Welcome to World Blog Surf Day. Where you start at one blog and surf from one to another, one expat to the next, making your way around the world. South America. Japan. Phillipines. Canada. Bulgaria. Czechoslovakia. Turkey. And you'll have to ride the wave of blogs to explore the rest.
This year's World Blog Food Day theme: Food. Foods we love. Foods we hate. Foods we miss. And foods we'll share with you. Food in Argentina is excellent. Asados, empanadas, pizzas, picadas and dulce de leche.
Saltenos boast the best empanadas on the planet. While I may be biased, I would be hard pressed to disagree. They're smaller than the empanadas you find in other countries and you have your choice of cheese, meat and chicken. Sometimes you'll also find corn and tuna. Sometimes, you'll find them fried, but most times baked. Some of the best I've had were at a place called Casa de Empanadas off the main square in Cafayate. There, you'll find varieties such as mixed vegetables flavored with Torrontes white wine or a four cheese that includes goat and blue cheese.
Empanadas, though, are never, and I repeat never, sweet. To suggest a sweet empanada -- say with a pie crust dough filled with gooey apples or chocolate and banana -- is tantamount to treason. It is not even a funny joke.
Picadas: a selection of meats, cheeses, maybe throw in some excellent olives grown in the Cafayate region and serve with a glass of wine. The wine in Argentina compares favorably to the best vineyards in the word.
Still, I often find myself fantasizing about foods found in the United States, especially breakfast.
Argentinian breakfasts consist of strong, excellent coffee and usually some toast, maybe a croissant-like creature called a media luna and, well, that's it. Your toast will come with marmelade or dulce de leche. Your coffee will be heavily sugared.
I crave big American breakfasts of eggs, meat, cheese, toast with butter. Maybe an omelette, fried eggs. Oh, and egg sandwiches. The deli near our place in Brooklyn made the best egg and cheese on a kaiser roll known to man. A true Brooklyn speciality.
I also love the early morning brunches at Cafe Luluc on Smith Street. Trust me, order the pancakes. Or Bar Tabac (WARNING: this website plays very loud music) on the other side of Smith, a French bistro with a fresh juicy burger on a brioche roll and moules frites.
Desserts in Argentina tend toward cayote, squash preserves, served with walnuts or quesillo, a fresh cheese similar to mozzarella, with honey, figs or other sweet syrupy concoctions. It's very good, but to an American dessert lover, cannot satisfy like cheesecake and canoli at Monteleone's on Court Street.
Of course, no discussion about Brooklyn food would be complete without a mention of Sahadi's on Atlantic Avenue. Their selection of cheese rivals any gourmet shop in the city and is much cheaper. The best part, though, is the dry goods section where you take a number then wait your turned to choose from bin after bin of nuts, dried fruits, candy and so much more. I was always amazed at the patience of the men working the counter. No matter how busy, no matter how many customers waiting in line, they always smile, never rush you and never fail to offer you a taste of this or that.
Now as I end this review of Brooklyn and Argentinian food, I want to present a new feature to The Future Is Red. I want to start introducing you to the other blogs i love to follow. This week, I can think of only one that deserves it's place in a list of favorite foods.
Shannalees Food Loves Writing. I jump the second I see she's posted a new article. I love her recipes and writing, but the fantastic photos she posts of foods she makes and foods she finds in front of her at restaurants absolutely make my mouth water. Food porn is what I call this. These pancakes make me want to take my monitor to bed.
Shanalee's site offers the clean, professional view of a chef -- even though she claims she can't really cook -- with the comfortable, homey feel of sitting having coffee in the kitchen with your best friend.
And now, onto the next blog for World Blog Surf Day. Onto CoCreatr, the tale of a German living in Japan.