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Street Food in Sicily: Arancini Recipe

By Executive Chef & Director of Culinary Enrichment Kathryn Kelly

Several years ago, I was strolling the beautiful streets of Taormina and I happened to stop for a coffee and breakfast snack when I discovered these beautiful caramel-colored rice balls. I decided to sample one, and discovered from the shop owner that the rice balls, arancini, are a traditional way Italians use leftover rice and risotto.

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4 Unforgettable Culinary Moments in Liguria

By Culinary Enrichment Director & Executive Chef Kathryn Kelly

One of my favorite places to travel to in Italy is the Ligurian coast. Nestled between the Mediterranean coastline and the majestic Alps, Liguria is a darling of Italian culinary aficionados and its dishes celebrate both the mountains and the sea. Known as “the land of pesto,” Liguria is home to the fragrant “green gold” of the region, aromatic pesto. Genovese basil, creamy pine nuts and fresh garlic combine with fragrant olive oil to create this treasured staple of Liguria. Here are my favorite moments from our popular Culinary Discovery Tour available from Portofino: Chef Market Tour, Pesto, Pasta & Lunch.

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Guest Post: Stories Behind Caribbean Beer Names

By Sandy Cares

When you’re island-hopping from one beautiful coastline to the next during a Caribbean cruise, ever wonder about all of those funny Caribbean beer names? What do they mean, anyway? As it turns out, the names of the popular Caribbean brews, ales, pilsners, bocks and lagers are steeped in facets of those islands’ traditions, cultures and surrounding nature.

Carib Beer, for example, is brewed in Trinidad and Tobago as well as St. Kitts and Grenada.  The name honors the Caribs, the indigenous people of those islands. In fact, the entire Caribbean Sea is named for the Caribs.

blog_post_8-10-16_beerMeanwhile, Aruba’s pilsner, Balashi, is named after an abandoned gold smelt. Early Spanish explorers chalked up Aruba as useless because its thin, dry soil didn’t produce much more than cacti and they saw no hope for gold. But long after the Spanish left, a young boy saw something glitter as he led his donkey across a dry riverbed – gold! Soon a couple of smelts went up, and one was named Balashi.

Another indigenous beer name is Antigua’s Wadadli, of which the exact meaning is lost to history. It is an alternative name for Antigua, and is seen on restaurants, shops, product labels and tourist services.

Kalik beer, the Bahamian lager of choice, certainly sounds like an indigenous word but it is actually the sound of a bell. Cowbells are part of the elaborate head-to-toe costumes donned by celebrants during their yearly “Jonkonnu” festival in the Bahamas. Dancers start at midnight and continue through the next afternoon to greet the New Year clicking – or kaliking – their bells.

Some Caribbean beer names are nature-inspired, like Cayman Islands’ Ironshore bock, which alludes to that tough, ship-shredding limestone that we can all blame for having to tender while in Grand Cayman. Dominica’s Kubuli beer is another great example of this – it comes from the island’s indigenous name, Wai’ Ti Kubuli, meaning “Tall is her body,” which describes the island’s high volcanic peaks.

Piton is a St. Lucian pilsner aptly named for the commanding twin Pitons – those spectacular volcanic cones that not only are a UNESCO World Heritage site, but also the undisputed symbol of St. Lucia.

Even the Maya are represented in a local Caribbean beer. Every label of Belize’s Belikin beer features Altun Ha, one of Belize’s renowned Mayan ruins. But if you ask the locals how their beer came to be called Belikin, they’ll just say it’s because when they drink it, they be likin’ it!

I hope to see many of you in the Caribbean soon! Escape the chilly fall and winter weather with me on one of these sailings:

Regatta | November 17, 2016
Miami to Miami, 12 Days

Regatta | November 29, 2016
Miami to Miami, 23 Days

Regatta | December 22, 2016
Miami to Miami, 16 Days

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Montevideo Culinary Experience: Asado & Artesana Winery

When many think of Uruguayan cuisine, one iconic element comes to mind: the asado,  or barbecue – with a glass of wine, of course. But this great culinary tradition is so much more than just barbecue and wine; it represents the whole country’s identity. Barbecue is one of the most strongly rooted customs in this region of South America and is a symbol of celebration, friendship and family.

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Europe’s Premier Culinary Destination: Slovenia

Our Koper Culinary Discovery Tour, Food, Wine & Market-to-Table Lunch, invites you to uncover why Slovenia is emerging as one of Europe’s premier culinary destinations. The old Slovenian proverb “love comes through the stomach” truly comes to life on this tour, which immerses you in the culinary arts of aqua culture, olive oil and wine.