Thursday, April 25, 2013

Charmed by Crabtree & Evelyn

I can't resist the temptation to get mesmerized by flower-designs. Wherever I see flowers, I feel happy and entitled to hope that life is beautiful. As my knowledge in the domain of quality natural brands is still limited, random explorations of the city help me to get in touch with a special category of shopping that might be luxury, but it's always health and genuine wellness. 

Citron-honey-coriander, the cream for my hand
Foto credit:
Yesterday afternoon, for instance, I spent more than 30 minutes trying the exquisite products of the British company Crabtree & Evelyn and I fall in love instantly at the first second. First and foremost, in my opinion, a quality and special design says a lot about the company. In this case, it was hard to think that they won't deliver quality as everything looks like the décor of a beautiful fairy tale. When things aren't always like in the dream land, isn't so good to simply see beauty around you? 

The company was created in the 1970s and was inspired by the personality of the British traveler and explorer John Evelyn. It aims to reconstruct the home space of the garden or of the home apothecary, filled with joy and the pleasure of good life.

The recipes of the products - including generally hand cream, soaps, body scroub, body mist, body lotion and shower gel - are amazing: lavender, iris, lily, avocado-olive-basill, pomegranate-argan-grapeseeds, citron-honey-coriander (my favorite choice). As a respectable British company, they also offer lovely tea cups, specialities of teas, preserves, tea biscuits.

If you can't have such a lovely spot in your town, you can order their products online. Their website is another sample of elegance and inspiration. The prices are middle to high, but take it as an investment in your health. Some of the boxes are small enough to be taken away when you are on the road. 

Searching for the perfect kitchen: BayKuechen

A standard ready-made model at Karstadt.
Of course I did not give up my plans to get more knowledge in the domain of kitchen design. However, for the moment I cannot follow my dream in a systematic way, as there are more dreams knocking insistently on my wish-list door. The good part is that I am trying at least once the week to visit a location where I can get more inspiration till I will be able to take some classes and learn in a coherent way about what's the best to do in the kitchen.

A couple of days ago, I visited the BayKuechen stand in a big superstore and tried to understand their offers. The company sells a couple of models of big kitchen, but their strong point by far is the capacity to plan your kitchen according to your budget, wishes and space constraints. The planning is made on computer after a consideration of your personal choices - such as colours - and features of the space. The final result has 100% warranty, is produced in Germany and is set up by professional teams. 

I was impressed by the cute colours - magnolia, vanilla, apple calvados - and by the elegant lines. Everything looks very practically cut, with several functionalities that suit especially the middle class families, with 2 or more children. It may suit very well a small restaurant or bistro kitchen. The prices vary between 1,200 to 2,300 Euro. 

A lazy breakfast

For me, breakfast is never a short meal, to be eaten in 5 minutes or so after which, with a mug of coffee in my hand, I should run to work. I work from home for years already so not worries about running out of the home early in the morning. But even when I was a corporate robot, I preferred to be up as early as possible in order to enjoy at least one hour of full-time breakfast. 

Right now, when it is spring in the air and the days are longer, I am up around 7am, sometimes even earlier, at 6.30 trying to finish the main working tasks till 11.30, 12.00, for spending more time reading and documenting properly future writings. Thus, I enjoy not only to have 2 big strong coffees, but also special breakfast menus. I love to have cornflakes, and some big sandwiches with 2-3 different combinations - today, I had eggs, and cheddar cheese and some fresh tomatoes with black bread.

A couple of days ago, I tried something really hard - and did not need to eat till 4 pm: poached eggs, with cheese cream, home-made bread and avocados. I felt like I had a 3-course meal, with a huge piece of chocolate cake at the end. Can be prepared easy and tasted for long minutes. One nice cup of fresh mint tea is strongly recommended as a trustworthy companion.


Friday, April 19, 2013

A perfumed choice for the week-end: Pleasures, by Estée Lauder

The wave of Pleasures from E.Lauder is not easy to describe. Anyway, how one can correctly and precisely describe pleasures? It is completely out of question to succeed in describing correctly all the flavours and impressions sent by a drop of this simple yet mysterious bottle. For a couple of days already, I am trying to describe in the simplest possible way this perfume, but I did not reach the proper level of brevity yet. 

As an eternal lover of lilies and everything that has to do with it, especially perfumes, and as an equal admirer of the delicate jasmine fragrances, the presence of both passions in a perfume called 'Pleasures' is beyond expectations. Baie rose was also added, and violets, and the result is not your every day perfume. It matches velvet dresses or silky flowerly-prints. I will not wear it in the morning, or on the way to the gym. Not even when I am going out with the friends for shopping or for a coffee, when I travel or when I should make a presentation at work. Rather, when I am invited to a reception or at a opera or classical concert, at a wedding anniversary or for a family gathering. It goes with the spring and early winter. The summer may be too hot for such passionate pleasures. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book of the week: The beautiful home

A Beautiful Home must not be necessarily luxurious and the result of a 6-zero investment. Beyond the love for beautiful simplicity, it is the practical ideas and some good advice that may help you to create a space of your own without too much effort and huge debts. A book I strongly recommended to beginner and advanced home decorators and anyone interested to build easily the ambiance they were longing for a long time.

After all, creating a good environment for a healthy emotional and personal life isn't such an impossible mission. You don't have to be rich, talented designer or updated with the latest sophisticated trends. You need to know what can make you happy, what colours and arrangements are recommended for your space and to organize your time according to your priorities. You don't even need to take a leave from your office, as most of the changes can be done during the week-end or in the afternoon, especially if you are a couple and there are four hands involved. 

Michelle Stewart encourages everyone, with or without previous experience in the area of decoration and home design: 'Anyone can have a beautiful home'. For instance, you can turn your kitchen into a small coffee shop where you will enjoy spending time and finding inspiration for the good life of you and your entire family. 'A fresh coat of paint and a little bit of color goes a long way to making a room look attractive', advices Stewart. 

How the planning goes

Before you plan the interior design and refurbishing projects, you should know where do you stand for: how much money do you have, how many people are using the house regularly, what the owners want to do in the house - many social events, evening lunches etc..Also, the presence of pets and small children will assign different functions to the space.

The house is a business card of your personal style and try to adapt the environment as much as possible to your personality. As in many creative domains, having ideas is not enough: you need to read and see as much as possible, collect inspiration, use social media - Pinterest especially - for sharing impressions and finding out people with similar interests. Don't hesitate to ask the opinion of the experts and recognize your limits. With Michelle Stewart's words: 'The freedom to be creative involves the freedom to make mistakes'. 

What's trendy in the kitchen

The book covers all the spaces from the home, but obviously I focused most of my attention to the ideas for the kitchen. In many cases, the recommendations suit any space and can be easily used for embellishing your cooking space. It is important to find out the ads and prints that may set a special theme for your kitchen - like apples, family, joy in the kitchen, the mother in the kitchen etc. As in writing, it is important that the space says a story about yourself in a very articulated way. 

Wallpapers are recommended, but if you want to do some painting, don't hesitate to use high contrasts as it may add a different dimension and depth to the space. It is useful especially if your kitchen is small and you need to better feel the space. Let the natural light enter into the room and keep the windows open as much as possible. 

More than any other space in the house, the kitchen should be functional and the items added need to be strictly of immediate use. Flowers in the kitchen? Maybe, but only if you have enough space, otherwise, you better try to put your pans and towels in the perfect order. Especially if you are busy with job, family chores and cooking, you have to know where you find what and move easily for preparing the food as fast as possible. Get rid of the pieces of furniture which are not useful, repaint the old ones and think your space in relation with your cooking priorities. 

Colourful ideas for the kitchen, by Pylones

When I want to make my eyes happy, I go to Pylones and everything is getting better. My noble taste and educational habits may tell me that there are a lot of bad taste choices, at the limit of kitsch, but when it comes to various objects, the context and the function are overcoming the artistic appearance. I am rather inclined to pledge for simplicity and uniformity, but when it comes to the children, they will always prefer to have around objects that make them happy and will invite them to enjoy the food.
The prices are a little bit above the average, but most products looks like good quality and most likely they will survive the test of intensive 12-month+ use. They have so funny plates for children, colourful,  shaped as animal heads and very funny. I am on the opinion that when you have children, your kitchen should go through a tremendous transformation and thus, more colours and funny gadgets are welcomed in the temple of good food. Hence, I would love to have one of the toasters to bright my mornings, especially when the weather is too bad for a good start into the day.

A resource of ideas, good to explore in depth when my plans about kitchen design are getting more serious!

Tea of the week: Indian tea, by Teekanne

I must confess that tea was never on my priority list of tastes. As someone drinking coffee - and by that I mean real, Turkish sugarless coffee - since 14 yo, and loving it, I used to associate tea with my weak moments when I was having a cold or was unable to eat anything else. 

While I was living in Japan, I tried a lot of green tea, but simply as one of the drinks I was having, without adding too much emphasis on the ceremony and significance (I know, ignorant me). The only type of tea that I always loved is the Indian one, prepared with a lot of ingredients and spices - the recipe in another post, when I will try to make my own, more than 5 years after I had it in a purely Indian ambiance.

As I always want to try expanding my knowledge, but also due to some family pressure for diminishing my daily consumption of coffee - more than 5 big mugs - I realized that I should start trying more sorts of tea, at least for therapeutic and health reasons, but also for more writing inspiration. 

For diminishing the betrayal of my old love for coffee, I wanted to start the conversion process with a sort of tea that I know and loved more than anything else. This week, I am experiencing the pleasures of the Indian tea, by Teekanne, a 130-year traditional enterprise in Germany. 

It smells very good, a combination of black tea - to do not drink it in the evening - vanilla, chicoree, cardamom  black pepper and ginger. The sweetness of vanilla alleviates the strong spices. It is pleasant hot or cold, but preferably not when you want to sleep in a couple of hours. At the first cup, I did not realize how strong it is. I only needed to find out as was coping with some sleep deprivation after 5 hours later. Blame for this my lack of familiarity with the strong teas, as in the case of coffee, I can drink a big mug at 10 pm and sleep as a baby one hour later. This Indian tea can be drink with milk and tasted together with some lemon cakes or biscuits (in the perfect English tradition). It is tasty enough for me for not requiring any pinch of sugar, but I suppose that it can be matched perfectly with brown sugar. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Some secrets about Kiwi

Even though I love a lot the kiwi green, for me not all the kiwis are the same. Some of them are ripe and juicy and tasty, some are too raw and not necessarily sugary enough to love them by themselves, and I may need to combine them with bananas and strawberries. 

However, if I have second thoughts about kiwis as simple fruits, after reading this article about the health benefits of those small and genuine fruits, I've found a serious reason to introduce them on my weekly diet. Apparently, it can give enough force to fight deterioration of the immune system, to protect the skin and prevent anaemia, among others. Of course that in case that you have a chronic malady, the solution is to go to the doctor and follow the medical recommendations. 

Failure in the kitchen

My multi-tasking abilities brought me a lot of success - and money. However, and this is not because I am getting tired, there are some tasks that need more attention that the others, and taking a break from the craziness of doing more than 2 times at a time is strongly recommended in certain situations.

Multi-tasking (mis)adventures in spring
I am not talking about talking on the phone, messaging on Skype and biding to a new project, or correcting a doc while listening to some inspirational webinars. Or writing a post for a blog and giving directions for the house management or setting up the cooking list for Friday while editing an article. I am talking about the situation when I should bake a cake and I better do nothing else than thinking about the cake. 

It is not a matter of time, as I was allowed to have a longer break as I was quite fast with the serious assignments in the morning. It was a matter of bad habits rather than anything else. Today revealed me the deep sadness when a moment prepared for such a long time was failed because while preparing a very simple lemon cake I was chatting on Skype even it was no emergency, only a basic conversation about my lemon cake that ended up as a failure. Basically, I forgot to add the eggs, even though the eggs were the ingredients that I was missing at home and I was looking for while shopping. 

I insisted, in denial, that my cake will be fine after all, without the eggs, but I was wrong. I neeed to admit that my cake adventure is a failure and I have the choice of: either buying new ingredients and giving one more chance, or simply giving up and accepting an evening without nothing sweet in the house. I rather want to go on the second variant, as the food budget is overdue already, and my time is limited as I am terribly late with writing and other assignments.

After a bad kugel this Shabbos, when no one really appreciated my combination between potatoes and zucchini and the whole product ended up in the bin, it seems that I am spending a quite bad time in the kitchen right now. However, I hope that tomorrow I will be able to try some interesting salads and go beyond that unpleasant situation. 

Gathering more lessons learned about how to accept failures, not only in the kitchen, but in the daily life as well. Blame it the spring!

Monday, April 15, 2013

A new chapter: flowers

Each week, on Friday evening, we should have beautiful flowers on our table. As in the case of the food, I try to adapt the type of flowers with the season, the discussions that we will have, the style of guests or any other occasions it may occur. 

I am the one who chose the flowers and decided about the final arrangement. The average price of the flowers in Berlin is acceptable, and with around 5 Euro I can easily find what I need. Most shops in my area - the Western side of the city - are owned by Thai people, very pleasant and ready to help when it comes to arranging a nice bouquet. The price is fixed and not open to negotiation, as it used to be the hometown of my childhood, where the inviting Roma women were inviting you to buy the most beautiful flowers I ever seen. The more you were buying the better the price.

In Germany, as everywhere else in Western Europe, the flowers are sold in cute small shops, many situated close to the subway. It looks as a good business, as people always buy flowers, even though I do not see on the street too many carrying them on their way home or to a date. 

In the past 4 weeks, the predominant flowers of the table were tulips - especially the orange and yellow ones - and some interesting roses - light pink and some traces of green, and my favourite type, the passion red ones. The last week, I found some extraordinary flowers, looking so delicate and like painted. I do not remember the name, I was thinking there are anemone, but when I googled it and saw some of the pictures there was no connection with my flowers. 

As I am right now in a middle of (another) redefinition of my career and passions - my career always used to be the result of some open passions - I decided that I should use more time to do creative flower arrangements in the next months. Hopefully, the weather will go better and better and I will be in that special mood for discoveries and learning. 

I grew up in a house with a big garden and flowers and spent a lot of time in the middle of the nature, hiking in the mountains and discovering on my own flowers and fruits, and running after butterflies. The fine school of flower design was never one of my priorities, but long time ago - before moving in Japan for a year - I wanted to get some Ikebana basics. Time is my most precious asset and I will complicate my priority list for the next weeks with some learning about flower arrangements. If I succeed, I will be able to bring smile and happiness to many people that would enjoy my ideas and only for their smiles and it is worth the effort to try. 

Till then, some pictures with the mysterious flowers of the last week.

Perfumes of the week

How can you write about perfumes when the weather outside is terrible? It does not mean that during the long winter that apparently reached a sudden and much appreciated end a couple of days ago I did not use perfumes or nice incenses to make my life in the darkness more bearable. 

Today, more than ever, I felt that I should try as many new fragrances as possible, and I spent some colourful and aromatic time at a Douglas shop on my beloved Ku'damm. 

I wanted something completely different of what I usually love. I decided to give more attention to Escada's bottle of Cherry, despite the fact that generally speaking I am not in favour of perfumes smelling edible food. In other words, I do like cinnamon and cherries, for instance, but I don't insist that I do smell as some fresh food from the fridge. Cherry is the fragrance of this summer, adding a new creation to their summer fragrances, a collection that was started in 1993. It smells sour sweet, discrete but unforgettable. The sparks of freshness make you dance and jump of happiness that it is spring again and you are happy and, eventually in love. Last but not least both the design of the bottle and the outlook of the box are appealing, especially to someone in love with cherries and good summer time (me). The conclusion: a must-have for the next months, regardless of where you will go or you will wear.

My other perfume, Flash by Jimmy Choo is also released this year, but at the completely other end of the first fragrance. This second work of art of this famous fashion brand is based on white flowers, with pink pepper, strawberries and tangerine. It sends the message of a mysterious and serious promise whose accomplishment is not 100% guaranteed. It is for self-confident women, in their late 30s maybe, independent and enjoying their autonomy and free will. To be wear with a sophisticated outfit and Jimmy Choo shoes, at a high-class party, in a luxury nightclub or at a third date with a charming gentleman. As for me, it is not exactly my style, at least not for the moment.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kitchen wallpapers from Farrow & Ball

Lattice Source: Farrow & Ball
I am a big fan of interesting wallpapers, especially for the kitchen. Classically, this part of the house is considered as a place to work in, but not necessarily a space where do you need a certain design. Everything should be as practical and clean as possible, isn't it?

I belong to the group of kitchen philosophers according to whom I need to have a kitchen who is also looking good and challenging and inspiring. 

Curious to explore points of views and different perspectives, I asked the opinion of a company with expertise in the field of paints and wallpapers, Farrow & Ball, about the latest trends in terms of kitchen  trends. 

Tessella Source: Farrow & Ball
What I really love about them is the variety of patterns and the classical and elegant models. Compared with other wallpapers, they do not use ink hence the exquisite look of all their collections. As any respectable fashion trends, they launch the collection for the next year one season in advance. Thus, you may wait the next autumn for getting an idea about the most wanted trends in 2014. 

For the current season, the trend colours are: black blue - probably depends a lot of the combinations and the room where do you plan to use the colour; French grey and stone blue - awesome interior design options anywhere, but especially in the kitchen; and cornforth white - I can't say too much about it. 

Another good news is that you can try their online service for various advices. And you most probably will need it as a sharp choice is almost impossible with so many beautiful models around. I did it already because I wanted to know from an authorized source what suits the best a busy kitchen.

What to do in the kitchen: Wallpapers or paints?

My big question was: which is the best choice for a busy kitchen? Wallpaper or paints?

Oriental inspiration: Rajah Stripe Source: Farrow & Ball
Both answers are correct, in fact. The wallpapers are covered with a special protective coating and thus it is a limited risk to damage them for good; you can clean the wallpapers after you are done and everything will look as new. The wallpapers are fit to be applied on stone, wood and metal. On the other hand, in areas close to the fan spots and with exposure to moisture, the wallpapers is not a good idea and you better used the option of the paints instead.  

Since February this year, new models are available on the market, many of them suited to be used in any type of kitchen: inspired by old 19th century design, with geometrical forms and some elegant animal motifs - did I mention that we are talking here about a British company so please expect the strictest and highest standards in terms of taste?

If interested to build your knowledge in terms of wallpapers and decorations, you may be interested in ordering one of their books

Meanwhile, we will continue our exploration of good practices and interesting ideas of kitchen design!

About Slow Fish and responsible fishing

Are you planning a trip to Italy, the first half of this May? Have a look at what you can do in Genoa, Porto Antico, where the will be a lot of events organized by the Slow Food campaign. Do you want to know more about it? We made for you an interview about the campaign as such and the events scheduled!

- What does it mean the 'slow fish' movement? 

Slow Fish is a campaign and not a movement. As almost all Slow Food campaigns it is characterized by three aspects:
            - Network
            - Events
            - Communication

The international Slow Fish campaign promotes artisanal fishing and responsible fish consumption. Slow Fish tries to show people the richness and complexity of the world of fishing, so that consumers make more informed choices and widen their choices beyond the most popular - and often overfished – species. The campaign invites people to find local solutions that support a better management of the sea resources. Slow Food has been working in the field of sustainable fishing for years with the biennial Slow Fish event in Genoa (Italy), local initiatives all over the world and projects supporting responsible fishing communities. The multilingual website - - brings together existing information and resources on the issue, and communicates what the Slow Food network is doing.

Knowing the limits of fishing

- Many communities, especially in Africa, depend for their daily survival upon fishing. What are the solutions for finding the right balance against intensive fishing and poverty? What are the possibilities to pressure for balanced policies outside the EU?

It is important to train local fishermen how to fish in a sustainable way. They need to know the limits of fishing and also that the techniques they use can be destructive for the future. Therefore they need to learn about low impact techniques.

To find the right balance, foreign fleets need to stop fishing so much. Also foreign fleets should only be allowed to fish sustainable and in the right quantity, and additionally they must share the fish stock with the local population (must be a priority)! Furthermore the government should control the fleets to avoid illegal fishing. Also, the government should train the fishermen.
Important to know is, that the environment of fishing is different from country to country (e.g., some rivers carry more sediments than others, and therefore the amount of fish can vary). Thus the starting points in finding a balance are different.

As a part of the common fisheries reform, foreign fleets are only allowed to fish the surplus. They should respect the same rules in Africa as they would in the EU (respect the maximum sustainable yields). The problem is that this new law still doesn’t talk about sharing the fish with the local community. Agreements between the EU and African countries differ a lot and therefore ca be more or less fair. The money foreign fleets pay for fishing should go into coastal development and not into someone’s pocket.

 Slow Fish, an unique event

- What will happen in Genova? What are the main events that you prepare for the public and specialists? What are your objectives?

Slow Fish. In Genoa (Italy), at Slow Fish, academics, researchers, small-scale fishers, representatives of public bodies and enthusiasts discuss sustainable fishing and production, responsible fish consumption and the health of marine and freshwater ecosystems. A large market, conferences, meetings, workshops and tasting sessions make Slow Fish a unique event entirely dedicated to the world of fishing and its issues. The 2013 edition will take place outdoors from May 9-12 in the streets of Porto Antico, in the heart of the city.

Main events:

(for further information check the website:

-        Fish n’ Chef
-        Dinner Dates
-        The Postrivoro
-        Workshops for children and adults
-        Water Workshops
-        Pescando s’impara à Learning by fishing
-        Slow Fish, Green Fish
-        Workshops for the Slow Food network

The objective is to educate people about the complexity of the issue. It should Slow inform consumers, encourage interaction between those involved in the world of small-scale fishing and promote good, clean and fair fish.

Say 'cheese'!

- What other events do you plan for the next months?

A really important and international event is “Cheese”. It is Slow Food's biennial event dedicated to cheese and dairy which brings together hundreds of the world's best cheeses and their producers, as well as experts, cheese mongers and cooks, with a focus on promoting artisan production, diversity and raw milk. The street markets, educational activities, dinning areas, in-depth conferences and more offer a tasty path to understanding this fascinating world. 
An estimated 160,000 people attended in 2011. The next edition, from September 20-23, 2013, will bring together once again the Slow Food’s network of artisan dairy producers, cheese mongers, herders and experts in Bra, Italy.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Cook Smart

I am reading as often as possible - meaning, most part of the time - but I rarely found so many practical tips in only one book. Cook Smart - Learn the Secrets of Your Kitchen Appliances, by Hannah Katsman is what brought me back in the kitchen after the long Pesach preparations. Even though we are talking about kitchen appliances, don't be afraid to find too many technicalities: it is a well written book that makes you turn the ePages and enjoy the lecture. 

It is not only how to save energy by cooking with a plan - even though the readers careful about the environmental issues will find a lot of inspiration and help in their daily saving plans - but also about how to plan the costs of your kitchen. Did you know, for instance, that there are a lot of hidden costs of cooking, such as transportation costs? Obvious you will see the daily basket from a different perspective, after reading this book.

Another question: how often do you read the technical booklets accompanying your kitchen appliances? My answer: I rather not. But if you would, it will bring a lot of savings and ideas for an efficient management of your kitchen. A kitchen managed smartly involves a lot of calculation - for example, if it is worth to repair an oven instead of buying a new one - and decisions and choices. It means also teaching the other members of the household why they should be more careful with the waste of water or why opening 10 times the hour the door of your refrigerator will affect not only the energy bill, but also the functionality of the refrigerator as such. (In this case, I need to read 1-2 books about rhetoric in order to convince a little curious one that even if you open as often as possible the door of the fridge nothing new happens).

A problem I often face with my fridge and that I am aware of especially before Pesach is the situation of the products stocked there as the hunger is happening at least 30 days the month. We buy a lot, we cook a lot and we don't want to eat too many leftovers. We freeze them for later, but sometimes it is too late for doing anything else than feeding the bin. Katsman's wise advice is to keep an updated inventory of the content and to plan the menus and shopping lists in direct relation with what you hide in the freezer. This is the no.1 tip for me that I will start to apply from today on. 

A reality of our 21st century Europe is that we waste a lot of water: for the daily toilet, for the dishes and cleaning the appliances, for washing etc. The more chemicals and cleaning substances we use the more water we will need to dilute and clean. Overall, it is a lack of responsibility that I feel guilty thereof at least once in a while, especially when thinking about how many people die because of the scarce water resources. The change will start when everyone will think in terms of immediate needs: do we need to clean the veggies for 20 minutes under the water or rather we wash them in a big pot? (The last answer is the one I chose). 

From various points of view, my kitchen is not a very complicated one: not a dishwasher, simple oven, simple fridges, not microwave and food processors, as I prefer to do most of the chores with my own hands. But still I discovered a lot of problems that I should consider with the highest attention for spending less and using the money for other good purposes. I am far away of being a smart cooker! 

Eat the world and have it too

Social media is a wonderful tool to find out great ideas and opportunities, especially when it comes to the world of travel. It is how I discovered eat-the-world, a company based in Germany organizing various culinary tours in (for the moment): Berlin, Dresden, Cologne, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Muenster. If you visit one of those cities in Germany, don't hesitate to make a reservation for a different experience.
Elke Freimuth, the founder of the company, explains more about the idea and the future plans in the following interview.

Preserving and highlighting the food, culture and people of the city

What is the idea of your company? What can expect a tourist to experience when booking a tour?
Photo credit:
The surprises of a tour in Berlin
The idea of eat-the-world is really simple: to get to know a place through its food and people. We want to show what life is like in a given district, so we show tourists the different cultures and foods found in these places. I was always curious about the food and the local way of life during my travels, but it was my stay in New York that really inspired me. While I was there, I noticed that small, family-run businesses were suffering because the large chains were taking over. In a way, these chains were driving the culture away. With this in mind, I came back to Berlin and started eat-the-world. It was my way to preserve and highlight the food, culture and people of the city, while helping out small businesses.We are very selective with our local guides, so tourists can expect a real insider to guide them around any district. Our guides have usually lived in their district for several years so they really know what they're talking about. They're very informative: they have stories to tell, local spots to recommend, and notes about architecture and history to share. Of course, there's the food. We take tourists to seven shops and restaurants that may not necessarily appear in guidebooks, but are true to what the locals eat and where the locals go. They get a sample from each shop, be it a Turkish pastry, an Italian gelato or a Berliner currywurst.
"We only work with passionate foodies"

How did you make the selection of the German towns included in the project? What are their main culinary profile? 

We only work with passionate foodies who are very knowledgeable about their cities. The same goes with our process of picking restaurant and shop partners. We select our partners very carefully. Our goal is to highlight the small, family-run shops that offer high quality food, which locals appreciate, and our participants too.

Do you plan to expand the project further, by including other German towns?Definitely. Soon we'll offer tours in other German cities.
What are your plans for the next six months?Beginning in April, we're launching separate English-only tours in five of the seven German cities. We'd like to have this option in all of our cities in the near future.
What kind of tourists are enjoying your tours?We get a good mix of tourists and locals. A good percentage of our customers is German-speaking, but the percentage of international tourists is also growing, hence we decided to offer separate English-only and German-only tours. The good thing about eat-the-world tours is that it's really ideal for everyone. Food always brings everyone together.

"My shop has to be part of your food tours!"
What was the most pleasant experience you had lately that made you happy to launch such a project?
We are always very happy to see that there are a lot of people doing excellent, handcrafted food products. What they are doing every day is outstanding: delicious food, handmade. So recently, an owner of a candy shop (who sells handmade candies) called us because he heard about eat-the-world and he said, "My shop has to be part of your food tours! I do exactly what your philosophy expresses." He was very excited and insisted that we check out his products. Now, he's one of our partners ;-)