A Serendipitous Encounter in Vermont


Dan C. - Food and Travel Tips and InfoSix years ago, my then fiancé (now my wife) and I decided to take a road trip to Vermont. It was our first time to New England and we were looking forward to seeing the beautiful fall colors. We drove from New Jersey, up through the Catskills and Adirondacks of New York, and finally into Vermont. We stayed off the interstates and drove along Vermont’s local highways through many charming and quaint small towns.

 

We stayed at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, located on Vermont’s scenic highway VT 108 just north of Stowe, a popular ski town. As we drove into Stowe, we were enchanted by the beauty and serenity of the covered bridges, mountain views, and the small-town charm. As a foodie, I really appreciated the wide array of quality restaurants in Stowe. I also appreciated the farm-to-table food culture of Vermont’s residents – sourcing locally grown, sustainable, and organic produce and meats from local farms and purveyors.

 

My wife and I fell in love with Vermont on our first visit and we’ve been going back ever since. A few weeks ago, we celebrated our two year wedding anniversary, also our 4th  fall-foliage trip to Vermont. In a serendipitous moment, my wife and I bumped into fellow RCI subscribing members Larry and Mary Whitney. They are happy RCI members since the mid-90s. They saw my picture in the RCI Directory of Affiliated Resorts, along with my recommendation to visit Vermont during fall – and they recognized me! I was humbled that the Whitneys decided to plan their vacation based on my recommendation. It was a truly serendipitous encounter.

 

A Serendipitous Encounter in Vermont - The Whitneys and me

The Whitneys and me

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Eat With Dan: Caribbean Food


Dan C. - Food and Travel Tips and InfoToday’s food travel takes us to the beautiful and tropical Carribean. The Carribean food culture is a result of a mixture of influences from the region's early settlers: European, African, Amerindian, Indian, and Chinese.

Subtle but distinct differences can be found in the way food is prepared and how spices are utilized from island to island. However, what you’ll find in common is that most traditional Carribean dishes are one-pot stews accompanied with rice, that is served as a side dish or as the main staple.

So what should you know about dining out in the Caribbean?

• Many of the local restaurants in the Carribean will accept all major credit cards and US currency. I spent an entire week dining out across the Carribean and had no problem paying with US dollars.
• I’d also recommend taking a taxi into the local towns. Avoid the local tourist traps; your driver may be able to recommend a good local place to dine.

So what are the must try dishes?

For those who like spice, the Carribean is known for its Jerk – a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meats, traditionally chicken or pork, is dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a pungent spice mixture. Jerk seasoning typically contains all-spice, clove, thyme, garlic, onions, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and fiery hot scotch bonnet peppers. The most common Jerk dish is Jerk Chicken. For those who can’t handle the heat, fear not! You can request a mild heat level.

Some other popular dishes found in the Carribean are:

• Mellagee – A popular dish of Guyana – a one-pot stew containing fish and vegetables in a coconut milk base.

• Belikin Beer Battered Conch Fritters – A specialty of Belize – beer battered fritters made with conch, a tropical marine mollusk (snail).

• Mofongo – A popular Dominican dish with roots from Puerto Rico – made from fried and mashed plantains mixed with chicharones (fried pork rinds).

• Oil Down – Grenada’s National Dish – a highly flavorful dish made of cured meat or fish, vegetables, spices, plantains, and coconut milk

• Flying Fish with Cou Cou – Barbados’ National Dish – made with corn meal, okra, flying fish and topped with an aromatic sauce of tomato, onion, chives, garlic, thyme, and other herbs. The fish can be steamed, batter-fried or grilled.

• Curry Chicken – A favorite with Trinidadians and Tobagonians. For the more adventurous, try the goat curry.

Comment below and let me know your favorite “Island” dish. Feel free to upload a photo, too!

As always, come and Eat With Dan! You can follow my personal Twitter and Facebook accounts (please note that the views expressed on those sites are my personal views and not those of RCI).

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EatWithDan (@EatWithDan)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EatWithDan

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Food and traveling – tips from a “Food Connoisseur”


Dan C. - Food and Travel Tips and InfoMy name is Dan and I work at RCI. I also happen to be a lover of all things travel and food related. I invite you to join me in my travels, as I share with you some of my favorite eats!

In my opinion, the best part of traveling is the opportunity to sample the local cuisine. A culinary experience truly enhances your perception of a vacation and I’m here to highlight some must-try items in popular destinations.

I have three golden rules when it comes to dining out:
1. Avoid all chain restaurants.
2. Eat where the locals eat.
3. Try something new!

Your favorite pizzeria, sandwich shop, and Chinese takeout will still be there when you get home. You’re on vacation right? Let’s try something new together!

I’ll be blogging a few times a month and I encourage you to comment below or upload photos of you and your vacation cuisine!

Come and Eat With Dan! You can follow my personal Twitter and Facebook accounts (please note that the views expressed on those sites are my personal views and not those of RCI).

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EatWithDan (@EatWithDan)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EatWithDan

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