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Food & Dining Marketing

Heart-Warming Christmas Foods & Drinks that we Love!

White Christmas is definitely delightful. A cold one, not so much. A reason why we have put together our 5 favorites for this time of the year.  They will not only warm your heart, but also your body and soul.

HOT CHOCOLATE

The yummilicious beverage is believed to have been created by the Mayan around 2,500–3,000 years ago. The cocoa drink was an essential part of Aztec culture by 1400 AD, and they referred to it as xocōlātl. The drink became popular in Europe after being introduced from Mexico to the New World and has undergone multiple changes since then. To have this prepared with water or milk tends to be a personal preference, and I like both. But when it comes to hot chocolate add-ins, nothing beats traditional marshmallows or whipped cream. The lightness and creaminess created by melting marshmallows or whipped cream into hot cocoa beautifully balance the thickness and richness of the chocolate perfectly.

PECAN PIE

Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be dominated with pie capturing nearly 87% of the market share. Not surprising, considering the two holidays revolve around food; a meal incomplete without dessert. During winter, dry fruits become an essential part of the diet which is why a pie made of pecans is given. This delicious, and mouth-watering buttery sweetness does well warm with a scoop of ice cream.

CHRISTMAS CAKE

Christmas cake is an English tradition that began as plum porridge. A traditional English Christmas cake is made with moist Zante currants, sultanas (golden raisins), and raisins that have been soaked in brandy, rum, whisky, or sherry. The cake may be covered in layers of marzipan, then icing, and is usually decorated, often with plaid ribbon bands and Christmas models such as snowmen, fir trees, or Father Christmas. In certain parts of the world, soaking fruits in alcohol is celebrated as it marks not only the start of the holiday season but a reason to be joyous, and merry.

EGGNOG

Here is another drink that I particularly look forward to during the holidays. It is popular during this time of the year because of its warm temperature and flavors. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla bean are all synonymous with Christmas. Alcohol could be added and the preferred choices include brandy, rum, bourbon, or whisk

A tried and tested Eggnog recipe

And finally,

WARM APPLE CIDER

Now that I have not had it in a while. The fragrance of cinnamon lingers at home hours after the drink has been prepared and consumed. Its warmth and coziness bring a smile to the frosted lips and cheeks that otherwise would have taken their own time to be thawed.

 

Related: Foodie Tour in Costa Rica

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Food & Dining Korea (South) Marketing

4 Must-Do Healthy Activities in Korea

  1. Jimjilbang literally means ‘heated rooms’, a place where locals come to unwind, engage and hang out while enjoying a host of health and beauty rituals that go beyond a quick soak. The cost to enter a jimjilbang is between ₩7000 and ₩20,000 (CAD 7 – CAD 20) and it varies based on the day of the week, the time of the day, and its location. Koreans have long believed that perspiring in these hot rooms has a medicinal effect and could help improve blood circulation, reduce stress, clear out the pores and possibly help with weight loss. They certainly make for a great place to meditate, relax, and unwind especially for tourists who may have spent a long day exploring the city.
    Suggested article for a first-timer at a Jimjilbang
  2. Korean Ginseng is a bitter-tasting root with a strong flavor whose shape resembles that of a human body. It is said to contain plenty of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, including saponins or ‘ginsenosides’. Ginsenosides are known to boost immunity and help fight cancer as well as provide a quick recovery from fatigue. Korean Ginseng is a high-quality souvenir and can be purchased in department stores, supermarkets, road shops, and ginseng specialty shops when in Korea.
  3. Makgeolli has the longest history among all of Korea’s traditional alcohols. Made by mixing steamed glutinous rice or wheat with nuruk, a fermentation starter culture, and water, the mixture is left to ferment. Extremely nutritious and low in calories, Makgeolli is 80% water and 6–8% alcohol. An unfiltered beverage, it contains lactic acid and lactobacillus bacteria, at the level found in yogurt. It also contains dietary fiber. All in all, it aids digestion, improves immune function, and slows the aging process
  4. Temple Stay is a unique opportunity to experience Korean Buddhism, its daily lifestyle, rituals, and spirituality. It entails staying at a Buddhist temple and engaging in daily monastic activities, a wonderful way to rediscover oneself. Imagine waking up to the sound of temple bells that sweep through the mountains, rendering peace in the hearts of temple visitors. A temple stay provides sanctuary from city life and offers space for meditation and holistic healing. A typical temple stay program includes a Buddhist service, seon meditation, the 108 prostrations, and communal work. Some programs also educate participants on monastic meal offerings and tea ceremony rituals.

 

We recommend seeking medical consultation from your doctor before engaging in any of the suggested activities while in Korea. A doctor knows what is best for you!

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Food & Dining Marketing

Foodie Tour in San Jose Costa Rica

The farm-to-table experience in San Jose is nothing short of a MUST DO when visiting Costa Rica.

A globetrotter, I appreciate the gastronomic diversity and as a foodie, I love it! If you are considering a night or two in San Jose, make sure to add this experience to your itinerary!

This journey began at 4:00 PM when we met the organizer and our guide for the evening, Adri who took us to our first spot – Cabra Negra.  Here, we met the Coffee Brew-master who walked us through the process that a coffee bean endures, the types of filters & coffee apparatuses one could use, and that of extracting the most flavor from your ground coffee. OMG to say the least!

DID YOU KNOW? Coffee drinking in Costa Rica is more of a social 4 PM event, unlike here where it is a ‘wake me up’, the daily morning requirement of the sleep-deprived desperate worker bee.

The varying texture of the filter and the number of drip holes makes the world of a difference to the taste, something I got to learn that day. 3 different types of coffees were paired with delicious appetizers. Just as we were getting ready to head, we were surprised with a cold brew containing a hint of rum and mint. Exactly what the taste buds needed to help us through till the next stop – Arbol de Seda.

Offering vegetarian food, the Chef aims to show the world that ‘meatless’ food could be tasty too. True that! The vegetarian ceviche was a scrumptious blend of flavors where the softness of avocado mixed with the crunchy coconut crisps blended in the coconut milk made tangy by pineapple chunks; all of which came through in every bite. This unexpected goodness left me craving for just a little more.

To wrap up our stop, we were served baby corn in tempura(ish) batter and corn tortilla topped with mushrooms, onion, and avocado. Our hearts gleamed, once again, just as we were setting foot to leave, a door opened to reveal a secret room and the tastiest drink of my life. The Astral Speak Easy Bar is a great spot for individuals that savor a good mix based on astrological signs. I sure did end up spending a lot more time chatting with the bartender here! (follow her on Insta)

“Vamos vamos” I was told, “the hosts at Isolina are on hold”.

A home turned restaurant, they have maintained the original elements which gives this quaint restaurant a homely feel. Focusing on farm-to-table, they use local ingredients. To my surprise, the local potato-like starchy appetizer was the perfect tastebud refresher to the main course which was sweet potato, baked & served with cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. Despite a full stomach, I managed to make a little more space for desert.

What a night! And we were not done yet. To shake things around, our last stop (finally!) was Zuntra where we learned the art of being a bartender mixing our own drink. Unfortunately, we were under supervision. No drink is complete without the Cacique in Costa Rica and a small pour is all a fable drinker needs.

Thinking back and to this day, I salivate as the tastes still linger in my mouth. An experience that still warms my heart. And the stomach, which still craves for a little more.

In gratitude to the tour host, the chefs, and the servers, all of whom came together making my journey through San Jose a memorable one!

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Destination Food & Dining Korea (South) Marketing

MishMash – Restaurant With A Hanok Vibe!

Enter a world of taste in a place that fuses gourmet dishes with the delicious flavors of Korean Cuisine. MishMash offers its visitors a distinct experience, both in architecture and its characteristic menu. If you’re looking for a unique venue that offers a mix of culture, taste, and convenience, book your next big meeting at MishMash, a restaurant with a Hanok vibe.

Hanok is a traditional Korean house made up of a wooden framework that varies in shape depending on the region. The term was used to refer to houses built in the Korean architectural style in comparison with Western-style buildings.” The word is a combination of two Chinese characters, han (韓, meaning “the Korean people”) and ok (屋, meaning “house”). Hanoks can be divided into several types according to their layout, like U-shaped hanoks, as well as L-shaped, square, and straight-lined.

Much like in business, you should plan and book your spot on this popular venue because it’s frequented by all types of business people.

→ Read the entire article curated by European Chamber of Commerce in Korea by clicking here

Whether you choose lunch or dinner, you will always have an option to the Chef’s Choice. And who is the Chef? None other than Ecole Ferrandi alumni Minzi Kim Wind, whose worked at several Michelin restaurants in Denmark, France, and Spain. What makes her style unique is the delicate balance of maintaining a traditional Korean taste when introducing new flavors and dishes. Perfect for all occasions.

This means that guests can travel through the rich taste of traditional Korean cuisine that meets modern techniques and plates for a delicious journey without leaving the Hanok, all while enjoying views of the Palace which is located nearby.

MishMash offers groups reservations open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Saturday, which gives you a lot of room to plan the best meeting and pair it with the perfect restaurant.

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Food & Dining Korea (South) Marketing

7 Good Things To Know About Kimchi

Kimchi is Korea’s unique ethnic food, and historical records showed that kimchi was invented around 4,000 years ago (ref. Science Direct). Fermented food, Kimchi is packed with vitamins and minerals with several health benefits including better gut health. Lactobacilli bacteria is found in Kimchi, which is what makes it an excellent probiotic. Here are some fun facts to impress your colleagues, friends, and family with when it comes to Kimchi:  

  1. An average Korean consumes about 40-57 pounds of Kimchi a year. It is an essential side dish served with almost every meal.
  2. Kimchi has been taken to space by Yi So Yeon, South Korea’s first astronaut. South Korea spent millions of dollars to create Kimchi that would be suitable for consume-in space.
  3. There are over 200 types of Kimchi and with that many variants, not every Korean has tried them all.
  4. Kimchi may aid weight loss and also help reduce body weight, body fat, and blood sugar levels.
  5. Most Koreans have a special kimchi fridge with a more humid environment and less moving air to help maintain the freshness.
  6. Taking photos in Korea? Don’t say cheese, say Kimchi! Many South Koreans go with Smile, Whiskey, or LG.
  7. A kimchi museum was named one of the world’s best food museums by CNN

Curious about more fun facts? Check out K-Pop Foods or Hey Explorer.