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In Singapore, eating is a national obsession. So much so, that upon greeting each other, Singaporeans will often throw out a “have you eaten yet?” before asking, “how are you?” The city’s culinary scene is constantly exploding with new restaurants fueled by innovative fusions and celebrity chefs, but for the visitor on a budget, the long-established Singapore hawker centers (numbering more than a hundred) are the Holy Grail for delicious eats on the cheap.
Hawker centers are temples for food worshipers, purpose-built facilities bursting with as many as 200 food stalls specializing in different dishes. The term “hawker” is a throwback to the days when migrant food vendors trolled Singapore streets hawking their fare; later, in the ‘70s and ‘80s, in the name of food safety and hygiene, the vendors were relocated to designated hawker centers throughout the city. Today, stalls are strictly monitored and must display their grades as awarded for hygienic standards and stall cleanliness, so that customers can enjoy the street food experience without any uncomfortable side effects. Read more
A few weeks ago, I discovered that the people of Toronto are unrelentingly polite and tidy, which didn’t really confound my expectations. But would I also describe Torontonians as succulent, spicy, sexy, sublime, and stupendous? Well sure, some of them, but those words more easily describe the city’s street food.
With limited time and stomach capacity, I took what is admittedly a snapshot of Toronto’s rapidly emerging casual dining scene. However, should you find yourself grazing Toronto on a tight schedule – and tight budget – here are seven snacks you really don’t want to miss.
And the winners of Lonely Planet’s The World’s Best Street Food guide are…Sebastiano from Naples, Italy and Preeti from Amsterdam. It was a pleasure to give them the news yesterday and have them confirm that they love winning free books almost as much as discovering and eating the perfect street food. My congratulations to them as well as my thanks again to Lonely Planet for donating the guides. And, of course, thanks to those of you who were willing to share your favorite street food picks as a condition for entering the giveaway.
The biggest winner, however, is me, as you all did my work for me this week by reporting on the best street food you ever ate. Here now, some highlights. Read more
My weak “Twilight Zone” joke aside, The World’s Best Street Food really is one part guidebook, one part cookbook. The book identifies the planet’s top one hundred can’t-miss street treats, revealing their origins and the best places to find them. For the home cook itching to replicate these delicacies, recipes are helpfully tagged as easy, medium, or complex. And, of course, having the ingredients handy will help parents determine if these foods will be potentially problematic for their families, whether they’re trying them in the destination or at home.
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