Where Foodies Come To Talk

human lungs, trachea and nasopharynx, medical poster with explanations

Early signs of lung cancer

Many people like to tell the doctor what is wrong with them, instead of letting the doctor do their job. I’ve been guilty of this myself in the past, when I was worried about a simple skin complaint that was sorted out with a prescription cream. I told the doctor there was nothing wrong with me and that I was being silly for wasting their time and that it’s probably nothing and if they could just tell me I’m fine I’ll be on my way. Luckily, that’s pretty much what happened, and a few days later my skin had cleared up. 

But the thing is that the medical professional can help in all situations (even providing outright cures) where even the most serious of ailments are caught early enough, even cancer. For example, see is lung cancer curable if caught early? But for now, let’s crack on with spotting the early signs of lung cancer, because raising the issue early could make all the difference. 

Chest pain

Depending on the stage to which the lung cancer has progressed, the lymph nodes may have enlarged or the lining of the lung walls may have grown agitated. This can result in both localised pain and in radiating pain that is felt across the chest, in the shoulders, and in the back and ribs. Unfortunately, due to the body responding to different stages of different cancers in different ways, there is no standard description of what the pain will feel like. The pain could be sharp, dull, constant, or intermittent. The important thing is to speak to your doctor as soon as possible. 

Wheezing and hoarseness

Just like you’d expect there to be a change in pitch if you were to blow through a straw and begin to squeeze it slightly, your breathing may begin to change sounds and even wheeze due to the presence of cancer in the lungs. There is also the chance that the tumour(s) could press on the nerves connected to the vocal cords, resulting in a slightly but noticeably deeper sounding voice.     

Weight loss

For most people, weight loss is generally a good thing. But where you notice an unexplained dip in weight of 10 pounds of more, this could be a sign of lung cancer. The reason for this is that cancerous cells require energy to grow, and sick people may experience a loss of appetite. 

Ever Hear Of Boo’s? Well, If You’re A Foodie You Have To Find Out

The cheesesteak has been around for almost 100 years now. It was first invented way back in 1930 in Philadelphia.

Since then, hundreds of establishments specializing in serving up cheesesteaks have opened up throughout the city. You can’t take a trip to Philly and not try at least one or two of the cheesesteaks—if not five or ten of the cheesesteaks—made by one of the many restaurants in the area.

But these days, you don’t have to go all the way to Philly to get a legit Philly cheesesteak anymore. Boo’s, which is located in Los Angeles, is proof of this.

If you consider yourself a foodie and haven’t had a chance to bite into a cheesesteak from Boo’s just yet, do yourself a favor and do it soon. Here are some of the things that you’ll love about Boo’s and what it has to offer to those who love a good, er, make that a great cheesesteak.

The Owners of Boo’s Know a Good Philly Cheesesteak When They See One

Boo’s is situated more than 2,700 miles away from Philadelphia. This might lead you to believe that the owners of Boo’s couldn’t possibly know the first thing about authentic Philly cheesesteaks. But this couldn’t be any further from the truth!

In reality, the family that started Boo’s in 2011 has a long and storied history with the Philly cheesesteak. Shortly after immigrating to America in the 1970s, the patriarch of the family got his first job in the U.S. working at a cheesesteak place in—where else?—Philadelphia. From there, he teamed up with his wife to buy their very own cheesesteak place in nearby Collingswood, N.J.

The family eventually relocated to Los Angeles in the 2000s, though, and when they did, they realized that they couldn’t find a good Philly cheesesteak in the area. So they decided to do when needed to be done—they opened Boo’s and started slinging the same kind of cheesesteaks that they did back in Philly to people in L.A.

As a result, you don’t have to worry about whether or not the cheesesteaks at Boo’s are going to taste like the ones made in Philly. They do because they’re made by those who know how to do it best.

They Offer Up a Large Selection of Cheesesteak Options

When you walk into Boo’s for the first time to test out the Boo’s food, you’re obviously going to want to kick things off with a traditional Boo’s Cheesesteak. It’ll give you a feel for what Boo’s is all about.

But that’s far from the only option that you’ll have when you eat at Boo’s. There are also lots of other cheesesteak options for you to choose from. Some of your options will include:

  • Boo’s Cheesesteak Hoagie
  • Boo’s Pizza Steak
  • Boo’s Mushroom Steak
  • Boo’s Pepper Steak

Whether you want to keep it simple and go with a regular Boo’s Cheesesteak or spice things up with one of their other cheesesteaks, you really can’t go wrong.

They Offer Up a Variety of Hoagies, Too

Boo’s has made a name for itself over the last decade by providing people in L.A. with some of the best cheesesteaks on the West Coast. But they’ve also worked hard to set people up with other things, too. This includes a variety of hoagies.

If you want something other than a cheesesteak while visiting Boo’s, you can give one of their hoagies a try. You’ll have a chance to order a:

  • Boo’s Veggie Hoagie
  • Boo’s Hot Veggie Hoagie
  • Boo’s American Hoagie
  • Boo’s Ham & Cheese Hoagie
  • Boo’s Tuna Hoagie
  • Boo’s Turkey Hoagie
  • Boo’s Italian Hoagie

Take one of these hoagies for a test drive to see why people have started to stop by Boo’s for more than cheesesteaks in recent years.

They’ve Opened Three Locations in the Los Angeles Area

When Boo’s first opened almost ten years ago, some people were skeptical about ordering a Philly cheesesteak in L.A. But Boo’s has earned a reputation for providing the tastiest cheesesteaks in town, and because of it, they’ve expanded quickly.

There are now three Boo’s locations in the L.A. area. You can find Boo’s in:

  • Silver Lake (4501 Fountain Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90029)
  • Koreatown (3377 Wilshire Blvd. #103, Los Angeles, CA 90010)
  • The Forum (3900 W Manchester Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90305)

Visit here for more information on these locations.

They Provide People With More Than Just Great Food

If you’ve ever had an opportunity to order a cheesesteak in Philly, you know that it can be a little bit of an intimidating experience. But you won’t have to worry about this when you visit Boo’s for a cheesesteak.

Outside of providing people with the best Philly cheesesteaks around, Boo’s also understands the importance of setting people up with excellent customer service. They strive to make customers feel like they’re at home from the second they walk through the front door.

For this reason—and really, for all the reasons listed here—you should make Boo’s one of your many destinations the next time you’re in L.A. You won’t be disappointed by the cheesesteak or the service that you receive when you stop by for something to eat. 

Take a Trip to Boo’s the Next Time You’re in Los Angeles

Generally speaking, most of the “Philly cheesesteaks” that are sold outside of Philadelphia don’t taste anything like the real thing. That’s because they’re often made by people who have never set foot in Philly and don’t know the first thing about the city’s cheesesteaks.

You won’t have to worry about this when you order a cheesesteak from Boo’s restaurant in Los Angeles. You’ll get an authentic Philly cheesesteak each and every time you place an order at Boo’s. You might even forget that you’re in L.A. for a few seconds when you take your first bite.

Want to find out about some of the other places to grab a great Philly cheesesteak? Check out the articles on our blog for suggestions.

5 Things you Probably Don’t Know About Thai Cuisine

Thai food is globally accepted to be some of the finest in the world, as Thai restaurants can be found in every major city, and if you are planning a holiday in the Land of Smiles, you will no doubt be looking forward to authentic Thai cooking.

Here are a few things about Thai cuisine that might surprise you.

  1. Coconut Milk – You probably know that many of the delicious Thai curries are made with coconut milk, but what might surprise you is the method the Thais use to harvest coconuts. They train monkeys to climb the trees and pick only the ripe fruits that come crashing down to the ground, and when the animal has inspected a tree, he leaps to the next to save time. If you visit the tropical island of Koh Samui, you can visit a monkey training school, where they are trained on how to tell a ripe nut from one that is not yet ready for consumption.
  2. Diversity of Rice – If you thought that rice was only consumed boiled or fried, you’ll be pleased to learn there are many Thai desserts made from rice, some of which can be sampled when you book at an exclusive Chaweng Beach resort, one of the island’s premier stretches of coastline. Many of these exotic sweet dishes cannot be found outside of Thailand and once tasted, are never forgotten.
  3. Regional Cuisine – Thai food can be divided into regions; the northern part of Thailand has its own unique cuisine, using locally grown produce and over the centuries, special dishes have been created. Southern Thai food is the spiciest of all, with tiny peppers that are extremely hot, so do take care if you are not into very spicy foods. The north-eastern part of the country has some dishes that are exclusive to the region, using a paste made from tiny fish and this is definitely an acquired taste!
  4. Healthy Eating – While Thai cuisine is known to be delicious, many people don’t realise that Thai food is also very healthy. Obesity is uncommon in Thailand, due partly to a well-balanced diet that includes lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, plus they are active people. There are not high levels of cholesterol and using only organic ingredients, you are not exposed to E numbers and the chemicals that can be found in processed foods.
  5. Unique Cuisine – Thailand is the only South East Asian nation not to be colonised, and this means their cuisine is undiluted and not influenced so much by other cultures. That’s why they have unique dishes that cannot be found elsewhere, and if you have sampled Thai food in a foreign country, it won’t be the same as if it were prepared in Thailand.

Thai food is unique and if you are planning a holiday in this amazing country, the cuisine will be one of the highlights of your experience.

Restaurant or cafe table with plate of salads and wine. Two people talking on background. Toned picture

How to Save Money When Eating Out: A Guide

For many, dining out is one of the small pleasures in life. But it comes at a big cost. The average American household spends $3,000 per year on going out to eat.

It seems like a shocking amount of money. Since it’s spent over the course of a year, rather than all at once, it’s easy to not even realize how much you’re spending. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to budget.

Wondering how to save money when eating out? Is it possible to still enjoy the fun of your favorite restaurants, without overspending?

Read on to learn the best tips and tricks for saving money at restaurants so you can continue enjoying the pleasures of dining out, even on a budget.

Look for Daily Specials

Many restaurants will offer daily specials, usually designed to attract diners into the restaurant at slower times of the week. Often, this will be earlier in the evenings, around 5pm, advertised sometimes as the “Early Bird Special.”

Early in the week, such as Mondays and Tuesdays, are also quieter days for many restaurants, so they may offer daily specials at a lower cost than other menu items to attract customers looking for a bargain. Keep an eye out for restaurants offering these, as they are an easy way to enjoy a delicious meal at a lower cost.

The ever-popular evening Happy Hour can also be a good way not just to find cheaper drinks, but often, appetizers and snacks are discounted during this time.

Bring Your Own Wine or Avoid Alcohol

The bar markup cost on alcohol in restaurants can be insanely high; up to 200%! Beer, wine, and spirits are huge earners for restaurants, and often bring in more profit than food items for restaurant owners. This is because the wholesale cost for alcohol is often much lower than for food, so there’s a larger profit margin when selling drinks.

Of course, the best way to save money when dining out (when it comes to drinking) is to stick to water or soft drinks, which often have free refills. With water, tap water will be at no cost, while sparkling water usually has a charge, so specify to your waiter as to which you prefer.

However, it’s great to also enjoy your meal with a lovely drop of wine.

Look for restaurants that offer BYO (bring your own). This usually refers to wine, but occasionally beer as well.

If you bring your own bottle, the restaurant will often charge a small corkage fee, but much less than the cost of purchasing from the restaurant. It’s a top way to enjoy drinks with dinner at a much lower cost.

You can also skip the coffee or tea at the end of the meal, opting to make your own at home instead.

Share Meals

Portions at restaurants are often extremely generous and filling, making a meal enough for more than one person to eat. Sharing a meal between two people, or ordering several meals for a group and everyone sharing, can be a good way to save money when eating out.

Use Coupons

Coupons are a helpful and easy way to save money when eating out. They can often be found online or discount dining vouchers can be purchased through discount websites. Coupons are also often found on restaurant websites, like these Brann’s Steakhouse coupons, or can be found in newspapers or local magazines.

The discounts may be something like 10% off a meal, buy-one-get-one-free, or free appetizer or desserts with purchase. Any savings go a long way to help when budgeting, so keep an eye out for coupons for your favorite restaurants.

Look for Free Kids’ Meals

Eating out as a family is a lot of fun, but the costs can add up quickly. Luckily, many restaurants offer free dining for kids, usually with the purchase of an adult meal. This can be an easy way to save money when dining out as a family.

Get Take-Out

Take-out, although perhaps not the same as dining in your favorite restaurant, is another good way to save money. By dining at home, you’ll save on the cost of both drinks and a tip (although a tip is appreciated if you’re having your meal delivered), but you still get to enjoy the same delicious food.

Often, restaurants will have special take-out offers, so look out for these before placing your order. There may be discounts for ordering online as well, to encourage customers to use the restaurant’s website instead of calling to order.

Join Restaurant Mailing Lists

If you frequently dine at the same restaurant, consider signing up for their mailing list, usually done via email. In addition to keeping you informed about special events and opportunities coming up, restaurants often include coupons or discount offers only for subscribers, as a thank you for their loyalty.

Many restaurants will also send a special something to subscribers on their birthdays, such as a free meal or free drink.

Make a Meal From Appetizers

One way to creatively save money is to make a meal just from appetizers. They are often much cheaper than main meals and are usually large enough to still be filling. A few appetizers shared among a group can be an easy way to save money, especially if you’re not that hungry.

Or, consider ordering your entree, but skip on appetizers and desserts.

Know How to Save Money When Eating Out

Ready to get started? Now that you know how to save money when eating out, you can start incorporating the above tips into your routine. You and your family can still enjoy the amazing cuisine at your favorite restaurants, but in a way that’s friendly for both your taste buds and your wallet!

Did you find this article helpful? For more useful food articles, check out some of our other great blog posts. 

The 5 Most Popular Singapore Dishes

There are many reasons why you should visit Singapore at least once in your life. 

Though it’s quite small, you won’t be disappointed by the number of attractions it offers. It’s got museums, amusement parks, world-class zoos, historical buildings, and more. 

Aside from these attractions, the island country is a paradise for foodies. So if that’s your number one reason for wanting to visit Singapore, you’re in for a treat.

That being said, here are some Singapore dishes you ought to try when you visit. Now, don’t be scared if some of our recommendations here are from food stalls or hawker centers. Remember, the best places to eat are often where the locals go. 

1. Hainanese Chicken Rice

One of the most popular dishes in Singapore, Hainanese chicken rice is a simple dish. It’s just steamed or boiled chicken served over rice that’s been cooked in chicken stock. Before tucking in, don’t forget to pour some dipping sauce over the chicken. 

What’s great about this dish is you can find it almost anywhere. Some stalls make it a bit spicy, while others make it more salty or gingery. However you prefer it, the chicken will almost always have that melt-in-your-mouth quality. 

2. Chili Crab

Said to be one of the national dishes of Singapore, chili crab is a dish best eaten with both hands. Yes, it can be messy to eat, but you won’t want to waste even a single drop. 

There are many versions of chili crab, but the most popular one involves hard-shell crabs and a sauce made from sambal, tomato paste, and eggs. The resulting dish isn’t spicy despite its name. Once you’ve finished all the crabs, get some deep-fried buns called “mantous” to soak up the remaining sauce. 

3. Laksa 

A list of the most popular food in Singapore wouldn’t be complete without laksa, a spicy soup with rice noodles, shrimp, fish cakes, chicken meat, and egg. Sometimes, cockles and tofu puffs are added. 

What makes it unique is its curry-like flavor. Now, some types of laksa are richer, while others are more water-based. Be sure to try different types when you visit the city.

4. Hokkien Mee 

If you’re after some fried noodle dish, you’d probably like Hokkien Mee, which uses two types of noodles (egg and rice). 

The noodles are stir-fried with some seafood, spring onions, and fresh lime. Topping the whole dish is a thick sauce made from dried prawns and fresh shrimp. If you find the taste too oily, you can squeeze some calamansi on top or add some sambal.  

5. Kaya Toast

The best thing to eat when you’re having your afternoon coffee or tea, kaya toast is toasted bread with kaya or coconut jam. 

If you’re having one for breakfast, you should eat them with soft boiled eggs. Add some dash of black soya sauce if you’re feeling adventurous, just like the locals do.

Other Singapore Dishes You Should Try

Getting to know the different foods in Singapore is an adventure, so don’t be afraid to try everything you could get your hands on. Other dishes you should include in your list are barbecued stingray, otak-otak, roti prata, rojak, and more. 

Aside from food in Singapore, don’t forget to explore its best attractions. Jurong Bird Park, for example, is Asia’s largest bird paradise, while Orchard Road is a shopping mecca. 

Looking for More Delicious Food Tips?

Now that you know some of the best Singapore dishes to try, why not recreate the recipes at home?

For recipes, cooking techniques, and more, don’t forget to check out our other posts.

5 Main Differences Between Latte and Cappuccino Coffee

Have you ever found yourself wondering about the difference between the dozens of coffee options at your local coffee shop?

Latte, cappuccino, frappuccino, americano, espresso, flat white, and the list goes on!

While we may not be able to tackle the difference between all of these varieties today, we are here to settle a very common coffee conundrum.

What is the difference between a latte and cappuccino?

Impress your friends, family, or coworkers next time you go to coffee by sharing these 5 key differences between a latte and cappuccino.

Latte and Cappuccino

Before we get into the differences between the latte and cappuccino, let’s review the basics.

Lattes and cappuccinos are both made from espresso and milk. That’s it.

An espresso is technically a form of coffee, but the term “espresso” actually describes the way that the coffee is brewed. Espresso is brewed by forcing very hot water through finely-ground coffee at high pressure. 

Both lattes and cappuccinos use espresso as the caffeinated part of the beverage that gives it the rich coffee flavor.

Apart from the espresso, both lattes and cappuccinos also contain milk, however, each beverage has a different preparation of milk. And that leads us to the first major difference between lattes and cappuccinos.

Keep reading to learn more!

1.  Frothed Versus Steamed Milk

A cappuccino has three layers — espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk. The espresso is poured first, followed by the steam milk, and finally the frothed milk at the very top.

A latte has two layers — espresso topped with steamed milk. A latte may also contain scalded milk (milk at a very high temperature) instead of steamed milk.

Steamed milk is created by exposing milk to high-pressure steam. You have probably seen this at your local coffee shop. A small mental straw is immersed in a container of milk, producing steam. This process changes the consistency of the milk.

You will also be able to recognize when milk is being steamed by the hissing noise it makes.

Frothed or foamed milk, on the other hand, is created when water vapor and air are forced into the milk while heating it. It results in stiffer milk that creates a small peak at the top of the cup.

2. Overall Consistency

Given the difference in the form of milk, a latte usually has a creamier consistency than a cappuccino. The first few sips of cappuccino may be foamy or frothy from the stiff consistency of the milk at the top, but after that, it drinks much like a regular coffee with milk. 

A latte will be creamier and more consistent with each sip. The potent flavor of the espresso is more evenly mixed with the milk resulting in overall creamier consistency and flavor.

3. Varieties

While there are several different ways of preparing a latte, the traditional cappuccino is always made the same way.

On a coffee menu, you may see a long list of latte options, including caramel, vanilla, mocha, peppermint, and the world-famous pumpkin spice. Although this is not what coffee purists would call a latte, it still falls under the same label.

With a flavored latte, there is some kind of seasoning, syrup, or other added spice to give it a different flare.

The traditional latte is sometimes called a “cafe latte” which translates to coffee and milk meaning it is the basic form of a latte, just the espresso, and steamed milk. So if you want to try the true flavor of a latte, choose a cafe latte.

In some places, you may see cappuccino flavors, but it is far less common. Customers do, however, request different types of milk in their cappuccino.

Technically any milk can be used — two percent, whole, coconut milk, almond milk — but not all types of milk can as easily make the stiff peaks that are traditional to the cappuccino.

Whole milk or reduced-fat milk responds best to the frothing mechanism.

4. The Size 

This may surprise you, but the cappuccino you see served today in a tall plastic cup to-go is not the way it was originally meant to be served.

The cappuccino is traditionally served in a smaller, four-ounce glass rather than the six to even twelve ounces we now see. Over time, especially in the United States, the drink has become a closer version of a regular cup of coffee.

So if you are interested in one cup of coffee on-the-go, you may want to explore options outside of the cappuccino. 

A latte, on the other hand, is up to eight ounces with about one to two ounces of espresso and the rest steamed milk. 

The experience of drinking coffee in Europe and the United States has always been different and considering both, the cappuccino and the latte, originated in Italy, the United States version is bound to differ slightly.

5. Making Coffee At Home

If you are looking to make a delicious espresso-based beverage at home, making a latte is easier than making a cappuccino.

For either variety, you will need to have espresso but for a latte, you can easily prepare the milk on the stovetop. Once the milk is hot enough to resemble steamed milk, pour it over the espresso. Easy, right?

For a cappuccino, you will start with the espresso but in addition to putting milk on the stovetop to prepare steamed milk, you will have to use an electric mixer or handheld frother to get the frothed milk that creates the stiff top to a classic cappuccino. 

Ready to Order?

Craving a delicious caffeinated beverage now? Me too!

Bring your new knowledge about the latte and cappuccino to a coffee shop near you!

Remember that depending on where you are in the world and where you buy coffee, the recipes may be slightly different, but the ingredients and general ratio should be the same. 

Sip, savor, and enjoy!

If you are a devoted foodie, coffee-lover, or aspiring to know more about the culinary world, check out some of our other content.

Raw coffee beans in gunny sack over old dark wooden table

The Different Types of Coffee Beans Available on the Market Today

Whether you are the early riser who needs that cup of java to get the day started, or you are the worker who needs a mid-afternoon boost of energy, most who drink coffee prefer their cup of joe to have a specific taste. 

The taste of your coffee is dependent on several factors: the types of coffee beans used, length of roast, and added ingredients like milk, sugar, honey, etc. 

The 5 Types of Coffee Beans

Traditionally, we’ve known the different coffee bean varieties to be arabica, robusta, liberica, and excelsa, but recently green coffee beans have been added to the list. 

#1: Green Coffee Beans 

The brown color of coffee beans that we are familiar with seeing, is due to roasting. Green coffee beans have not been roasted yet, therefore they retain their green color. 

Roasting is what gives coffee beans their flavor as well. You’d think there wouldn’t be much value or point in not roasting the beans, but there is. 

It is said that everything in moderation, even coffee, can provide health benefits. In this specific case, green coffee beans provide even more health benefits than roasted coffee bean varieties do. 

In their raw state, green coffee beans contain Chlorogenic Acid (CGA). 

CGA is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound. It can be beneficial for decreasing blood pressure and weight loss. Once roasted, coffee beans lose their higher levels of potent CGA. 

Green coffee bean extract is known to provide increased energy as well.

Before roasting, coffee beans are quite bland. Meaning, you can add the extract of green coffee beans to just about any drink. It is recommended for use in citrus beverages for the best taste.

If you are the type of person who is not too keen on the taste of a regular cup of coffee, but still in need of an energy boost, green coffee bean extract may be the option for you. 

#2: Arabica 

This coffee bean is by far the most popular in the world market. It’s potentially popular because of its low acidity. 

The trees of this bean grow in high-altitudes with lots of shade and rainfall. They are typically short, which makes it a lot easier to harvest.

The arabica tree does not do well in mass production. When grown outside of their typical environment, it takes even more effort to produce a healthy yield than if they were grown in their home environment. 

They happen to be extremely prone to disease. This means growing them in mass production doubles the effort of the farmer to prevent the entire plot from experiencing a massive outbreak of disease.

When roasted, the bean is bursting with a bright body of multiple flavors.   

#3: Robusta

The second most produced coffee bean in the world is robusta. 

The robusta tree can take on a lot and is immune to most plant-based diseases. It doesn’t mind the altitude, but it prefers to live somewhere with lots of heat and little rain. 

Robusta is bursting with caffeine, which helps the tree defend itself against disease. Due to the higher yield of caffeine, it is more acidic than arabica. It’s known for having hints of chocolate within its taste. 

Because robusta grows well in many different environments and has a high caffeine yield, it is sold at a lower cost than arabica typically is.

#4: Liberica

This coffee bean variety only grows in the Philippines. It has a special place in the history of coffee beans too. 

In 1890, there was a shortage of arabica beans due to a disease called coffee leaf rust. Close to 90% of the world’s stock of arabica was affected. 

All around the world, they turned to the liberica plant, of which the Philippines was the sole producer of. 

During this time, the Philippines was still a U.S. territory. A quarrel between the two pushed the Philippines to declare independence.

This event caused the Philippines to be cut off from all supplies the U.S. provided, meaning the liberica plant was also cut off from world markets.

When liberica returned to world markets in 1995, arabica was the reigning sovereign of the coffee market. This is why the liberica coffee bean is a little harder to come by today. 

Liberica is known for having more smoky and wood-like flavors. The tree can grow up to 30 ft tall.

#5: Excelsa

Recently excelsa was re-named as a genus of liberica because it grows on trees that are 20-30 ft tall. It even grows in similar altitudes, primarily in Southeast Asia. 

Unlike liberica’s smoky flavors, excelsa is known for a fruity and tart like flavor.

It only makes up 7% of the world’s coffee market and is primarily used in blends to add a boost of fruit flavor. 

The Difference Between Types of Roasts

As previously explained, green coffee beans lack any roasting and are used in beverages by way of extract. So what is the difference between light, medium, and dark roasted coffee beans? 

The longer a bean is roasted determines how much oil is drawn out of the bean. The more oil drawn out, the less caffeine and acidity there is in the bean. 

Light roasts will have the highest acidity yield and dark roasts will have the lowest acidity yield.

If you are looking for a more caffeinated drink, you want a lighter roast. On the contrary, you could use green bean coffee extract for the highest potency of caffeine in your beverage of choice. 

Finding Your Dream Coffee Bean

Now that you know the difference in flavor the different types of coffee beans provide, you can start exploring which roast, or lack of roast, gives you the desired booster you need in your beverage. 

If you have always been a dark roast in the afternoon kind of person, try exploring the variety of roasts out there. Maybe green bean coffee extract in orange juice will be the proper pick me up you need.

Did you enjoy reading this post about the variety of coffee beans available? Be sure to venture around and read more posts like this one on our website!

How to Get Better at Cooking: The Top Tips to Know

When it comes to cooking meals at home, it is obvious that many people wish that they were better at cooking. If you’re one of those people, then you’ve come to the right place. 

There are tons of ways that you can learn how to get better at cooking! Of course, practice makes perfect but there are actually quite a few tips and tricks that you can start using right away to make you a better cook in the kitchen quickly. 

Keep reading for our guide on the top tips you need to know for how to get better at cooking. 

Learn How to Use a Knife

When it comes to using a knife there is a right way and there is a wrong way. Learning how to hold and use your knife the right way is so important when it comes to learning to be a better cook.

Holding your knife correctly can help give you confidence and even make the cooking process go much faster. 

You will first want to start by gripping the handle of the knife with three fingers underneath. Your first finger will be on the outside of the handle while your thumb is on the inside of the handle. 

Make sure that your other hand is holding the item that you are chopping with fingers curled inward so that they are protected from the knife.  

Check out this illustrated guide on the proper way to hold a knife if you’re still having trouble! 

The next time you’re in the kitchen you should practice holding your knife this way. You’ll find that if you’re not already holding your knife like this that it makes a huge difference when it comes to cutting and chopping up anything and everything!  

Do Some Planning Beforehand

Unfortunately, when it comes to cooking you can’t just walk into the kitchen and expect to whip up a quick meal. A good cook will always do a lot of planning before they even think about turning the oven on. 

Planning starts when you decide what you will want to cook. For example, if you’re going to be having a dinner party get together and want to prepare a meal, then you’re going to have to do a lot of planning beforehand.

Look up some recipes and write down all of the ingredients that you will need as well as how much. Then you will want to take inventory and see which ingredients you’ll need to go to the store to buy. 

Planning before you cook may even go a step further than just figuring out what ingredients you’re going to need. You may also want to figure out what steps should be done first or if something can be done early. Cooking takes time to complete so having a plan will be important when it comes to finishing the process. 

Read the Whole Recipe Before You Start

One mistake that many amateur cooks make is that they forget to read the entire recipe before they start cooking which can just lead to a huge mess. You may realize halfway through the cooking process that you forget a specific ingredient or don’t have a piece of equipment that you need to complete the recipe. 

Make sure that before you even start cooking a recipe that you read the entire recipe and visualize yourself cooking it. This is a good way to make sure that you have all the ingredients and that you will be able to make the recipe. 

You might even want to read it a few times just so that it is fresh in your mind and you don’t have to keep referring back to it every time a new step comes up.

Foods Guy is a great resource to have bookmarked if you’re ever looking for tips on cooking or some delicious recipes to try out. 

Taste as You Go 

One thing that a lot of cooks forget to do is taste their food as it cooks! The flavors of food can change develop as it cooks meaning that you should remember to be tasting it as it cooks. 

For example, the longer a dish cooks the moisture will evaporate which could make a dish saltier. A dish could even lose acid the longer it cooks. 

This is why good cooks will taste their dishes as they cook. You will know as you go if your dish needs more salt, acid, or any additional spice so that it is perfect once it has finished cooking. 

Preparing Your Ingredients First

One thing that many great chefs do is follow the art of Mise en Place, which is a French phrase that means everything in its place. This means that you will bring out every single ingredient, chop them, measure them, or peel them before you even start cooking. 

You may notice that a lot of chefs that you watch on television use Mise en Place because it is a stress-free way to begin cooking. Have you ever started cooking and then burned something on the stove because you were busy measuring out another ingredient? 

If so, then this is why you should start practicing Mise en place!

Of course, it may take you a bit of extra time to prepare all of the ingredients instead of multitasking while everything is cooking but it will help you to be less stressed and make sure that your food comes out perfectly. 

How to Get Better at Cooking Quickly

When it comes to learning how to get better at cooking there are plenty of different tips and tricks that you can use in the kitchen. Implement the advice we’ve given you and you’ll notice that your cooking skills will improve greatly. 

Of course, when it comes to cooking you’re going to want to practice but make sure you’re practicing good habits in the kitchen. 

If you’re passionate about food, then make sure to keep scrolling our blog as we have tons of delicious recipes that you can try in your own kitchen. 

Taiwanese Food 101: 5 of the Most Famous Dishes You Have to Try

For some reason, the excellent cuisine of the island of Taiwan is often overlooked. But it should not be so!

Taiwanese food is among some of the best food in the world. The capital, in particular, of this fascinating place, is a haven for gastronomy lovers.

You may not be familiar with it, but we are sure you will love Taiwanese food. Here are 5 of the most famous dishes found in Taiwan:

Taiwanese Food: The 5 Best Dishes

It is quite challenging to list only 5 dishes as Taiwanese cuisine has an abundance of great food. But these 5 are sure to appeal to any palate and offer a great introduction to the rich gastronomic traditions of Taiwan.

1. Hot Pot

Asian cuisine is known for its soups. Taiwan, in particular, is known for the Hot Pot. The Hot Pot is a delicious soup to be had at any time of the day.

It is available in a casual style found in hole-in-the-wall type restaurants as well as in a refined style, found in fine dining restaurants. The soup can have a variety of ingredients ranging from pork bones to jujube to pickled cabbage. It can be dipped with seafood, meat, wontons, mushrooms, and tofu – among other ingredients.

2. Gua Bao

This is the Taiwanese hamburger. The burger is made of steamed buns called mantou. Mantou is stuffed with pork belly that was mixed with rice wine, soy sauce, and the Chinese five-spice powder

The burger is also complemented with peanuts, mustard greens, and cilantro. This is a great lunch option and if you are looking for a Western classic meal with an Asian twang, the Gua Bao should be on your list.

3. Fried Chicken

You may not have expected this. But Taiwan is famous for its fried chicken dish. Unlike what you may be used to, this fried chicken is deep-fried twice, making it extra crispy.

It is then tossed with salt and pepper along with basil leaves and the famous Chinese five-spice powder. You do not want to miss this delicious fried chicken. After tasting them, you will find it difficult to try any other form of fried chicken!

4. Stinky Tofu

Taiwan is famous for its Stinky Tofu. The tofu is fermented with a selection of Chinese herbs, dry fish – sometimes even shrimp, mustard, and amaranth greens. The tofu is tender and is delicious.

The smell will definitely turn off many who are not used to this dish. But part of trying different cuisines is to experiment and be bold. We urge you to bite into Stinky Tofu!

5. Snow Ice

Is this even a dish? We are sure you are wondering what is snow ice – as the name does sound unusual. 

But after helping yourself to a delicious Taiwanese meal, you need to cool down with dessert. This flavored ice dessert is often topped with fresh fruit. Other options are to add red beans, mung beans, or taro. Sometimes you will find Tapioca balls and grass jelly added to the mix. The ice is dipped in sweetened condensed milk to give it a great kick.

Dig In!

Now that you know about the 5 best dishes in Taiwanese food, it is time to dig in! Enjoy this rich and unique cuisine.

Be sure to read more great content on the tastiest cuisines of the world!

Great Options and Advice to Help You Find Health Food to Go

If you’re a health-conscious person that’s always on the go, you know how hard it can be to find good food.

Airports and gas stations seem to only offer high-fat options with no nutritional value. Restaurants cook their food in fatty oils, making even healthy meals calorically dense.

If you know what to look for, you’ll see that there are plenty of health food to go options available, though. Keep reading to learn the best healthy restaurant options to order when you’re on the go.

Load up on Veggies

The best healthy food to go options are brimming with fresh and fibrous vegetables. 

Salads are always a hit if dining out healthily is your goal. Choose satiating options chock full of lettuce and your favorite vegetables. 

Reach for the veggies and dip in the coolers at the airport instead of a chocolate bar. Vegetables will be more satiating and keep you fuller for longer.

Steer Clear of the Soda Cooler

The best beverage for health-conscious people is plain water. Its plentiful benefits will make it your go-to beverage of choice. 

Traveling can make it challenging to stick to our regular hydration schedule. It’s tempting to reach for a soda or fancy coffee when we’re out of our routine. These tasty, sugar-laden drinks provide no nutrition and only short-lived pleasure.

Diet sodas aren’t a better alternative, either. They’ve been linked to heart and kidney conditions. Studies show that aspartame, the sweetener in diet sodas, can cause (or worsen) neurophysiological symptoms like depression.

Focus on Building a Balanced Plate

All your meals should contain carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein.

Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. The other half can be 50/50 carbs and protein. 

Healthy carbohydrate options include wholegrain bread, oatmeal, and brown rice. Reach for healthy proteins like chicken, beans, and seafood. Avocados, whole eggs, and cheese are great fat choices.

Talk to Your Server

The job of restaurant servers is to make sure their tables leave happy. Never feel like you’re inconveniencing your waiter by asking questions about the menu. 

Knowing which menu words are synonymous with “unhealthy” or “fatty” is beneficial. 

Battered or breaded means the offering is coated and then deep-fried. 

Aioli might sound like a fancy sauce, but it’s just mayonnaise.  

If a menu item is crispy or golden, it means it’s cooked in oil. If it’s smothered, the chef is going to cover it in a heavy sauce of some kind. 

If the menu mentions how cheesy an item is, it means their cooks will go heavy with the cheese. If they say a dish is loaded with something, you can expect a hefty serving of unhealthy ingredients.

Don’t be afraid to ask your server to make healthy swaps. Most restaurants will be more than happy to accommodate your wishes. 

Health Food to Go Is the Way to Go 

Now that you know how to find health food to go, you can travel worry-free. There’s no need to fret about blowing your diet if you follow our tips.

Check out our Healthy Living section for more tips on eating healthy.