Postcards From Abroad

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Archive for the tag “Ireland”

A Gourmande’s Traveling Bucket List


By Jessica Albert

Let’s face it. We all love food.

I love food so much that I have made my father drive me from my home in Northern Virginia into Washington, DC (about 30 minutes away) in Route 66 bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic. All just so I can get my favorite bowl of soup from my favorite Chinese restaurant… even I will admit, this is a bit insane. But, there is a reason behind my madness. All people who like international food can agree that it’s best when it is as authentic as it can be.
There are people out there that would travel the globe for their favorite snacks, entrees and other dishes. So, this post is a compilation of the top international “must-eats” when traveling.–A gourmande’s traveling bucket list, if you will.

France: Croque-Monseuir
Bread is a staple in the French culture. Citizens purchase baguettes everyday and eat them with majority of their meals. Cheese or “formage” is another widely eaten French staple. There are also several types of French cheese that people eat. Brie and Camembert are two popular ones.Now, combine these two elements together and add in some ham, and we have our first food pit stop.
A croque-monsieur is a french sandwich resembling an American breakfast sandwich. Ham and cheese are melted in between two grilled slices of bread to make a very tasty treat.
Originally, the sandwich started off as an item served in bars and cafes. Now, croque-monseuirs are served widely and with other various ingredients. There is also a feminine version of the sandwich called a croque-madame. The croque-madame includes the same components as a croque-monsieur but with a poached egg on top of of it. Below is a video of how to make you’re own croque-madame. See if you can make it as authentic as possible.


Italy-any type of pasta
Most of us are used to our mom’s homemade spaghetti. Mmmm, I can taste my mom’s signature spaghetti recipe now. However, what comes from Prego and Ragu is certainly not the best out there. To really do spaghetti right you have to go to Italy, our second pit stop, where they cook many different types of pasta.
From ravioli to penne to ziti, there are several different types of pasta to gorge on. Spaghetti is just one type of pasta… some people forget there is a whole pasta world out there to explore.
Authentic pasta sauce recipes include real, non canned ingredients because most of them are made from scratch. That means, real garlic, onion and tomatoes are used in the production of these tasty sauces. Many of the products you can buy off the shelves today are loaded with preservatives and aren’t the best choice for our bodies.

United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada- Fish and Chips
We all have heard of fish and chips. However, I am not so sure anyone knows what the chips are in fish and chips. The chips aren’t like the UTZ we buy in a bag at the grocery store, they are actually what Americans call french fries. The “chips” play as a sidekick to the battered and deep-fried fish filets in the dish.
Fish and chips originated in Ireland, Scotland and the United Kingdom. Now it is a carry-out item at many restaurants in several countries. However, fish and chips is mostly associated with the United Kingdom.

Japan-Sushi
Sushi is a Japanese food that usually includes raw seafood and rice. There seems to be a clear line between sushi opinions. People usually either hate or love sushi. For those of you who love it. You definitely want to eat the best of the best from its originating country, Japan. Those of you who hate sushi probably have issues with the fact that it is typically viewed as “sketchy” raw fish. This is a misconception. Think of it this way: If all of the sushi lovers in the world have sampled sushi from venues such as local restaurants, grocery stores and–EEEK–even campus dining halls, then there is nothing to worry about. They’ve all eaten a vast multitude of sushi and still live to tell about it. Sushi masters in Japan know what to serve and what not to serve. So there is virtually no reason to worry about eating it.
If you’re still not convinced, there are ways to ease yourself into the sushi world. There are types of sushi that only include vegetables or have cooked seafood instead of raw seafood in them.
If you were wondering how to make sushi from scratch in your own kitchen, take a look at this video below.

I hope that you enjoyed reading this post. I know I enjoyed writing it. Remember to pick up these foods when you’re abroad. You won’t regret it.

Getting down with your Irish roots


Posted by Megan Brothers

Good luck of the Irish

As promised from last week, I will be exploring the Ireland trip that is offered here at JMU. The link provided shows everything you need to know about the trip including program cost, dates, places of study, and what the program is about. The other fun part about the website is that it has links to the students’ writing/photos/videos that they worked on while in Ireland in past years. It also has photos from the trip and a testimonial video which is pretty cool, so check them out!!

Ireland is somewhere I have always wanted to go. I don’t know what its appeal is. Maybe it is it’s mystic mountains, or irish pubs, or the singing and dancing of the Irish folklore, or maybe its because I have a lot of Irish descent in me, who knows. But regardless of why you are attracted to the particular country, Ireland is definitely a place to look into, whether studying or traveling for pleasure.

For those of you who are, say, “illegal here in the US,” the drinking age is 18 over in Ireland, so for those of you that are of age, Ireland has that option. Scratch that, Ireland has many options. As many of us know, the Irish know how to drink. So if you go to a pub in Ireland, I wouldn’t recommend a drinking competition with the Irish; you’ll get drank under the table. For more information about the Irish and their alcohol content, read this article about why the Irish drink so much; which I thought was pretty interesting.

Besides drinking and the eccentric nightlife, Ireland has many other things to offer. If you can nurse your hangover from the night before, Ireland is a land worth exploring. Depending on the area and time spent in Ireland, I’ve found some things to do while in Ireland. 

1. Visit the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. According to travelers, it is a “must see before you die” item, even for those who don’t like the taste of beer; sampling the extra dark beer is a must when visiting Dublin.

2. Festivals galore. According to the “things to do in Ireland” site, no matter what time of year you go to Ireland, you are bound to experience some kind of festival. After all, the Irish know how to enjoy themselves. Can you imagine what St. Patrick’s day looks like if every day is a celebration? A town painted in green, toasting beer bottles and cheering all night; what a sight to see.

  • To actually see Ireland from the local’s perspective, take a look at this youtube video. Its about 9:30 minutes long, but I think it accurately depicts what I’m talking about. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nO79X5sUng

3. For those of you not quite at the legal age, or those who need to take a break from all the parties Ireland has to offer, take a relaxing cruise on the River Shannon, the longest river in Ireland.

4. Visit St. Patrick’s cathedral. See what all the hub-bub is about St. Patrick by going to that website. When in Dublin, this is a must see for anyone who knows anything about Irish tradition, or St. Patrick himself.  St Patricks Cathedral

5. This is something that wasn’t really on any itineraries that I found on the web. I was on stumbleupon.com a few months ago and came across these pictures of beautiful cliffs, called the Cliffs of Moher. When I was reading on stumbleupon.com, which I didn’t save, otherwise I would show you the actual link I used, it showed people walking near the edges of the cliffs. Apparently, there are no guard rails or anything. There are tours that lead you on a path, but staying on the path is not mandatory, but recommended. The winds near the edge are sometimes unbearable, forcing people standing too close to the edge to plummet to their deaths. The US Coast Guard is always on duty in case something like that does happen. However, do not let that stop you from witnessing the absolute beauty that these cliffs provide. Feel free to google search the cliffs for more outstanding pictures as well. Also, for those of you Harry Potter buffs out there, in the picture underneath this text, you may notice the rock formation jutting out of the sea. Yup, that is where Harry and Hagrid went in the first movie when Hagrid rescued Harry from the Dursleys!! 

So whether studying abroad in Ireland, trying to escape the homeland for some peace and tranquility in the mountains and scenery, or getting down with your Irish roots in the pubs and festivals, Ireland has something for everyone to enjoy!

3 Fun Things to do in Dublin, Ireland


By Jessica Albert

Hey readers,

It’s me Jessica and I would like to tell you some interesting facts and need-to-knows about Ireland.

The application deadline for JMU’s study abroad in Ireland was due on Tuesday. So for those of you who were able to get that in on time are some go-getting lucky ducks! However, for those of you who were a little slow on the uptake I still want to give you the oppourtunity of seeing what Ireland has to offer.

I found this article  that talks about some of the best places in Dublin you can’t miss when traveling there.

This is by far one of my favorites on the list. The legal drinking age in Ireland is definitely not 21 so most of us will be able to enjoy a trip to the Guiness Storehouse. The Storehouse is seven stories and from what I understand you can smell the brew from down the street!  Despite what you’re inital impression of this factory might be, the Storehouse is also filled with history. You can take a tour to see how the factory works and what goes into brewing Guiness beer. The tour also gives you a chance to get to know a little bit more about the history of the Guiness family. After your tour you can knock back a few and go to the top floor of the Storehouse for the best 360 degree view of Dublin. Beer is one of the staple beverages in Irish culture. So, that is why the Guiness factory is a can’t miss.

This is the Science Gallery in the St. Steven’s Green Neighboorhood of Dublin. The Science Center would be a great stop for any student traveling abroad in Ireland. Even the ones that hate science! The center is only two years old but has launched to be a phenomenal success because it is an interactive museum. The Science Gallery gives its visitors a very different experience. It allows you to partake in experiments within the facility. Not convinced? I wasn’t either to be quite honest. However, when I went to the Science Gallery’s YouTube Channel I really got into the place. The Youtube channel lets you see some of the experiments the the Gallery has to offer.

 

This final Dublin attraction is by far my favorite. The Viking Splash Tours are the most unique tour service I’ve ever heard of. You cannot miss the car/boat ride vehicles the tour service uses. They are like unlike any others. This activity is especially good for those who don’t have enough time to visited it all because it allows you to see it all. The tour takes you past attractions like St Patrick’s Cathedral,  Trinity College and Merrion Square. But, most importantly, the boat actually goes into the water of the Grand Canal to float past the U2 recording studio. How neat is that? All-in-all the tour is about 75 minutes long is is guided by a man dressed in a viking’s costume.

Alright readers, I hope that you found this post to be very appealing to you. It will give you many great and unique things to do if you ever choose to go to Dublin.

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