One thing you should know is that Bra, the small city I used to live in is located nowhere near a lake or ocean. The closes thing we have to a body of water, is the local pool, which gets insanely crowded, making the summers become unbearable. So, how does a lizard like me overcome melting during the Italian summer? Easy, find yourself a German crew that takes you to the west coasts of Liguria. No jokes aside, Ebru and Max are two of the most loving and brilliant people I have ever met. The love for each other, and for me (jeje) is inexplicable. They definitely made me feel like home in various occasions, and this trip to Alassio was not exception.
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Check my daily food journal, all my staple recipes, & fusions from my own multi-cultural existence.
Travel Food Blogs
Less than hour away from Bra, you will find the elegant city of Torino. Known for its coffee culture, and less importantly for its soccer team 😂 It is homee home of Lavazza and Caffè Vergnano, making it quite the spot to understand how Italians enjoy coffee.
As I've mentioned many times before, life has brought me many little miracles. In all shapes and sizes, situations and environments. Switzerland was no exception, it might have been the place where I needed little miracles the most. I moved to Switzerland in January of 2020 to the most unreal and beautiful town called Vevey. It is located in the Lavaux region in between Montreux, the Jazz capital, and Lausanne, the Olympic capital.
Geneva has a dear place in my heart. I got to live in it for a bit over a year, and the people I met, the places I visited, the food I tried, made me who I am nowadays. I must confess, Switzerland was not easy. I moved to Switzerland, in a very small town called Vevey, 2 months before the Covid-19 Pandemic hit. I had many plans, dreams, expectations -- but life seemed to have other plans.
Although I have only gotten the pleasure of visiting Portugal one in my life, and it was only visiting Lisbon, it exceeded my expectations. Back in college, my roommate and dearest friend Mary was the only Portuguese person I knew. People would mock her about being born in the most boring country of Europe. Apparently the most exciting thing about Portugal was Cristiano Ronaldo. Ignorance and unconscious jealousy are bliss, I guess.
Traveling to Barcelona always implies exquisite and diverse food options, from the local seafood and fish, to restaurants from every corner of the world. Although I try to travel budget friendly, I do like discovering small and local businesses that thrive for simplicity, authenticity, and higher-quality experiences. With time, I have learned the importance of supporting businesses that work with the planet, through seasonal menus and locally sourced ingredients or products. If this will be your first time in Barcelona, you're in for a treat. If it is not your first time, you're in for new treats recommended by me, which is a plus.
My Staple Recipes
I can still remember the day I took a bite of my first Shakshuka. I was back in Colombia, having brunch with my family, in some cute café. I was the only one who ordered a "weird" brunch item. My parents and little brother love the "all time staples", "the classic", "the simplest one", whereas me... Oh man, I am the queen of extra when it comes to food. It took me a while to embrace my own curiosity and hunger, which nowadays makes me who I am, and I love it.
This cilantro avocado and lime crema is a must whenever you want a tangy, spicy, and smooth dipping sauce in your meal. It goes great with chips, patacones, arepas, potatoes, roasted vegetables, and even schmeared into a sandwich.
I am might be obsessed with RiSophie, sorry, Risotto.
Patacones are my Tita's favorite food in this world. Growing up and even now, she demands her patacones on the table for lunch everyday. Although they are not quite the super food, as they are double fried and generously salted, they are crispy and so satisfying to enjoy with any meal.
My Food Journal
Back in Colombia, having two last names is the norm. Your first last name is your father's, and your second is your mother's. Growing up, I would avoid telling people what my last name was, because it would lead to silly name-calling. With time I grew up to realize its uniqueness and powerful meaning. That's why now, I don't stop myself from showcasing and celebrating it.
The more I learn about South Korea and its food, the more curious I get to travel there. It was through my sister and Chef, Lisa that I first experience homemade South Korean traditional food. She had the fortune to live in South Korea for a couple years and of course, became a master in making some of the most iconic foods from there.
More and more we learn the importance of mindful and intuitive eating and cooking. It refers to a mindset that respects and empowers your physical and mental health honoring your time, desires, satisfactions, lifestyle and even budget. It is the liberty to decide what to eat, when to eat it, where to buy it, how to cook it, and how to eat it. It is a very important subject we many times dont consider due to societal rules. What we don't realize is that being more in tune with this intuitive actions, we will be happier and healthier.
The first time I left Colombia to live abroad, I was 16 years old.
Although new year resolutions are kinda not my type of thing, simply because we should not wait for a new year to try to better ourselves, this year I will try to follow a more plant-forward mentality.
Pocapaglia, Poca Poca, or Pocapulco is a small town in between Bra and Pollenzo. Although secluded from the busy Città di Bra, many students from the University of Gastronomic Sciences live there for foraging opportunities, more green than grey, and maybe for its (open to the public) wood fire oven. If there is something you must know, I am someone committed to have her own wood fire oven, even if that means settling on a city to live in 😂.
Its crazy how we don't realize how much we will miss something, until we can't have it. This is what happened to me the first time I moved out of parent's house. I was 16 years old, and decided to do an exchange year with a French family in the south of France. I was young, yes, but I was so ready to feel some sort of independence. I still remember the morning after I arrived, I had to wake up in this unfamiliar house, and try to find my place in their routine and lifestyle. The goal was for me to master the French language, and with the little I understood and spoke, it felt extremely intimidating. Breakfast was the only meal of the day we would enjoy on our own, so we could decide at what time, or what to eat. That first day, the only thing I wanted was my Arepa with butter, salt, cheese, and a fried egg on top, my staple breakfast back home. Now that I could have it as easily, I realized how much it comforted me.
After being in Italy for a couple months, and studying about Gastronationalism (or culinary nationalism), I couldn't stop thinking of ways to Colombianize Italian food, or Italianize Colombian food. In order to make it possible and avoid any controversies (or deportation), I needed to do it with a group of Italian Gastronomes. And so we did, and honestly it was the night Italy and Colombia came together and made magic!
My friends from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland wanted to bring us over to the alps for a night to enjoy some of their staples. I lived in Switzerland for two years and something that I truly miss is their impecable bread selection. Even in gas stations you will find some of the freshest, softest, and delicious bread. I was so happy to realize we were going to enjoy some Zopf throughout the dinner, it is this breaded breakfast bread, slightly sweet but crunchy in the crust.
10 months ago, I packed my bags in Colombia after moving from Switzerland, the country that became my home during the hardest times this generations has been though, the Covid pandemic. Even though I hadn't been able to see my family for close to two years, I knew my future was in Italy. I had decided to embark into a more specified career, one related to food culture, communication, and marketing, and so I applied and got accepted into a program offering that