FOODIE - Culture on a platter
Top destinations can offer a promise of a deeper and more engaging experience beyond your usual holiday. Read along to experience varied cultures
COMMUNITY DINING IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Though the Middle East is very contemporary in nature, meals are not served in courses like in the West.There is a superb selection of appetisers to be relished throughout the Mediterranean, famous as `Mezze' which are the unlimited and extremely flavoured variety of tempting nibbles served as either starters or a meal itself. Hummus, rice and meat wrapped in vine leaves, hot and cold salads, grilled seafood and meats and pickled vegetables being the most popular. The other frills like the Kebabs and Bread are typically brought together with the Mezze from which one help themselves in community style eating. Along with the meal, locals enjoy dainty teas, a lemon mint livener or a delectable sweet and sour drink called `Carcade' made from piquant flowers. Baklava or a fresh bowl of fruits make for a fragrant dessert.
SOUK STROLL IN MOROCCO
There are many Medinas in Morocco, which are stunning and line a maze of streets bursting with tourists, vendors, transport galore and just about whatever you can think of. Within seconds of entering, expect your senses to be overwhelmed. The souks are a buyer's delight. That said, it's Jemma El Fna in Marrakech where tourists and locals alike flock by night. It is a square where the pulsing grooves of snake charmers syndicate with oldstyle Moroccan dancers and decadent food experiences of communal sheep head, kebabs or snail eating. Few places in the realm achieve to kindle all of your senses quite as much as Jemaa El Fna.
SHABBAT IN ISRAEL
The commandments of Shabbat permit one to enjoy the fruits of labour. It is considered a day of appreciation and assembly with loved ones. No handsets, No computers, No television, No driving, No cooking, No ressing buttons etc...pure connection...ust being with people you love and hanking the Lord for all his blessings. People drink wine, eat challah, dance, take part in warm conversations, and sing Shabbat songs and certainly eat a five course meal comprising `Cholent', `potato Kugel' till the wee hours of the morning.
LIMING IN TRINIDAD
Trinidad is extraordinary in the Caribbean, is usually not too tourist infested, making it a jewel for those seeking an honest Caribbean experience. And of course, you cannot visit Trinidad and go back without a little bit of liming aka hanging out with music, food, Angostura rum (Trinidad is home of the Angostura bitters by the way) or a Carib or a stag beer and friends simply about anywhere and anytime! It's this relaxed style that makes liming so much fun.
FOLKLORE AND FOOD IN PUNJAB
All of Punjab is known for fun food and culture. And Amritsar with its surrounding villages take pride in preparing the best Papad-wadis, Lassi and Alu Kulchas.Leading restaurant chains organise amazing food culture trails with Punjab as its theme in metro cities too. Here, they give a peek into Punjabi culture replete with folklore, including people dancing to the tunes of Gidda and Bhangda, local food stalls serving Sarson da Saag, Makki Di Roti, Karela keema, Chargah chicken, Til Bhugga, mixed chaat filled with papdi, springy Dahi Bhalla and lots more.
Rupali Dean is a food writer based out of Delhi