Bratislava is the capital and the largest city in Slovakia. It offers a pleasant medieval inner city with narrow, winding streets, a hilltop castle overlooking the Danube, and many historic churches and buildings.
Slovakia is used to be part of Hungary after the fall of the Great Moravian Empire until the end of the First World War, when the Treaty of Trianon created Czechoslovakia.
During World War II, the Germans controlled Slovakia. The Soviets conquered it later, thus recreating Czechoslovakia in pro-Soviet and Communist slant.
A sip of this lusciously sweet wine gives me memories of this rustic port city this wine is named after.
Also, the azulejos, these distinctly patterned blue-and-white porcelain tiles adorned in most buildings, the enchantingly winding Duoro river with dotted ships, the sumptuous Portuguese cuisine marked with their love for bacalhau, tripes, pastries, port wines, Madeira – all these remind me of Porto.
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal located along the Duoro river at the north of the country. As one of the oldest cities in Europe, and a mercantile one as it has always been, Porto as a city offers various architectural mix of medieval and modern living side by side.
The town center showcases soaring bell towers, monumental baroque churches, and stately Art Nouveau buildings. Many of its colorful buildings are built into a cliff face overlooking the river, with narrow lanes and zigzagged staircases running up and down along the cliff. Across the river, the attractive cellars and warehouses of port wine companies are located in this suburb of Gaia.
The term pancit is actually derived from Hokkien Chinese word, pian i sit (便ê食; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: piān-ê-si̍t or Chinese: 便食; pinyin: biàn shí). So obviously, it’s the Chinese who introduced noodles to us and since then we have adopted these into our local cuisine. With over 30 variations of pancit available all over the country, you’ll also never run out of finding these panciterias or shops specializing in noodles.
Interestingly, like rice, we Filipinos can eat pancit at any time of the day. We can chow it down for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Like me, most would eat pancit as it is, but for others, they would even mix it with rice, or with some leftover dish, or simply with dried fish and pickles.
Pancit is perhaps amongst the easiest Filipino dishes that I can cook while living here in Europe for several years now. For one, it’s very easy to find noodles of different kinds – vermicelli noodles in particular – in most Asian grocery stores.
Pancit is a very traditional and popular cuisine found in majority of Filipino restaurants, and certainly at dinner tables of Filipinos everywhere. Filipina mothers would whip up pancit for family gatherings.
Most especially during birthday celebrations, it has to be sure that the pancit noodles are kept long; for it’s been superstitiously believed that it represents long life and good health. In most Chinese restaurants in the Philippines, they often have “birthday noodles” as part of their special menus.
Since we moved here to Belgium, I’ve actually spent a good deal of time preparing dinners for family and friends at home. Then over spring and summer, I got so hooked in making soups and pasta dishes.
Go meat! A few meat dishes got my attention that I chose to share the recipes here. I always enjoyed preparing this herbed lamb with crushed potatoes; just placing everything in the oven and you get this luscious lamb dish in half a time. Bangkok’s lemongrass chicken stir-fry recipe was pretty interesting. Quite a lot of prep work but it just takes a couple of minutes of cooking everything together in the wok, then you get a delicious Asian curry dish. Then this chicken adobo with merguez was a happy experiment of sort.