Basswood Tree: The Bee Tree

As a little boy, I used to spend my weekends out and about as a boy scout and because of that, I learnt many practical skills (using difference parts of trees) – natural remedies, wood carving to name a couple. In the area I grew up, one of the most common trees is the Basswood…

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World Cocktail Day

As a cocktail lover and bartender for 16 years, I always search for any reason to ‘toast’ with a cocktail in my hand. Certainly, the 13th of May is one of the most awaited days for any cocktail lover and it is to celebrate the first printed mention of the word COCKTAIL on 13th May…

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Shiso – the Asian nettle

Have you ever been to a sushi bar or any other Japanese restaurant? Then you definitely would have seen Shiso leaves aka Perilla, the big green leaves used mainly for plating to add contrast to the food being presented to you. While there is only one species in the genus, there are three varieties. There are…

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Rosella aka Hibiscus

Many of us in western countries know Hibiscus as a dry, dark burgundy red colour flower. But in Asia & West Africa this same species of wild flower is known as Rosella. I fell in love with hibiscus whilst I was learning about the Caribbean drinking culture and came across sorrell, a non-alcoholic beverage made…

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Cinco de Mayo

Today is the 5th of May, aka Cinco de Mayo in spanish. Today is the day where celebrating Mexican-American culture is on the forefronts of our minds.  But, do you know, why this date is so important for Mexico? Many of us confuse this day with Mexican Independence Day held on 16th September, in fact…

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Masala aka Curry leaf

I believe one of the most popular dishes that everyone associates with Thai & Indian food is curry. The seasoning we think of as curry is actually a combination of several spices blended together. This spice blend is publicly known as masala across India and countries around. The curry tree is native to India, Sri Lanka…

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Salak, the fruit with snake skin

During my last trip to Bali, I found many new and interesting ingredients to talk about. The one I would like to introduce to everyone today is called “Salak”, commonly known as Snake fruit. What’s even more fascinating is that you can buy it at the Denpasar airport and bring it home with you. The…

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The Kumquat: A symbol of good luck

During a Sunday afternoon walk through a food market I came across a tiny orange that looked like a citrus fruit, the size and shape just slightly bigger than an olive – known as Kinkan or Kumquat. This fruit is native to south-eastern parts of the mountains in China and has four varieties – Nagami…

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