As we are about to launch our "Flavours of the Coast" feature, showcasing some of the amazing dishes you can find across the Hibiscus Coast from 4 December we thought we'd just discuss some of the amazing cuisines of the world ...
It doesn't matter what culture you come from food gathers people together. Whether a dinner party, family gathering, dining out with friends or just simply the family time in the evening around the dining table and the tantilising array of cuisines is simply mouthwatering.
India is one of the most densely populated countries on the planet. With so many people within the nation, Indian cuisine is highly varied. Curries are the traditional fare, but Indian food is not confined for just curry. There are a number of regions that make vegetarian dishes, and ayurvedic medicinal traditions are often used in creating food. Within India, visitors will find a range of sweet, hot and spicy dishes. Even better, the nation is home to millions of street food stands. At these stands, visitors can try out unique treats for a very cheap price
Over the last decade, Thai food has grown in popularity. Hands down, the most popular dish is pad thai. To truly experience Thai cuisine, you should step away from the basic pad thai and try some of the broths and noodle dishes that make this cuisine so delectable. This cuisine focuses on a lot of herbs and offers a range of sweet, sour, spicy and bitter tastes. It focuses on fresh herbs, so this cuisine always has a vivid flavor.
If characterizing Indian food was hard, Chinese food is impossible to pin down. China has one of the most diverse mixes of cultures and cuisines in the world. The main eight styles of cooking are: Fujian, Cantonese, Anhui, Zhejiang, Szechuan, Shandong and Hunan. In Chinese traditional medicine and culture, the opposites of yin and yang must always be kept in balance. This same balance extends to food. When cooking, the Chinese try to balance different colors, tastes, textures and smells. This focus has paid off and made Chinese cuisine one of the world’s finest.
In a traditional Chinese meal, you can expect to have noodles or rice. Although many American-based Chinese restaurants use fried rice, most China-based Chinese restaurants serve basic steamed rice. With a strong Buddhist history, vegetarian dishes like tofu remain popular. Interestingly, garlic and chilies are considered non-vegetarian in Buddhism because they stimulate the chi. If you go to a Chinese vegetarian restaurant, don’t expect a lot of spices. For non-vegetarian dishes, you can expect Peking duck, thousand year old eggs, squid and a range of meat dishes. Vegetables are always included with dinner, and they are far from your mother’s broccoli. Chinese vegetable dishes are often the most delicious part of the meal.
Like Italian cuisine, Greek food dates back thousands of years. Many common Greek dishes have unknown origins because they have been around so long. This cuisine has a unique mix of different Mediterranean styles. Back in the day, the Greeks were well-positioned to become a major port for sea trading. Every time sailors returned from traveling, they brought back different dishes and dining styles. In Greece, visitors can expect fresh herbs, olive oil and feta. Due to its location near the sea, fish is a popular dining option. Pork and lamb are common meat choices because many of the islands are too small to host cattle.
The Hibachi or Teppanyaki grill are some of the most delectable of Japanese dining options. At a Hibachi grill, you can watch a cook flip, fry, griddle and cut the food in front of you. This cuisine focuses on noodles, tofu, sushi and vegetables. Each meal is meticulously prepared and exceptionally delicious. Even better, Japanese restaurants often serve oolong or green tea.
There is some debate if there is actually a Mediterranean cuisine. This term mostly developed in the 1970s when there was a Mediterranean diet. In general, it consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and olive oil. Depending on who you ask, it could include different Greek, Italian, Arabic, European or North African dishes.
Say Oui, Oui to French cuisine! Five-star chefs are often trained in French cooking. It uses cheese, chocolate and baguettes for delicious meals. Of course, a French meal would never be complete without some wine! Despite their focus on cheese, bread and chocolates, the French amazingly remain thin. Perhaps eating more of this cuisine could be a weight loss plan?
With a culinary history that stretches back centuries, Italian cuisine is one of the world’s favorites. Spumoni ice cream, spaghetti, lasagna and pizza are traditional dishes that are widely available in the United States. Beyond these basic dishes, there are a number of regional favorites like Parmesan cheese and Parma ham. One part of Italy is even known for making a kind of maggot cheese. The cheese is fermented and allowed to sit out so that flies lay eggs. Afterward, it is packed at the perfect time for maggots to develop. It might not suit everyone’s taste buds, but it is a specialty from the country. If this cheese is not to your liking, the country has more than 400 types of cheese.
Although Italian cuisine varies from region to region, each meal will generally be set up in a similar way. It will begin with the antipasto or appetizer menu. Next, diners enjoy the primo course which consists of pasta or rice. The second course is a meat. To top it off, the last course is the dolce or dessert course.
That is just a small sample and you can find all the above on the Coast ... We'll let you know when voting is open in our feature so you can let us know your favourite dish to be in to WIN ... #flavoursofthecoast
So who doesn't love some great outdoor sport and exercise options when it is warm and the sun is shining!
There are lots of options locally which you can enjoy and here are just a few of those ...
Orewa beach cricket, Bootcamp at Manly Park on Saturdays at 7.30 am, Yoga on the Beach (we are checking the timetable), summer soccer with Hibiscus Coast Soccer Club , Hibiscus Coast Raiders summer events, tennis at one of our local clubs, twilight bowls at Manly Bowling Club, petanque with the Hibiscus Coast Petanque Club
Or how about heading along and having a go with the Orewa Croquet Club Have a Go Day coming up next week?
There are lots of great local activities and we will link to more above as we get full details. If you know of any we should list please let us know so we can all get out into the great outdoors and have lots of sporting fun this summer!
As the deadline looms for a sale of Coast Plaza with offers closing on 30 August Rodney Times asked locals what they would like to see that would help in revitalising the area. As reported by Jay Borham in the Rodney Times Coast Plaza on the market article of 16 August suggestions ranged from K Mart , more dining options, a high end shopping experience to pulling the whole thing down. So why doesn't the Peninsula look to our flourishing Hibiscus Coast neighbour, Orewa, in the past few years the small coastal town has seen a boom and is becoming not only a mecca for local dining but also for boutique shopping. With a full schedule of wonderful events in the streets and on the beach all summer long why doesn't Whangaparaoa consider using the hub of the Plaza to stage summer fun?
The Town Centre, with JAC's and Esquires on either side was redeveloped last year. This area could be a hub not only for outdoor dining but also local entertainment. Perhaps the short strip of road between the library and Town Centre could be closed for the day (there is access both above and below and only a few parks would be lost) Music concerts, outdoor dining events, movies, kids entertainment, games?
If this area was used to showcase a local event what kind of event would you like to see that would get you and your family up to the Plaza and enjoy?
We love the Hibiscus Coast, the beaches, the community feel and the wide variety of things to do and places to go and this isn't diminishing as the Coast grows, although we are finding there are rather too many sets of traffic lights than the old days!