Are you curious what Sri Lankan food is all about? Or are you looking to try to make Brinjal Moju from your home? Learn from the CEO of Food Queen, Nuska Nasser, a female entrepreneur and mom. Learn more about making authentic Sri Lankan Food.

Sri Lanka is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean. With the country’s multi cultural aspect, you cannot expect anything less when it comes to food. Every dish is filled with its regional flavours while the cuisine is highly centered around many varieties of rice, as well as coconut, while seafood also plays quite an important part.

The Flavors of Sri Lanka: Hot and Spicy, Tangy and Sweet

Since Sri Lankan food is regionally diverse, you can expect the same dish prepared in various methods and with different flavors. Hot and spicy, tangy and sweet are the main flavors that you can explore whenever you are on a food trail in Sri Lanka.

A few things about Sri Lankan food can be said with certainty: Sri Lankans thoroughly love spices, they love food that explode with flavor, and many enjoy deep fried, flavorful snacks. 

Whatever you choose to eat in Sri Lanka, your mouth is going to rejoice with happiness.

Sri Lankan Food Culture: A Blend of Curry Concoctions

As a country that was a hub in the historic oceanic silk road and throughout the years of colonization and influence from other countries, Sri Lanka has also adapted its food culture into a blend of different curry concoctions and tasty dishes.

One of the most Popular Dishes in Sri Lanka: The Brinjal Moju

One of the most popular dishes that is consumed by many locals and tourists is Brinjal Moju.

It’s the most spoken and loved dish by many. Simply bringing it to life, this dish is a unique combination of Brinjal aka Eggplant, Vinegar, Mustard seeds and spices that are the root of many Sri Lankan dishes.

Traditionally cooked over a naked flame in a clay pot, Brinjal Moju is a Sri Lankan eggplant pickle with a very definite spicy kick. It’s a great accompaniment to have with curries and other dishes but it’s also really delicious on its own.

The unique flavor of this dish hits all the right spots, with its subtle tanginess from the coconut vinegar and the slight sweetness from the sugar and fried eggplant. The combo of sweet and sour, the crunch of the shallots, the deep-fried brinjals ,all work brilliantly together. 

This dish definitely adds a layer of taste that is pure joy to sink your taste buds into.

You’ll have every opportunity to taste this amazing brinjal dish if you ever set foot in a Sri Lankan restaurant or home, the dish is a classic and found in most Sri Lankan menus.

Even though the food is generally simple to make, it’s said that for the average outsider, Sri Lankan cooking is not easy to master, due to the wealth of variations for even the most basic of dishes. 

As so often happens, recipes differ from cook to cook. Brinjal Moju for example, can be eye-wateringly sour, almost caramelized, or a balance between the two.

If you want the complete Free Video Tutorial on how to make Authentic Sri Lankan Brinjal Moju, then click the link below. 

Check out the Free Tutorial

Nuska Nasser

CEO of Food Queen

Next Article: Connecticut Food Secrets Revealed

Are you curious about what Connecticut’s Sugar Rush USA is about? Or are you looking for new Connecticut Ice Cream to try? Learn from local food influencer, Alison C. the food blogger behind @food_of_ct. 

More than an Ice Cream Shop, A unique Experience

There are plenty of ice cream shops in Connecticut, but not many that serve liquid nitrogen ice cream. On January 18, 2021, Sugar Rush USA opened their doors in Shelton, CT, and were welcomed by a community of local ice cream lovers and their families. Though there was a socially-distanced line in front of the building, no one seemed to mind waiting in the colder weather to support a new local business. 

Featured: Rich & Famous – Photo Credit: @food_of_ct

The Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Experience

If you have never experienced liquid nitrogen ice cream, you may be wondering how different it is from regular ice cream. At Sugar Rush and similar establishments, you will often notice the jugs of liquid ice cream in a refrigerator. When mixed with nitrogen, the liquid ice cream becomes frozen very quickly, and the process results in a much smoother, creamier texture than normal ice cream. At Sugar Rush, you can see through the plexiglass and watch as the team members make your ice cream right in front of you. 

Find the Perfect Ice Cream Pairing

Often paired with nitrogen ice cream is a bubble waffle cone, referred to as a special cone at Sugar Rush. This type of waffle cone is thick, with the bubbles being soft and chewy. The ice cream soaks into the waffle, and Sugar Rush serves the cone in a cup to catch any melting ice cream. One of Sugar Rush’s most unique offerings is their ability to infuse the bubble cone with cereal or toppings of your choice. When viewing the menu, any topping with an asterisk symbolizes its ability to be infused. It adds some extra flavor and texture to the cone, and helps you to reach that sugar rush!

A Personalized Ice Cream Experience

Featured: Sugar Rush – Photo Credit: @food_of_ct

You can build your own ice cream cone, or pick from a list of their specialties. Their namesake specialty, the Sugar Rush, is vanilla ice cream topped with gummy bears, rainbow sprinkles, Lucky Charms cereal, and whipped cream. This cone is so colorful and definitely insta-worthy! Another popular speciality, the Rich & Famous, is chocolate ice cream topped with fudgy brownie bites, chocolate sprinkles, chocolate crunchies, and Nutella. For a chocoholic like myself, this cone is a dream come true!

In addition to serving nitrogen ice cream, Sugar Rush serves regular ice cream by the scoop and several other ice cream based treats. Customers are able to build their own crazy cookie ice cream sandwiches with a variety of cookie and ice cream flavors, which comes with one topping rolled in. On my most recent visit, I chose a chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream and chocolate crunchies. Also on the menu are ice cream stuffed donuts, French crepes served with a scoop of ice cream, soft serve, and milkshakes. Non-ice cream beverages include Starbucks frappuccinos, Naked smoothies, Lipton teas, and more.

Fun and Energetic – Perfect for the Whole Family

The vibe inside of Sugar Rush is so fun and energetic, and is truly perfect for the whole family. When you walk in, you will hear your favorite party tunes coming over the speakers, and the color-changing lights and signs will be sure to catch the attention of the little ones. Even waiting in line is fun as you wait at your treat’s station to watch it be made right in front of you.

Sugar Rush USA: Family Owned and Operated

The Nasufi family, owners of Sugar Rush USA, have done a fantastic job of creating some happiness during these difficult times. It was so encouraging to see the outpouring of support on social media when Sugar Rush announced their grand opening. Their announcement post on Facebook had over 3,000 shares, and only several weeks later, their Facebook page has almost 4,000 followers. If you have always wanted to experience nitrogen ice cream, or are looking for a new sweet spot, be sure to make a visit to Sugar Rush USA at 901 Bridgeport Avenue, Suite 107 in Shelton, CT!

Sugar Rush is a partner of Cravve app and was also recently featured as a Must Try Dish in Connecticut. See Instagram Post below.

Next Article: Connecticut Food Secrets Revealed

Written by Rachel Garber. Visit her on Instagram at @biggirlgottaeats

Do you have a favorite restaurant (like Luma on Park Avenue) that has come and gone? Are you curious about others experience? Local food Influencer Rachel Garber, the blogger behind @biggirlgottaeats, takes us on a stroll down memory (food) lane in Winter Park, FL.

Everyone has a favorite childhood restaurant, but is that place still around today? Sadly, my favorite spot that was always my go-to for birthday dinners, family occasions, and girl’s night outs during college break has just closed. Luma on Park Avenue, located in Downtown Winter Park, shut its doors this passed fall.

Luma was a high-end, American cuisine gem with a splash of jazz. With its white leather couches and dark dim lights, you could mistake yourself for being in a classy Miami club. I even walked passed Paul McCartney during dinner one time.

My first Steps down Memory (Food) Lane

As a middle schooler, this was the most fabulous place around that I could go to and feel like a young adult (not to mention walking distance from my childhood house). The atmosphere was electric, and the servers had contagious warming attitudes. 

Not only was Luma one of THE most poppin’ places on the Ave, but it was also one of the most delicious. My hands-down, favorite dish was the Pasta Bolognese. It was fettuccini pasta with finely chopped veal, marinated in a red tomato sauce & a hint of red wine. The garnish of parsley made the pasta dish picture perfect.

Now I know I said this spot was American-cuisine, so why is my favorite item the Italian dish? Funny you should ask. Growing up, I was one of those annoying, rebellious kids that never wanted to blend in. I also had this characteristic with food choices. The fact that everything on the menu was within the same food category, I looked for the one item that stood out. I was the boujiest, most intense food critic at the age of 11. I am pretty sure that is the only thing on their menu that I ordered starting at age 11 until 19. 

More than a Food Memory: An Elevated Experience

Luma’s unique presence on Park Avenue brought up the real estate around it. Having the establishment there made the area more appealing and honestly just made you feel chic walking by it. You could go from an average lost college student to feeling like a young professional about to model on the cover of Vogue. The outside avenue seating was almost impossible to reserve unless you called a week ahead, but the extra effort to do so was absolutely worth it.

Once I hit 21, a night out on the avenue became an annual girl’s event every Thanksgiving Break. Luma became the go-to spot once again. Their signature White Linen cocktail is so exceptional that customers began asking other restaurants on the Avenue if they could replicate the drink. The only thing I can compare it to is a crisp fall day, 72 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. The drink consists of Hendrick’s Gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, white cranberry juice, a dash of sour mix, and a sprig of mint. 

Walking in the Shadows of Luma: Prato and Luke’s Kitchen & Bar

Luma was so successful, the owners opened up two more spots with slightly different themes: Italian and Southern fare. Prato, the Italian sector, is also located on Park Avenue about 5 blocks down. The rustic farm-to-table venue quickly became just as popular the minute it opened.

The reputation of Luma paved the way to success for Prato. This quickly became a destination spot in Winter Park and people from outer Orlando would drive all the way to Winter Park just to try the one-of-a-kind Prato Meatballs. Not to mention their happy hour will make 4-6pm the happiest hours of your day.

Their third spot, Luke’s Kitchen & Bar, located just outside of Winter Park, has also become a destination spot. Locals know how unique Prato and Luma are, so why not venture outside of Winter Park for another remarkable meal with a change of scenery? 

The ghost of Luma lingers on that Park Avenue corner and I often ponder if any restaurant will ever fill the kitchen that once glowed. I actually hear locals and Winter Park visitors discussing where and when Luma may go to next, “I wonder if they’ll take Dexter’s old spot, or go into the empty place on that street..”.

These conversations are endless because Luma was a staple cuisine. Although Prato and Luke’s are incredible, I wonder if Luma will make its way back to Winter Park. I am grateful to have experienced the restaurant throughout my childhood. From family gatherings to graduation dinners to happy hour, Luma can never and will never be replaced.

Next Article: Connecticut Food Secrets Revealed

Written by Samantha B. Visit the Wisconsin Cheese Queen on Instagram at @wisconsincheeseplease

Are you looking for a local Milwaukee Cheese to try? Or curious what Deep Fried Cheese Curds are all about? Learn from a local food influencer like Milwaukee’s Samantha B. the blogger behind @wisconsincheeseplease

Every city has amazing local restaurants with secret food and menu items that only locals know about. In this blog post, you’ll learn more about Milwaukee’s Deep Fried Cheese Curd’s with a special feature on the award winning Lakefront Brewery.

Milwaukee Food Secrets: Deep Fried Cheese Curds

If you are from the Midwest – Wisconsin especially – you know how important cheese is to “the locals.” It’s simply a way of life for folks out here. Many restaurants in Wisconsin serve up deep fried cheese curds. What are those, you ask? Cheese curds are chunks of cheese that are breaded or battered, melty, and served with a side of decadent dipping sauce. 

Award Winning Cheese Curds: Lakefront Brewery

One spot in the Milwaukee area that is especially known for its cheese curds is Lakefront Brewery. Lakefront has been in business since 1987 and they have brewed thousands of beers since… as well as created one of best cheese curds in the area. 

Lakefront has won the Shepard’s Express “Best of Milwaukee” award for “Best Fried Cheese Curds” FIVE years in a row. Eating them is like having a cheese party in your mouth. The curds are fried to perfection in batter made with Lakefront’s own beer and served with a side of homemade garlic ranch sauce. Recently, Lakefront has started presenting a “Curd of the Week” which has included different flavored curds such as: Pesto, Apple Crisp, Bourbon BBQ and Sour Cream & Onion – just to name a few.

Where to try it…The Curd Wagon vs. Beer Hall

Lakefront also has their own “Curd Wagon” which is a food truck that travels around the area serving up fried cheese and other items such as chicken strips, tacos and sliders. The Curd Wagon is used at several local events and sometimes just sits in a parking lot of a local beer store. I’ve had curds from both the wagon and the Beer Hall and you won’t go wrong with either option. 

Inside of the Beer Hall, you’re able to order other items that Lakefront is known for – giant pretzels, salads, mac & cheese, sausage flights, chicken wings, French fries and of course … craft beer. If you’re interested in learning more about Lakefront’s beers, their brewery tours are given on a regular basis and will definitely add more excitement to your visit. Believe it or not, the tours are top rated too! The brewery tour has won the Shepard’s Express “Best of Milwaukee” award for TEN years in a row. 

More than just a deep fried cheese curd – but a unique experience

If you’re wondering how they’ve pulled that off, I can tell you that it’s because of the energy that goes into the tour. The tour guides have so much knowledge on the beer creation process, ingredients that go into the beer and the different flavor profiles of each one. They engage the customers and entertain them with lots of facts and jokes throughout the experience.  At the end of the tour, you will receive four different beer samples as well as a souvenir glass. If you choose to go on the “technical tour,” you get beer & snack pairings during your visit. You’ll also receive a coupon for a free beer at one of many local establishments. That’s a heck of a lot to get out of a beer tour!

Virtual Tour Options

In case you’re not comfortable going inside, you’re able to take a virtual tour of their establishment through their website. You can navigate through the different rooms – the beer hall, the tasting room, the fermenting room, the tour room, the labeling room and even the outdoor patio area – all within the luxury of your own home. 

Where to experience it

Lakefront Brewery is located right on the Milwaukee River. If you are ever in the area and are looking for somewhere to really give you a good feel of the Milwaukee culture – Lakefront should be your top choice. Sit alongside the water, drink some craft beer and eat some of the best cheese that Wisconsin has to offer. You won’t be disappointed.

Next Article: Connecticut Food Secrets Revealed

Written by Allison C.. Visit her on Instagram at @food_of_ct

Are you looking for new Connecticut food to try? Or curious what New Haven Style Pizza is all about? Learn from a local food influencer like Connecticut’s Allison C. the blogger behind @food_of_ct.

Every city has amazing local restaurants with secret food and menu items that only locals know about. In this blog post, you’ll learn more about Connecticut’s New Haven Style Pizza including Pepe’s, Modern, and Sally’s “Apizza” as well as a few other honorable mentions.

Connecticut Food Secrets Revealed: New Haven Style Pizza

If you’re local to Connecticut, you know that “apizza” and pizza are two very different things. Pronounced “ah-beets”, the style was created in New Haven by the legendary Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. For it to be considered an apizza, some necessary characteristics are that the crust must be thin, chewy, and charred.

The Great Apizza Debate

The ideal level of char is often a subject of debate, as some are quick to deem any blackness on the crust as a sign that it is burnt. Every establishment that serves apizza in Connecticut is truly unique. They all have different ratios of sauce to cheese, levels of char, and specialties on the menu.

Connecticut Food: 3 Must-Try Destinations for Apizza

In New Haven, there are three restaurants that serve as the benchmark for all other apizzas. They are Pepe’s, Modern, and Sally’s, and most people in Connecticut are fiercely loyal to one of them.

Wooster Square, the Little Italy of New Haven, is home to Pepe’s and Sally’s. In 1925, Frank Pepe opened his pizzeria, and in 2021, there are twelve Pepe’s locations across Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. Meanwhile, Modern is located on State Street a short drive away. In a pre-COVID world, you would often see long lines of people waiting to get their hands on some famous apizza. Currently, the restaurants are only offering takeout, but in the parking lots or on Wooster Street you will find multiple people eating in their cars or having a small tailgate. The menus here are simple, as each place only offers pizza and salad. With the volume of their businesses, it would be difficult to have a more extensive menu, but everyone that comes only has apizza on their mind anyway.

Apizza Specialties to Try

Each of the pizzerias has a specialty that sets their apizza apart from one another. At Pepe’s, you will find their specialties to be a white clam, or in the summertime, a fresh tomato apizza. It is also not uncommon for the chefs at Pepe’s to cut the apizzas into uneven rectangular pieces.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Frank-Pepe-Pizzeria-Napoletana.jpg
Frank Pepe Pizzeria – @food_of_ct

Meanwhile, the specialty apizza at Modern is called the “Italian Bomb”, which is topped with bacon, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, peppers, and garlic.

Modern’s Apizza – @food_of_ct

At Sally’s, the two specialties are their tomato sauce and white potato apizzas. The white potato apizza should not be confused with mashed potatoes, as this apizza is topped with thinly sliced potatoes and rosemary. To stay consistent and appeal to the majority of palates, we included pictures of a regular mozzarella cheese apizza from each restaurant.

Sally’s Apizza – @food_of_ct

Apizza Honorable Mentions

Though Pepe’s, Modern, and Sally’s are the most well-known, some honorable mentions for New Haven-style apizza are BAR and Ernie’s, also in New Haven, Zuppardi’s, located in West Haven, and Roseland, located in Derby. There are so many other fantastic places for apizza in Connecticut that are on our list to try!

Want to dive deeper, join a Facebook Group

On Facebook, there are two popular groups called “Pizzaholics” and “All About New Haven Style A’pizza (Ah-beetz)™”, where members will post a picture of their pizza to spark a discussion, or ask for pizza suggestions in a specific area.

Members of the group are located all across the country, but the majority of group discussions are often centered around Connecticut apizza. The admins of the “All About New Haven Style A’pizza (Ah-beetz)™” group are referred to as The Pizza Gavones, and they post video reviews of apizza from around Connecticut. They rate each apizza out of 10, similar to Dave Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports. Portnoy himself has brought nationwide attention to the New Haven pizzerias, as well as many others in Connecticut, through his “One Bite” reviews.

When a celebrity is in the area, you will often hear that they have been spotted grabbing a slice of apizza. It is truly inspiring to see the effect that New Haven apizza has had in and beyond Connecticut. If you have the opportunity to visit Connecticut, make sure to plan a visit to New Haven for some authentic apizza!

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