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Eat and Drink

    Eat and Drink  --  Travel Around the World

    Food As Culture and History

    Chapter Nine – Croatian Cooking

    It’s my goal in each country to take a cooking class.  It is always an unforgettable experience – as much about culture and history as it is about food. Unfortunately it didnt happen in New Zealand, Seychelles or Bulgaria. But here in Croatia I’m back at it, and enjoyed last night an amazing cultural Croatian experience at the historic Agroturizam Kameni Dvori

    Coming to Dubrovnik?  Make this a priority. Definitely.

    Our tour guide Marija with Dubrovnik Food Story picked me up right across the street from our Airbnb. I joined one other couple, Americans on their honeymoon from Dallas.  We drove about 35 minutes into the hills outside of Dubrovnik, enjoying the scenic views along the way. Our destination Kameni Dvori in the village of Livorno in the Konovale region. This tiny part of Croatia is about ten minutes west of the border with Bosnia Herzegovina and 15 miles north of the border with Montenegro and is steeped in agricultural as well as border conflict history.

    We were greeted on arrival by Katerina, one member of the 16 member family that lives on this site. The family Mojo can trace their ancestors in this very house back to 1536. Remarkable.

    Katarina welcomed us with two kinds of homemade grappa, two kinds of homemade candy and dried figs followed by a brief tour of the main house which is now used for the cooking classes, a taverna and for dining for guests of the inn.

    The massive open fireplace dwarfs the tiny kitchen where we headed next to make Turkish coffee.  While we sat and enjoyed our coffee Katarina and Marija talked about some of the history of the house and the family. Then it was time to head to the garden.

    Baskets in hand we proceeded to gather the fresh ingredients for our dinner picking tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green beans, celery and parsley.  Then we toured the rest of the garden where everything from laurel trees, figs,olives and pomegranates grow.  We gathered eggs from the happy Croatian chickens and headed back to the kitchen.

    First job was to get the fresh bread mixed and kneeded and set it to rise. Next we whipped a dozen egg whites to a lovely froth, added sugar and flour to prepare the traditional Croatian wedding cake called padispanj. While it baked we popped in to the car and drove to the next farm over where we milked a goat. My first milking experience! Thank goodness for a patient goat!  It was fun, not too difficult and surprisingly warm!!

    Milk pail in hand we thanked the neighbor and looked forward to the goat cheese we would be having at dinner thanks to her goats.  Back to the kitchens we went where it was time to start the fire for the main attraction the Peka, traditional Croatian meat and potato dish .  It takes an hour to get the coals hot enough in the fireplace so while the fire burned we prepared a vegetable soup with hand made gnocchi.  Our gnocchi was not potatoe but made simply with egg, olive oil and semolina flour.

    Next we sliced eggplant and zucchini dipped in corn flour and fried it golden brown on the stove, then let it sit on paper towels.

    When the coals were ready the Peka was prepared – olive oil (produced on the farm) is poured into a large round and shallow pan.  Into the pan goes veal, lamb, garlic, onion and salt.  A layer of potatoes goes on top and then it is placed into the fire and covered with a giant steel “bell”.  Ashes are placed all around to seal and then the bell is covered with coals.  Now it bakes for 90 minutes.  Oh the smell!

    Peka is a complicated and time -consuming dish. Not something you would prepare everyday. It is for special occasions and unfortunately there is no “quickie” version.  If you don’t have a giant fireplace you aren’t going to be making Peka.

    While the Peka was on the fire we hiked up to the top of the property to survey the estate. Here you can see the entire valley and all the way to the Adriatic Sea. We learned more about the incredible history, including that during the 1991 war the Yugoslav Army occupied the village and the estate and the family fled into old Dubrovnik. Luckily the estate was not destroyed, although many things were stolen.  Not everyone was so lucky.

    Back to the kitchen and it was time for dinner. We first enjoyed grappa and figs as well as our own bread with olive tapenade, pickled peppers and cheese from our friendly goat.  Next a beautiful selection of smoked meats they do on the farm and a different cheese from our goat as well as sliced fresh tomatoes and our fried eggplant and zucchini.

    Next the Peka was served and it was incredible.  The lamb so tender and the veal falling apart.  Best potatoes I ever had.  When our platter was empty and we were all full here comes another platter full! All of this washed down with both white and red wine made on the farm. Delicious.

    We ended our Croatian feast with our light and airy cake with a cup of warm fresh goats milk and mint tea.

    A remarkable experience.  I felt very much a part of this family and their remarkable tradition and dedication to their culture and history- all while enjoying a spectacular meal based on sustainable farming and dedication to historical practices.

    When you are in Dubrovnik, make this a priority. And anywhere you travel – slow down and embrace food as culture and history.

    Hvala to Dubrovnik Food Storyand Kameni Dvori. Hvala!





    Eat and Drink

    Mexicano es Delicioso

    Capítulo Nueve

    When we were leaving the USA I was often asked what I thought I would miss the most. Of course I answered my family and friends and often included the beautiful Pacific Northwest, reliable technology and my bike.

    Not once did my answers include Mexican Food.

    But being out here now going on eight months I’ve been craving Mexican food so bad!  The last Mexican restaurant we saw was in December in Phuket Thailand. Since then – nada.

    So when we stumbled on a place just a couple blocks from our house in Dubrovnik I was all over it. I mean really, in the USA it’s “baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Mexican Food” right?

    Maybe it’s a West Coast thing but in our house we cooked Mexican about once a week and went out for Mexican about once a month. When I was working I had a Taco Time Taco Salad for lunch at least twice a week.

    So it was much of a surprise when I realized the entire world doesn’t inhale Mexican food like we do. You can get a pizza in every country (even the stingy Seychelles). You can find pasta almost anywhere. But Mexican? No va a pasar!

    I got my fix tonight and am fat and happy. Who knows when I will get a fajita again?  So until then muchos gracias!

    Eat and Drink  --  Travel Around the World

    The Dish on Dining

    Chapter Eight

    As the time goes on all aspects of The Grand Adventure get easier. We are comfortable.  Even eating (both dining out and cooking in) have fallen into a workable pattern. I can make a delicious dinner in an unfamiliar kitchen like nobody’s business!

    In the beginning I freaked out a little as I encountered and inspected each new kitchen.  Hoping for a colander, a non-stick skillet and a can opener were my constant worry. French Press? Forget about it.

    Fresh cherries in Bulgaria

    Now we just make it work.  We eat the same thing for breakfast everyday – yogurt and fruit and coffee (usually instant coffee in most countries).  We eat lunch out more often than dinner but lunch might also be a sandwich or a picnic of meat and cheese and fruit.  Sometimes lunch is leftovers – just like at home.

    Salad and Bulgarian wine

    When we arrive at each new place we determine whether there is a large grocery store (Asia and New Zealand had great ones) or a tiny convenience store with limited selection (like in the Seychelles) near by. We also scope out fresh produce farmer’s markets.  Here in Sozopol there is a well stocked small market, but it is more expensive than the larger “Lidl” store in Burgas.  We were in Burgas today so we stopped and picked up a few things.

    Homemade tacos in the Seychelles

    Because we are on a pretty strict budget we eat out only a few times each week.  In the Seychelles we averaged $56 a day for two, but only ate out three times in the entire month.  In Vietnam we averaged $31 per day for three people and we ate out most meals. Here in Bulgaria we are averaging $38 and we are eating out about a third of the time.

    Swedish meatballs in the Kiwi Karavan

    If we weren’t making the effort to cook regularly our food costs would be two or three times what it is.

    We try not to eat too many carbs but we fall back on pasta and risotto when necessary, like in the Seychelles when choice was so limited. We also make things like chicken and pork and local dishes when we can, like in Thailand and Vietnam where I was able to take cooking classes. Here in early summer in Bulgaria the produce is excellent and it’s easier to go light on the carbs and bulk up in the veg and protein. Last night we had a simple pork chop

    Fresh ingredients available in Bulgaria

    Our small but well stocked kitchen in Tărnovo

    with sliced tomato and cucumber salad.  Bulgaria has offered us for the first time in our travels kitchens with ovens!  I made stuffed cabbage one night and tonight it’s noodle-less lasagna with zucchini and eggplant.  I can smell it in the oven now and it smells wonderful.

    We have a small supply of spices we carry with us along with two knives and a flexible plastic cutting board.  Awhile back I saw a collapsible rubber colander and I sure wish I had bought it.  It’s rare to have a kitchen that includes one.  I’ve always used a colander a lot – not just for pasta but for washing

    This kitchen in Hanoi was poorly stocked

    In Koh Samui we all took turns cooking

    fruits and veg.

    Another item that is often MIA in many kitchens is a can opener.  We have one coming when Arne’s mom visits us next month. How can you have a kitchen without a can opener?  So I put it on my wish list for special delivery with several other items she is bringing.

    We have had kitchens without towels or hot pads and usually no vegetable peeler. We have had

    I leaned to cook Thai from this new friend

    kitchens with excellent crockery and professional pots and pans. We have had kitchens with no hot water and others with no salad bowl. It’s a crap shoot.

    When we arrive in each new place I buy staples like olive oil, vinegar, eggs, yogurt and fruit.  We explore our shopping options and our kitchen landscape

    I learned to cook Vietnamese in Hoi An

    and decide how we are going to eat.  In Asia it was cheaper to eat out than cook at home.  In Seychelles it was expensive no matter what.

    I’m blessed with a husband who will eat anything, but in our Fab Fifties we are more conscious of how we eat.  Arne has lost more weight than I have, but I have dropped at least 15 lb since leaving the US. Lack of junk food plays a big part.

    Lots of noodles.

    I really enjoy being creative in the kitchen.  So it works out nicely and we eat pretty darn well, even when we have less than adequate kitchens or access to fresh produce.

    Food glorious food.  A fun part of The Grand Adventure!


    Eat and Drink  --  Travel Around the World

    Suddenly Sofia

    Three Surprising Days in Sofia Bulgaria – Chapter Eight

    It’s not always possible, but it usually is the best – if you can arrive at a destination with no expectations.  For me, I find when I am faced with a blank slate of a destination, it becomes a favorite, as everything is new and fresh and surprising.

    And suddenly, Sofia is that surprise.

    Street flower vendors are everywhere.

    I’ve never talked to anyone who has visited Sofia, and I approached the city and the country of Bulgaria with very little information or preconceived conceptions.  If I expected anything I thought of it both geologically and culturally perhaps like Germany.

    But it’s not.  It feels very Russian while being surprisingly Greek.  It’s both old-fashioned and cosmopolitan.  It’s bright and sunny, with grey and dark edges.  It’s delicious!  Oh, the food makes me happy!

    Cherries for sale at the Ladies Market

    Open air museum

    Surprisingly Bulgaria’s largest city of Sofia is not on a river.  Unlike most European capitals, this city sits in a valley protected by mountains – where it has sat since it was founded 6000 years ago by the original people known as the Thracians.  Sofia was then known as Serdica.

    Dried beans and nuts are a staple of the cuisine

    Today’s Sofia has been through the ringer – three times Bulgaria’s independent state was taken away; the Byzantine Empire took over until the second Bulgarian state.  Then the Ottoman’s took over until the Russo-Turkish War in 1877 when Bulgaria gained its independence.  Following the second World War Bulgaria became a communist state with USSR assistance, until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.  In less than three decades Bulgaria and Sofia have risen again. Today the country is a member of NATO and the European Europe. Current population is 7million in an area roughly the same size as Virginia. (This is my VERY abbreviated history of the region. Learn more details here.)

    Beautifully presented appetizer

    Sofia reminds me a bit of Budapest, but less refined.  It has a brand new subway, a decent airport (although the info center desk staff was rude and a taxi driver tried to swindle us), lots of shops and plenty of fresh produce.  Food is cheap and so is alcohol. Lots of young, sharp-looking people enjoying the sidewalk cafe’s with wine or coffee – just like any other European city.

    The streets are clean but many of the sidewalks are in terrible condition.  Yet there are some beautiful pedestrian areas and green and lovely parks.

    Jewish Synagogue.

    It appears that many different religions live amicably in this city – within a hundred yards of each other you will find a beautiful mosque, a large synagogue, a Catholic Church and several Orthodox Churches – all operating side by side for the people of Sofia.

    On the very popular Free Sofia Tour

    Sofia has what I consider the best outlook on history.  When digging for the new subway in 2012 an entire former city was unearthed dating back to the third and fourth century.  Sofia has made this an open air museum and it now weaves in and out of the subway area and can also be found inside some businesses and even a local bar.  Our tour guide from Free Sophia Tours

    3rd century coliseum inside hotel bar

    explained that the people of Sofia love history but believe it should not be locked up in a museum or surrounded by fences.  It is their history and they want it to be a part of their lives.  I love that.  More cities should think like that.

    We did a Cultural Tour where we learned so much

    Arne chosen to lead the folk dance

    amazing history about the people, the language, the food, the traditional dress, music and even dance.  It was well worth the 10 Euro cost.  Our tour guide, born and raised in Sofia, was articulate, interesting and
    so enthusiastic about her country.  The future is in good hands it seems!

    Slow braised pork knuckle

    And then the food.  Yes of course I am going to talk about the food.  I look forward to discovering more regional dishes as we head north and east, but so far the food has been amazing.  Beautiful produce of the season is ripe and fresh and cheap.  Right now it’s cherries and strawberries and tomatoes and basil and melons.  Gorgeous.

    Local cheese sirene

    Bulgarians love nuts and dried fruits and these items can be purchased at kiosks all over the city. Bulgarian yogurt is amazing and the local cheese called sirene is similar to feta but firmer and less salty and made from cows milk.  It appears in nearly every dish from pork knuckles to anchovies, to salads, to veal, to lamb.  The cuisine has a very

    Yogurt soup

    mediterranean feel with lots of herbs and olive oil and fresh vegetables.

    Given that Bulgaria’s southern border is almost all with Greece and a small section with Turkey the cuisine similarities should not have been a surprise.  The Ottomans ruled here for 500 years and they left a big impression on the cuisine.

    Bulgaria also borders Romania to the North, Serbia and Macedonia to the West and it’s Eastern border is the Black Sea.

    But of course it’s not perfect.  I mentioned the sidewalks – tripping hazards everywhere and so we haven’t tried to run here. But unlike many countries we have been in, drivers are courteous to pedestrians.  Most people are friendly, but we have had a few encounters with rude people.  My friend Helen who is an expert on the Balkan region tells me this is just a throw back to the communist era and not to take it personally.  Everybody smokes.  I mean everybody.  But we just try to steer away if we can.  Since

    Pedestrian shopping area

    the weather has been fine we have been outside most of the time so it really hasn’t been too much of a problem.  We don’t know the language at all – still trying to figure out hello and thank you.  We smile and point and most people know a little English and we are grateful to them for that. Bulgarian uses the Cyrillic alphabet so even that is a major adjustment.  It helps that I know my Greek alphabet.

    Suddenly Sofia is my surprise.  A very nice way to begin our month in Bulgaria.  I’m so glad we started here.  Tomorrow we head to the mountains for ten days – to the former capital of the second Bulgarian Empire, Veliko Tărnovo, known as the City of the Tsars. I hear it has amazing antiquities and architecture surrounded by mountains and on a river.  Sounds perfect!

    More soon.

    Eat and Drink  --  Travel Around the World

    Eat Whatever Is Available or Starve

    The ancient Lao way

    River eels

    Most Americans are far removed from a life of searching daily for your next meal. There was a time when our ancestors lived this way- but today it is nearly unfathomable.

    But not in Laos. In the small villages they are hunter gatherers and tend a small garden. Each day they will hunt and their meal will be whatever they are lucky enough to catch. Things you and I might find appalling.


    Yesterday we walked through the market and saw some interesting things. Today we went to the same market but this time with a Lao guide who opened our eyes to an ancient lifestyle.

    A woman removes the larvae from the cocoon

    Some of you might be grossed out by the things we saw. I can already guess who of my regular readers will shutter. But please try to take one thing away from this blog – you are lucky. You don’t worry where your next meal is coming from, so please don’t condemn those who do.


    We saw the normal things like rice, peppers, greens, fish and chicken. But then we also saw bats, rats and squirrel. We saw larvae as big as my thumb and ant eggs as small as a rice kernel. We saw eels, live frogs, snails, raven and river seaweed. We

    Featherback a popular Mekong fish

    saw buffalo skin that is eaten like a snack. We saw tree bark that is cooked for tea and vines that are used for indigestion. And we saw dog.

    It’s not easy to see and also not appetizing to our

    western palate.  But when you live in a culture that has spent centuries just trying not to starve this is the reality.

    Ant eggs

    I’m not going to eat dog, rat or bat, although I am pretty willing to try most things.  We tried buffalo the other day and it was wonderful.  I’ll consider buffalo skin…perhaps.

    Laos is stunningly beautiful and the people are soft spoken and kind.  It’s such a contrast to loud and hectic Hanoi.  We have only been here three days so far and I know for sure we will need to make

    Palm hearts

    another trip back here in the future.

    Lovely Laos.


    Eat and Drink  --  Travel Around the World

    I Can’t Stop Eating

    Chapter Five – A Bicycle Food Tour

    I haven’t stepped on a scale in awhile. Not sure I should. The food in Vietnam is beyond amazing and I haven’t held back. But the great thing is that every meal includes a large variety of amazing veg – in soups and sandwiches, wraps and rolls. Everything includes the freshest  greens and that makes me happy.

    And last night made me happy too. Because we explored Hoi An and it’s amazing food tradition on a bike. Two of my favorite things – eating and cycling – together. And in the process we discovered a

    Ready to bike and eat!

    kindred spirit in Grasshopper Adventures – a fantastic cycle touring organization with outlets around SE Asia.

    Faithful blog followers know my cycling obsession.  I miss my road bike that is in storage back home.  So anytime I can ride I am happy.  Grasshopper Adventures provided us really nice, new and safe 27 speed mountain bikes with disc brakes.  I felt very confident on this bike, even in the Hoi An traffic.

    My son and husband and I had a private tour, which made the experience even more fun. Our great

    Our guides Ben and Flora

    guides Ben and Flora were knowledgeable, funny and interesting.

    We began the evening at 4pm about two hours before sunset.  Our first stop was one of Hoi An’s

    You can’t beat Bahn Mi

    most famous Bahn Mi shops, Bahn Mi Phi. We have eaten a lot of Bahn Mi and this one was by far the best.  Along with the usual pork, Pate, and veg, it also included cheese and egg. So delicious!!!

    We continued on our ride through the beautiful green rice fields and then stopped to admire the organic city gardens that provide most of the herbs and greens for the town.  We turned  into

    Learning about traditional farming methods

    a lovely little home of one of the farmers where we enjoyed a homemade bowl of the

    Because noodles always put a smile on your face.

    local specialty Cau Lao noodles, while also enjoying her darling granddaughter.

    Cute and shy

    As the sun made its way low in the sky we enjoyed the colors that bathed over the rice fields as we rode to our next destination,  Hai Dao (160 Le Thai To Street), a very authentic no frills restaurant set in a open air area off a busy street.

    Crispy Pancake

    Here we stuffed ourselves with perfectly prepared crispy pancakes, rolled in rice paper with greens as well as beef and pork.  I was already full and we were only half done with our tour.

    It was dusk now and we wound our way through tiny back alleys and streets down to the river just as night fell. Here we visited a

    The beautiful view from U Cafe

    hidden ice cream shop, U Cafe, owned and operated by a Japanese  woman. The ice cream (cashew and green tea) was delicious.  We learned that the owner works to bring  used bicycles from Japan and provides them to those in need in Central Vietnam.  Over the last several years she has brought 12,000 bikes to Vietnam!

    An IPA just like home.

    Our next stop was a quaint stop in the old town called Hill Station.  A bit of a diversion from Vietnamese food, we were treated to a plate of beautiful cheeses and a Saigon-brewed IPA.  This look at the fusion of cultures and food in Hoi An was  a very satisfying way to see how cosmopolitan this beautiful city is.

    BBQ Pigs Tongue

    Back on the bikes we turned on our headlights and tail lights and rode down to the river and over the bridge to Cam Nam Island.  Here we sat in little plastic chairs beside the river looking back at the lights of the old town at Hao Hao BBQ.  This restaurant is a local favorite and it easy to see why.  We started with a delicious salad, then pork

    So much food!

    belly rolled in leaves.  Next we had BBQ, followed by frog (introduced to us as “jumping chicken”) and finally BBQ pig tongue.

    As usual, we are always willing to try most things at least once and it was all delicious.

    The ride through the city back to the Grasshopper

    Mung  Bean Sweet steamed in banana leaf

    office was fun as we wove in and out of streets and alleys.  But wait!  We weren’t done eating!  On arrival we were served banana cake with a luscious coconut cream, a special mung bean treat steamed in banana leaves and tea.  We toasted our guides, “Mot, Hai, Ba, YO!!!!” and thanked them for a lovely evening.

    One of the most fun things we have done in Vietnam and I highly recommend it in Hoi An. Or look for Grasshopper’s other tours around Southeast Asia.


    Eat and Drink

    Love to Cook (and eat!)

    Chapter Five – Cuisine of Vietnam

    Once again I’ve spent a day on my own immersing in the local cuisine. It’s definitely one of my favorite things to do and Hoi An offered a perfect opportunity. Ms. Vy’s Cooking school is also a restaurant, known throughout the region. I found it online and the reviews were exceptional so I signed up. But I wanted to do something a little different. I did not want to be in a large group so I chose the class that included a morning bicycle ride.

    On the bikes at the city gardens

    My suspicion that fewer people would sign up for a cooking class that also involves cycling was correct!  Thankfully!  Our group was just six plus our very
    nice and knowledgeable guide Bo. I was definitely the oldest person on the tour, probably by more than twenty years. But no worries. I certainly know my way around a bicycle and held my own on the

    Fish so fresh!

    little one speed bikes we used for our tour.

    The cycling portion of our tour started in the morning and took us to the local market where we learned about some interesting fruit and vegetable, seafood, beef, pork and chicken. The meat at this market was the

    Butchering today’s fresh pork

    freshest I have seen anywhere in Asia, no flies and pink and firm. Our guide told us this particular meat and seafood market starts each day at 4am with the catch of the day and ends in the early afternoon.

    Next we cycled through the rice paddies and learned about this important but fast changing industry in

    Rice paddies. These will be ready for harvest in April.

    Vietnam. Families still farm their rice plots keeping half the crop and selling half. Some years two crops are produced and some years three. But the younger generation does not want to farm the rice and many changes are on the horizon for this ancient lifestyle.

    We continued our tour through a beautiful and large area where all the fresh produce for the city is grown on plots managed by both families and government.

    This lovely couple (aged 97 and 92) have been farming this land all their lives.

    The gardens where meticulously tended and we met some of the elders who have been farming the land for decades.

    Our final stop on the bikes was to learn how bean

    Fascinating to learn how bean sprouts are grown.

    sprouts are grown from a local man at his home. I had never seen this before and it was fascinating. The sprouts are grown in sand, in the dark. They germinate very quickly and are ready for harvest in only three or four days. The sprouts are grown from inexpensive Mung beans.  The quick-growing crop and low overhead makes this a very profitable industry for this old farmer whose tiny plot is his

    The beautiful White Rose dumpling, a regional specialty


    We rode back to the cooking school where we spent an hour watching several demonstrations including the master White Rose maker (dumpling), rice noodles, Cau Lao noodles (local specialty) and

    Jellyfish salad. Chewy.

    tasted some strange foods including jellyfish salad and silkworm salad.

    And then it was time to cook. Spending the morning  learning so much about the ingredients made it especially fun to cook the local treats. The White Rose dumpling takes some practice to make it look beautiful, forming it by hand. Mine was pretty messy on the first try but it still tasted delicious.

    Cau Lao is Hoi An’s signature noodle dish with pork and a rich delicious broth. I’ve had this dish a few

    The delicious and beautiful Cau Loa Noodles with pork.

    times already and I love it. We spent more than an hour putting this dish together and it was the best I’ve eaten yet.

    Rice paper roll, called Summer Roll (not fried), is

    Rice Paper Summer Roll

    made slightly different here than in other places I’ve had it. Filled with greens, bean sprouts, pork, shrimp, jicama and a crunchy deep-fried egg roll. These summer rolls were easy, refreshing and yummy.

    The final dish we learned to make is the famous

    Crispy Pancake

    Vietnamese fried pancake that is served rolled inside rice paper. This is street food designed to eat as you walk. The pancake is made from a rice flour batter with pork and shrimp. Fried til crispy brown then rolled with bean sprouts into the rice paper.

    At the market choosing shrimps.

    It was such a fun day with a cornucopia of Vietnam filling all my senses!  The sights, smells, sounds and tastes combined for both an educational and entertaining experience.  I will be testing these recipes on my family very soon!

    And the good news is, we still have a week left in beautiful Hoi An! Including a food tour coming up in a few days!

    Bon Apetit!