The decision to start blogging about food should really come from passion and lots of dedication. For those who are about to embark on this journey I would say there are main 10 things you should keep in mind:
1- Your recipes should be ones you have tried and tested and never ones you copy from other sites.
2- Recipes should be simple and easy to follow in sequence.
3- Your credibility is part of your brand reputation, when you write about restaurants make sure you know their quality and can actually vouch for them, one time experiences cannot be the judge for any culinary experience.
4- If you smoke, you probably do not have fresh taste buds and most of your tasting would be of only sharp tastes, while the subtle flavors completely surpass you (My advice quit smoking before you blog about food coz you frankly can’t taste food)
5- If you use ingredients that not many people can find abundantly, put alternatives that do not affect the recipes.
6- You will receive many treats to try out and test, make sure you deliver the actual experience and not feel obliged to say nice stuff just to keep people happy (this follows point 3)
7- You will be known for what you post, take a line of food blogging and stick to it to keep your image clearly unique to your audience.
8- Use your social media platforms to spread your posts to as many people as you can (Don’t forget the hashtags)
9- Keep up with what is new on the world food trends and try to see if you can follow that for the day on your blog or others social media channels
10- When you go to try all that nice food remember, a bite of the right dish is better than a pile of a dish not worth it, don’t feel obliged to finish your plates when you are tasting you can even ask for a sampling portion which would keep your figure and taste palate entertained!
A quick plan and a few recommendations online by a travel/food bloggers; I head to my destination of choice San Francisco. After 21 hours of travel and a long wait to get there, I arrived to SFO on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Excited and met by my sister (moved there a few weeks prior to my visit) we head out to grab lunch after the horrors of the 12 hours flight food. First stop was “Souvla” a quick bite a crunchy fresh green salad with grilled pork loin that was just what I needed to feel finally settled on ground, the taste was a lovely mixture of greens that are dressed in a light creamy sauce and the smoky tasting pork loin that was done to perfection.
After that we head out for a walk and struggling to fight the jet lag I decided that I should have a big cup of coffee to stay up and awake till night comes along. We get to a lovely area called Hayes Valley with a few open booths my legs walked me up to “Ritual Roasters” where I indulged in a cup of Guatemalan coffee with notes ranging from hibiscus to a mixture of berries and cherries, it was a light brew with a slight acidic finish. What was quite funny is that the barista immediately picked up on the fact that I have a direct connection to food industry due to my detailed questions (eeek guilty as charged, but in my defense I was jetlagged).
At night my body decided that I should have something to help me not get sick, I chose to have some fresh Ramen with all the yummy vegetables and hot soup to prevent that tickling in my throat to go any further. We headed to a place in Japan Town called “Waraku” (I know Jordanians reading this now will have a smile curl at the side of their mouths). The soup was pretty hot with a medley of different types of ingredients, yet it was not the Ramen I was used to with a bigger portion of fresh veggies.
First morning I “Ubered” myself to a place that has been raved about a lot for breakfast, a place called “MyMy” a tiny place on the corner of California and Larkin Street. The host was prompt to seat me and offer me coffee, I have already scanned the menu on my way yet I still explored plates served around me. My plate arrived and I could not wait to dig in, there was a twist to the hash brown by making it paper thin and the base for the main ordered. Mine was an eggs benedict made just to perfection with some spinach and Parma ham as well as a light hollandaise sauce that complement each other in amazing harmony. The prices are San Francisco average and I would say it is a must visit.
My next culinary adventure was heading towards a small Indian restaurant with an authentic feel, for the life of me I have forgotten the name of that place yet, it was a good experience with a nice colorful variety. After resting for a bit, my sister and I planned to watch a new movie “The Intern”, heading to Sundance Kabuki Cinema with one of the most comfortable service ideas in a cinema was giving you the freedom to bring your own food that suits you instead of being limited to what the place offers (mind you also have the option to buy a glass of alcohol if you are over 21 years old). The experience was definitely pleasurable although the place was previously booked full and we had to sit in the front seats.
Half-awake in bed wanting to find a place to have breakfast and indulge in and enjoy so I headed out to a place that had so many recommendations a place called Zazie, the line was long and I had to wait for almost an hour before I was given a table (btw that’s the case in most places in SF). As I sat down I noticed the staff was super nice and very vibrant and it’s one of the few places there that is very tightly set up, yet, it is quite cheerful. The food was good, yet I don’t believe it was up to the hype I have expected; the coffee was good and the service extremely prompt.
There will be a part two with more excitement to add so stay tuned people… 😉
According to the site http://thefoodpeople.co.uk/ there will be a trend for food 2015/2016 that will take over. What do you think about that?
Got invited to try out the italian promotion at the Four Seasons Hotel Amman Vivace Restaurant, and I had no expectations whatsoever because I believe that it does not really matter where you are to get a great meal. I head there and got welcomed with a warm smile and a waiter who knows exactly what the menu is all about, which is something of a rare existence around here. The wine was fruity and just the right tone to set the evening off.
The resident Chef Luca accompanied the Chef Ippazio (Who is visiting for the next couple of weeks) to see what kind of dishes we would like to order and since everyone was very indecisive the Chefs surprised us by a little of everything tasting experience. I have to say some of the dishes just blew my taste palate off with amazing flavors and others were just perfect. All in all this experience is definitely something I would highly recommend. If you ever go there and you are confused with the menu items just ask for the Chef Luca and he surprisingly will speak to you in arabic as he spent quite a while in the middle east region.
I cannot describe the beauty and taste but I can surely share with you my humble phone captures of the evening:
You walk around in Weibdeh area in Amman and enjoy the culture everywhere, it is one of the oldest areas in town. The small shops by the locals is what gives the area its’ beauty and amazing setting to those visiting. Nestled in small corner in Weibdeh a small restaurant called “Oliva” that serves by far the tastiest pizza I had around.
The story begins soon as you get in, as you are faced with an open kitchen that lets you see all being done. Lovely fresh tomato sauce with a special kick that you would never find anywhere else. The flavors burst into a wide palate, from anchovies, veggies to special salami pizza and more. Their pasta is made in house which is a totally different level of yumminess since it’s freshly done day to day basis, with a mixture of flavors be it pesto, alfredo or bolognese, it would always manage to satisfy your comfort food cravings.
Indulgent maybe but certainly worth the bite, in such a small place you end up falling in love with the italian cuisine, yet you know it’s definitely local to the core. The meal doesn’t end there, but you can also savor a lovely warm cup of a special blend tea that you can only find in “Oliva” and for those in love with coffee you can also enjoy your cup of illy espresso to finish the meal with the tone you desire.
All in all I could say that this place sets you off on journey of passion, and warmth that spreads from the inside out to make you even fall in love with Weibdeh over and over again.
Warm Loving Wishes To All
NB: The photos I have uploaded are taken from Olivas Facebook Page
Tiny Update: Sometimes I wish places keep their original recipes but then you find they all change and lose their originality, I wish they kept the first one
A phone call and a long chat about the blog with a local reporter about the progress of my food blog resulted in an amazing article in the local newspaper Alghad I was totally excited and happy about it. I would like to thank Ghaida Hammoudeh for the brilliant work she has done to describe the achievements of Caramelized Thoughts as a blog and my progress as a Jordanian blogger.
.أود ان اشكر الصحفيه اللامعة غيداء حموده على المقال الرائع عن أفكار من كاراميل في صحيفة الغد يوم الأربعاء الماضي وعن انجازاته في المنطقة