It’s Italia Week! I recently ate my way through Italy across five cities (6 including a small pit stop in Naples) and want to share with you all the delicious things I had. I’ll be posting about my foodventures all week, featuring one city each day. LAW and I were most interested in eating where the locals were gathering, rather than checking out the most posh spots in town. We did our research, so if you’re traveling to Italy, I hope you can use this as a guide to great homestyle Italian food! If not, then hopefully this gets you craving some awesome, fresh ingredients and simple cooking.
LAW and I flew into Milan and immediately took a train to Venice. Don’t worry, we return to Milan on the last leg of our trip.
No Euro trip begins until someone picks up a sandwich from the train station! This was the first thing I had in Italy. It’s from a small booth in the Milan train station. Lightly seasoned ham, arugula, swiss, and mustard sandwiched between fresh focaccia. I didn’t expect a train sandwich to be this good. I found myself comparing all the other sandwiches on this trip to this one.
We also had a croissant sandwich. Buttery croissant, savory prosciutto, bitter and crisp arugula, and sweet tomatoes… you really can’t go wrong with these ingredients. That’s the thing with Italian food. Everything is so simply made, therefore quality of ingredients really matters.
Notice how soft and not stringy the prosciutto is (unlike a lot of what I have here in NYC).
We arrived in Venice on this beautiful sunny day. This was taken on a water taxi to San Marco, where our hotel was. I know, San Marco is the most touristy area to stay in. But we only gave ourselves two days to explore Venice, so staying somewhere central was important for ease of access. It ended up being perfectly charming. I fell asleep to men singing old school Italian love songs on the gondolas that floated by our hotel window every night. Legit. Continue reading Italia Week: Venice!
Al-Amir Mohammed St Downtown
Amman 11110, Jordan
I’ve been back from Jordan for nearly a week now and still salivate at the thought of eating hummus and pita from Hashem. Prior to my trip to Jordan, I naturally looked up all the food places and foods I needed to try and found that Hashem was the only restaurant that consistently showed up on everyone’s “must try” list. Hashem showed up on TripAdivsor, NYTimes, niche little blogs, Wiki Travel, and even Arab news sites. It is frequented by upper, middle, and lower class Jordanian locals, as well as tourists. One journalist described Hashem as “a gateway for bridging the city’s well-off west end and its poorer eastern neighbourhoods.” It opened in 1956 and has been extremely popular ever since. The hummus recipe was brought over by the Palestinian founder, Hashem Turk, whose family owned a restaurant on the Mediterranean coast of what is now Israel.
In our one week trip where we were only in Amman for maybe two full days, we had Hashem four times. The first time was for dinner the night we landed. Second time was for breakfast the next day. Third time was the night before we were leaving Jordan. Fourth was the morning after at the airport where we savored our little tub of hummus that we had purchased to-go the night before. As someone who is almost morally opposed to eating the same thing when traveling, I know how ridiculous this is. But Hashem is really that good.
There’s no menu. You have the choice of creamy hummus, chunky hummus, and fuul (fava bean). Every meal is served with pita on pieces of paper (easy clean-up to say the least) and complimentary pickles, fresh basil, onion, tomatoes, and very sweet tea.
The star of the show is easily the hummus. This is the creamiest and freshest hummus I have ever tasted in my life. The chick peas are ground super finely and then mixed with tahini (sesame paste), plenty of lemon juice, and hyper rich tasting olive oil. It is served with finely chopped green peppers and whole chick peas in the center. The hummus has the right amount of salt and tang to shock your tastebuds, only to then be washed down by large pieces of pita bread. The hummus is more acidic than I’m used to in the US but is balanced by how damn creamy it is. I can’t even fully describe what it tastes like but trying to decipher the taste by memory is making me salivate. Continue reading Best Hummus of My LIFE (sorry, it’s in Jordan).