Words such as kaiseki and izakaya, udon and soba, and sashimi and nigiri were largely unknown to Americans 40 years ago. I didn’t eat sushi until I was in my 30s, but today you can find sushi restaurants most everywhere. If you like Japanese food or are headed to Japan, here’s the book you need.
Japanese cuisine is one of the most precise in the world, what a Japanese chef I know calls “the cuisine of subtraction,” a menu that reflects the Japanese approach to other arts such as flower arrangement and paintings: get rid of the superfluous and bore down to the most simple, pure ingredients.
Matt Goulding’s new book, Rice, Noodle, Fish, is an entertaining and wonderfully illustrated tour through seven regions in Japan that each boast their own kind of cuisine. You’ll learn how to eat sushi—stop mixing the wasabi in the soy sauce and feel free to use your hands to eat nigiri, the most common kind of sushi made with a base of warm, vinegared rice.
Goulding is coauthor of the bestselling series of books titled Eat This, Not That. Get details on Rice, Noodle, Fish and access a lot more travel info and videos here.
Patrick also flies for a major US airline. But as he’s grown tired of pointing out, a co-pilot is a pilot. He quotes the New York Times headline following the incident that read: “Co-Pilot Lands Jet in Syracuse After Pilot Dies.”
“This is extremely misleading,” Patrick wrote in his blog, AskThePilot.com, “not to mention insulting to co-pilots like me, as it implies that co-pilots are somehow not pilots.”
He likes to stress there are always at least two qualified pilots on board a commercial flight, a captain and a first officer, both of whom are able to operate an aircraft in any situation. Co-pilot are not apprentices. As he said, he lands his jet all time, but the New York Times has never been there to cover it.
So next time you pass the open door of a cockpit as you enter or leave your next flight, give a smile and a thanks to BOTH pros there.
Imagine you’re driving along Interstate 15 from Los Angeles to Vegas, which, after you’ve gotten over seeing dessert, isn’t all that fascinating a drive. But you’re listening to stories of Spanish history, having your attention called to strange geographical sites such as cinder cones and the San Andreas fault, and learning interesting factoids such as: Nevada was the first Western state to ban gambling.
That’s the promise of a new audio guide, a smartphone app called JustAhead, that links to the GPS in your phone to tell you what’s all around you. You don’t need Internet access or even a mobile phone signal; just download the tour, and you’re in business.
Right now, eight national parks are covered, all out west. Among them are Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Zion, Joshua Tree, and Bryce Canyon. Yellowstone and many more are coming soon. There are some detours, as well. For example, the I-15 guide includes narrative on Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, the Red Rock Canyon outside of Vegas, and other popular sites.
Each guide costs between $8 and $10 and includes a free trial and free guide updates. The app has been praised by Sunset magazine and the North American Travel Journalists Association.
Check it out in your app store—JustAhead.
If you’ve got a lot of time on your hands and have always wanted to take an ocean cruise but don’t like the thought of being around a lot of people, then maybe taking a freighter might be just the ticket.
A freighter? Yup. A big ship filled with all kinds of cargo that might start out in New York City, transit the Suez Canal, dock in Malaysia before heading onward to Vietnam, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Korea and then back to North America winding up in Seattle and Canada.
That’s a 70-day trip, but that’s subject to change depending on weather, routing changes, or delays at loading of off-loading cargo. Remember, on a cargo ship, cargo comes first.
Figure on about $150 a day for a spacious cabin. You’ll dine with the crew, and someone will clean your cabin regularly unless it’s an all-hands-on-deck situation one day.
That 70-day trip (more or less) is a short around-the-world cruise aboard a French containership offered by FreighterCruises.com. You can get up to $800 off if you spend $59 to join Freighter Travel Club International, an option you’ll find on the home page of FreighterCruises.com.
There are other options all over the world, too. If you’re younger than 80 and mobile, you, too, could see the world by freighter.
If you or anyone you know has food allergies, you should know about something called “Allergy Free Table.” It’s a website that allows you to print out neat, calling-card-sized cards alerting a restaurant to your particular allergy.
I think this would be of particular help while traveling.
There are peanut allergies, dairy allergies, seafood allergies, soy and wheat allergies, gluten intolerance and for all I know, 100 more allergies that can be triggered by eating or drinking something in particular.
Allergy Food Table is a site that has all kinds of resources for those who have food-related to allergies, but I especially liked the pre-printed cards that have space for you to type in your very specific allergies or requests so you can proffer it to a waiter or cook wherever you go.
The site calls them “chef cards.” They’re free and brightly colored with “Allergy Alert” in big type with a red background at the top. Then there’s space for you to be specific in your own words. Oh, and they’re free.
If you’re going abroad and you have especially severe food allergies, I’d recommend that you choose your hotel carefully and call ahead and talk to the chef to see if he or she can handle your allergies.