Foodspotting: Central America & Milan Food Expo
Foodspotting is a real thing and the birds revel in it. One of our favorite things to do is EAT and DRINK LOCAL, and we did lots of that this month. Bay Bird founder, Peyton, and culinary publicist, Laila, share the favorite local food finds they happily indulged in on their separate globe tasting travels.
Due south, we traveled to Central America’s Roatan, a small island off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean. Naturally, with its close proximity to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, Roatan is teaming with delicious fresh local catch. With crystal clear water and white sand in our view, we tried whole fried Barracuda, red beans and rice, and fried plantain and washed down with the cold cerveza of Honduras, Salva Vida (life saver). Life. Saved. Fresh, delicious and authentic to the island. After rum tasting at the local distillery, Roatan Rum Company, it was time to soak up the fermented sugarcane with the popular local snack found all over the island - baleadas - fresh flour tortillas filled with a variety of toppings from chicken (pollo), res (beef), aguacate (avocado) and huevos. Unlike tortillas in the States, baleadas are puffy and more dough like - the perfect carb indulgence.
Traveling 140 miles north to Belize, we found the same delicious, Caribbean influenced cuisine. Following a local’s recommendation, we checked out Neeries in Belize City for an authentic taste of local flavors. We were delighted with the tasty jerk chicken, stewed beans with coconut milk, fried plantains and the leading domestic - the light lager, Belikin. We’ll be back for the meat pies that were passed on earlier.Traveling east across the Atlantic, we found ourselves on the shores of Ibiza and the culinary cradle of Italy.At a nameless shack on the shore of Ibiza’s Cala Carbó, we enjoyed cava sangria, marinated olives, bread with ali oli, and pan con tomate covered in slices of jamón serrano. After countless conversations with the Napolitani about which pizzeria is best in Naples (city where pizza was born), people seemed divided between two top pizzerias: Antica Pizzeria da Michele and Sorbillo. We decided to take matters into our own hands and tried them both. Antica Pizzeria da Michele gained worldwide popularity due to its appearance in both the book and the film “Eat, Pray, Love,” making thousands of mouths water as Julia Roberts’ dug deep into that famous double mozzarella margherita. They don’t bother with an extensive menu, but specialize solely in margherita and marinara pizzas.
Our opinion? It was very, very good. Simple, yet filled with fresh, high-quality ingredients. Our favorite part was biting into that wood-fired crust which tasted like years of artisan craftsmanship and a perfected dough technique:It was time to continue on to Sorbillo, which as we found out, has two locations. We decided to check out their coastal location, since, what is better than eating pizza while overlooking the ocean? Their menu is extensive but incredibly high-quality driven, listing each ingredient as organic or approved by the Slow Food presidia. The legend says that the original founder had around 12 sons who all became pizzaioli and currently run the pizzerias- family business at its finest. I chose the Margheritta Bufala DOP (but could have easily chosen all options presented) which was made from organic wheat flour, San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, 36 years aged parmigiano reggiano, organic extra virgin olive oil, and fresh basil. We literally licked our fingers after the last slice and screamed out, “We just ate the best pizza in the world!”Bellies full and hearts content, we continued on to the next stop of our journey: Milan. Milan has been on the radar this whole year, since it is hosting the 2015 Expo. This year’s theme? Food. The Expo is composed of pavilions from all over the world which showcase the different countries’ agricultural systems and gastronomy. Most pavilions have restaurants and food trucks set up so people can get a little taste of their countries’ flavors.
Some scenes from Milan’s 2015 Expo: