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Unlikely Pairing

Bacon and chocolate, caramel and cheddar… Is there an unorthodox food pairing you really enjoy? Share with us the weirdest combo you’re willing to admit that you like — and how you discovered it.

Yes, everyone has their unlikely pairing of food, combos that others find weird and crazy. And if you don’t have atleast one, you are a boring individual.

I once used to have sandwiches of cheese and tapioca chips – called the Naveen sandwich after my younger cousin who came up with it. Another cousin accidentally came up with a double decker style sandwich – spicy prawn pickles (achaar) in one layer and sweet strawberry jam in the other. It was weird but oddly satisfying as the sweet jam cooled down the hot n spicy prawn mix.

At my current office, an earlier vendor used to bring egg or mixed veg noodles which I loved and if they had Kerala style chala (sardine) fry I would buy 2 or 3 and eat them along with my noodles. They do not make sense together as they are two different food styles but I don’t care. I love it!

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

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Fight The Heat With Fruit Juice

This summer, like of the past few years, has been bad. Energy sapping heat and humidity which makes you sweat like you were leaking water. It starts in mid or late February and picks up in April. You sweat as you sleep and when you wake up your legs are sticking to your sheets. My head is usually soaking wet in the middle of the night.

I tend to drink a lot of water anyway but these months I drink a lot more. But there’s only so much water you can drink each day. I drink 3-4 coffees as well because I need it, especially as I am 40 and need that pick me up a couple of times in a day. But I’ve started to get back to drinking the best thing possible. Fruit juices.

I buy them from one of the stores when I shop for groceries and they always have offers. Buy 2 of any brand and get a 3rd one free. Minute Maid, Natural, Real – you name the brand, I will buy them. I buy a couple of litres a week and drink them during the day or the late evenings. Tasty and good for you as well. I wish I could get fresh juice all the time but it’s not realistic.

So now instead of vodka + juice, it’s just juice!

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Kerala’s Burger Hut

I went to a Burger Hut for the first time yesterday afternoon. I had heard of this little chain of burger joints for a few months now. Apparently they have 4 outlets in Cochin if I am not mistaken. Kaloor stadium, Ayyappankavu, Padivattom & Kakkanad. That’s 4 outlets that have sprung up in quick time. How have they managed to open 4 outlets, granted that these are small places with minimal seating – the one I went to have 4 tables inside and a couple more outside in their patio.

I chose to go and check them out for a late lunch yesterday on my way to work. The prices are very good, down right cheap if you compare them to almost every place that serves burgers. I ordered the Jumbo cheesy beef, a medium fries and a Pepsi. The burger and fries came to less than Rs.200! Seriously? Ok, but the proof as they say is in the pudding. How will the burgers look and taste? The takeaway menu looks great but when have burgers looked like they way that they are shown in the ads and in paper menus?

15 minutes after I ordered a server brought my red tray with a Pepsi can, a styrofoam bowl filled with fries that came with a small cup of mayo. French fries and mayo? Why not and it was ok, fries were decent but nothing great and the mayo tasted a bit like butter. 2 minutes later came the burger which looked nothing like the menu one. I did not like the bun which was hard on the outside and the burger patties weren’t anything great. They looked a bit too overdone as well though there was plenty of cheese. Overall I’d say it was a 7 maybe a 7.5 outta 10. But wait! For that price? Jumbo cheesy beef is just Rs. 120 and a medium fries comes to Rs.55. Less than 200??? For that rate I will give it a 9. They have a variety of burgers and a few subs. And they deliver. I will frequent them and I hope they do well and their burgers improve in quality. Ignore the menu pics as you know….photoshopped and all that!

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The Decline Of A Coffeeshop Chain

Before I start, I should say that this is solely based on what I have experienced in my hometown of Cochin. Cafe Coffee Day is an Indian coffeehouse chain. They have outlets in all major cities and towns. They are the Starbucks or Tim Hortons of India. A few years ago CCD was the only coffee shop option we had in most cities and I frequented them on a weekly basis. Every Sunday or Saturday out since 2006 started at CCD with a nice thick frappe and maybe a muffin or a sandwich to go along with it.

Until a couple of years ago we had maybe one or two other options for a quick bite to eat like a sandwich or muffins,  maybe a pasty or cake and some delicious cold or hot coffee. Now – there are lots of various options with the slew of independent outlets that have come up. Some have 2 or 3 outlets in the city/state as well and foodies are flocking to them. CCD has 6 outlets in Kochi, 2 of which I have been to. They have 1 in Lulu Mall and 1 near Center Mall and one on MG Road a couple of kilometers from Center Mall (the one that I have been going to the last 3 times). Once a retreat for me, a place where I could go with a book and relax for a couple of hours, have a sub and big frappe it is now the least favourite option.

The last couple of times I have been inside a CCD I found that their sub sandwich have not only increased in price but decreased in taste and quantity of what’s inside. Miserly little things and they have the audacity to serve way beyond mediocre sliders and call then international burger fest! American classic burger – two sliders with chicken cutlets (the Indian kind) and hardly anything else. The two cafes I have been to look old and badly in need of sprucing up. I haven’t been to any of the other outlets though I had seen the CCD in Lulu Mall and it being the newer on, looks more inviting. I will stick to my choices of other outlets most of the time but once in a while I guess I will visit a CCD for old time’s sake.