Mexican food).

Chocolate Tacos at TBEX 2012 in Keystone, Colorado

Photo of the Week: Tagliatelle Pasta in Bologna, Italy

Without a doubt, one of the “must try” specialties of the Bologna region is traditional Tagliatelle pasta with Bolognese sauce. I have a much deeper respect for fresh pasta making and the skill that goes into creating something that looks so simple after visiting Bologna and taking a pasta making course. Tagliatelle are 7-8mm wide and the key to purchasing this pasta is the nest. After preparation, Tagliatelle should be stored in a fresh environment and made into “nests” which allow the air to go through them.

On the market street in Bologna, countless stores offer fresh Tagliatelle, making it super easy to bring home and boil if you have an apartment or a hotel with cooking facilities available.

Fresh Tagliatelle pasta available in markets in Bologna, Italy

The team of Our Tasty Travels is in Bologna, Italy as part of a special blogging project, BlogVille, which is sponsored by the Emilia Romagna Tourism Board and TravelDudes. While we are being hosted, all views and opinions expressed are our own.

Photo of the Week: Heirloom Tomatoes in Bologna, Italy

Bologna is filled with fresh vegetable stands and markets selling some of the best produce I’ve had while traveling.  While exploring the city on our first day, we happened to wander onto this “market street” filled with vegetable stands, fresh meats, and stores selling local pastas, balsamic vinegars, etc.

Heirloom tomatoes at vegetable stand in Bologna, Italy

The team of Our Tasty Travels is in Bologna, Italy as part of a special blogging project, BlogVille, which is sponsored by the Emilia Romagna Tourism Board and TravelDudes. While we are being hosted, all views and opinions expressed are our own.

Photo of the Week: Cherry Blossom Dessert on China Airlines

 

Japanese cherry blossom dessert on China Airlines

I spent last week roaming around parts of Japan photographing the cherry blossoms, or sakura.  It was my first time in Japan during the blooming period — what an amazing experience.  On the way home, the Japanese menu dessert in Business Class was a mochi type sweet with a cherry blossom pattern on it.  China Airlines logo incorporates the cherry blossom, so this was a nice touch — especially well-timed!

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