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Food & Drink

If you have a passion for food, wine and travel then you need to know Katie Parla, author of the popular blog, Parla Food. An American living in Rome for the past decade, Katie has established herself as an expert in Roman food culture. Her food journalism and restaurant reviews have been featured in the New York Times, Saveur, Travel + Leisure magazine and many others.

Whether you’re planning a trip to Rome or just dreaming of one, Katie Parla’s Rome is an essential guide to help you avoid tourist traps and revel in the most authentic experiences of Rome. More than just great restaurant recommendations, the app features tools to help travelers get around, plan based on location and search for food and beverage experiences based on filters like budget, distance or type of food. Looking for a cozy wine bar to end your evening? Want to know where to find the best gelato in your neighborhood? Or maybe you’d like a to find a tour of the bustling market? It’s all there in Katie Parla’s Rome.

Ready to hop on a plane to Rome? Read this first. (more…)

Foodie Tuesday: Everyday Raw Detox

Summer is here and swimsuit season is upon us. Whether you’re ramping up for a detox diet or just looking for healthy recipes that taste delicious, you’ll find plenty of inspiring recipes in Everyday Raw Detox. Based on a book by award winning raw food chefs, Matthew Kenney and Meredith Baird, this app is a unique approach to the raw food lifestyle. Recipes aim to detoxify the body one meal at a time, and there is plenty of guidance for raw food newbies.

Keep reading to learn the true meaning of detox and how to get just as much pleasure from healthy meals as you do from a bag of potato chips. (more…)

Foodie Tuesday: Eataly

There are foodies and there are people who take it further — the food geeks. If you’re like me — waiting eagerly for your favorite produce to arrive in season, spending hours reading old books on the history of cooking and fascinated by the minute differences between cooking techniques like braising and poaching — you might be a food geek. We take food seriously, with a need to know the story behind the dish, to honor the ritual and tradition. Foodies love the Food Network channel, while food geeks prefer PBS. If you’re a food geek, you’ll appreciate the Eataly app. If you’re a foodie, you’ll probably hate it.

From the folks behind the famous Italian market in New York City by the same name, Eataly is an ode to the Italian osteria, where local foods are prepared with love and traditional Italian cooking is preserved. The app includes 1,000 recipes from inns recommended by Slow Food, as well as detailed information on Italian wines. Though Eataly is beautifully designed, it’s a simple app and there are no photos of the recipes. Serious food geeks don’t need photos, though, and will be inspired by the authentic Italian recipes.

Interested in geeking out on Italian food and wine? Keep reading. (more…)

How many times have you wandered the produce isle self-consciously sniffing melons or squeezing avocados, unsure of what’s ripe and what’s rotten? Do you ever wonder which fruits and vegetables are worth spending extra money buying organic to avoid high levels of pesticides? If I look in your fridge right now, will I find moldy berries, limp salad greens or a forgotten avocado way paste its prime? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to check out Harvest — a pocket guide to selecting and storing fresh fruits and vegetables.

To learn more about how to tell if your melon is ripe, keep reading. (more…)

Do you really need another coffee app? Probably not, but I’m not talking practicality here, I’m talking about passion, flavor and the appreciation of the perfect espresso shot — I’m talking about the Great Coffee App. It’s a short introduction to 17 of the most popular espresso-based drinks, with attractive photos depicting the layers of coffee, milk, foam, etc. and demo videos outlining the process for making each drink.

This is an app for coffee lovers and those just learning to appreciate the beauty of the crema. Use it as a quick reference when you come across an unfamiliar espresso drink or just enjoy perusing the stories for interesting coffee trivia and watching the video demos. The thoughtful app design and artistic representation of each cup will leave you with a greater appreciation for the barista’s art. Great Coffee App does one thing many instructional coffee apps fail to do — it inspires!

Want to explore the world of espresso drinks? Keep reading to learn more about this unique coffee app. (more…)

One of my favorite things to do while traveling is sampling the local cuisine. There are times when dining at a familiar chain is comforting, but more often than not I prefer to find an establishment native to the city that I’m visiting. When it comes to finding these local favorites, there are a few apps one can employ such as Yelp or Urbanspoon. For me, though, I stick to one app in particular: Ness.

In November 2011 I reviewed Ness, which I called a “sure fire winner.” Recently, Ness received a major revamp, including a new method for finding recommendations, list creation and more. Find out after the jump if the revamp is an improvement or hindrance to an already fantastic app. (more…)

Good knife skills are the foundation of preparing food. Without a sharp knife and the knowledge to use it, you won’t get very far in the kitchen. These roadblocks keep you from trying new recipes and limit your options at the grocery store. Kitchen Knife Skills is an instructional app that empowers users to master the knife and become more self-reliant, adventurous home cooks.

Using proper knife skills is not just about chopping ingredients; it’s about becoming more safe, thrifty and efficient in the kitchen. Learning the correct way to cut up an apple reduces waste. Once you’ve mastered basic knife skills you can throw out the gadgets clogging up your kitchen drawers — no need for a garlic press, apple corer or fancy mango and avocado slicers. You’ll be more adventurous, trying exotic ingredients you may have been intimidated to tackle in the past (ginger, pineapple, lobster, whole fish). Kitchen Knife Skills has everything you need to learn: knowledgeable instructors, step-by-step video demonstrations, clever tips and a knife-buying guide.

Don’t let lacking knife skills hold you back in the kitchen, keep reading to learn more about this useful resource for home cooks. (more…)

After 13 years writing “The Minimalist” column for the New York Times and hosting a PBS television series, Mark Bittman has established himself as a guru of the American food scene. Home cooks across the country keep a tattered copy of his ubiquitous big red book, How to Cook Everything, close to hand in the kitchen for daily reference. If you’re looking to understand a cooking technique or digging for inspiration to jazz up your weekly roast chicken, you’ll find it in this epic cookbook, containing 2,000 recipes and 400 technique illustrations.

The developers at Culinate have taken this classic cookbook and turned it into a must-have recipe app, How to Cook Everything for iPhone. It’s a companion to the book because it allows users to engage with the content using advanced search features, rate recipes and view the most popular ones, plus create customizable Favorites and Shopping Lists. Keep reading to learn more about the ultimate cook’s reference for recipes and techniques. (more…)

We’ve all been there: halfway through cooking a recipe and you realize you don’t have an ingredient on the list. You’ve got no time to go to the store and are kicking yourself for forgetting something so simple — like the eggs for your banana bread. Don’t let this happen to you. With the Substitutions app by Gormaya, you’ve always got an answer for kitchen conundrums like, “How can I make buttermilk in a pinch?” What would have been a disaster is now just a tiny bump on the road.

Gormaya is the creator of several handy apps for cooks, including a few different recipe timer apps and Conversions for Cooking. Their straightforward style and simple design is immediately recognizable and easy to use. I was surprised and delighted to find such a wide array of ingredients with practical suggestions for replacements in Substitutions. It’s as if you’ve got an authoritative chef at your side offering helpful tips, not a random computer generated answer.

To learn more about this handy pocket-guide to food substitutions, keep reading. (more…)

We’ve talked cheese apps before – remember my review of Fromage? This week I’ve got another recommendation, Ask The Cheesemonger. While Fromage is still an excellent cheese encyclopedia to which you can add your own cheese discoveries, Ask The Cheesemonger gets the gold for superior design as well as being a useful beverage and cheese-pairing tool.

Created by McIntosh & Bowman, an Australian company specializing in cheese tasting events and cheese-making workshops, this app features a database of over 320 cheeses and plenty of educational material to help demystify the vast world of curds and whey. The talented team at Protein One has taken the knowledge of McIntosh & Bowman and packaged it in an attractive, modern design that’s fun for users to explore. Whether you’re a cheese novice or an aficionado, this app has plenty of useful information to guide you in learning more about purchasing, serving and pairing cheeses from around the world.

Keep reading to learn more about this must-have cheese app. (more…)

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