Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Silo, the Sustainable Coffee Shop

Source: BBC.com
      Aside from food, something I am deeply passionate about is environmental conservation. Naturally, I find it offensive when people assume all environmentalists want you to live like cavemen, trust me, there couldn't be a bigger misconception than this. It is therefore why I find the concept of sustainability so charming. Sustainability can be applied to various concepts, such as development or the economy. Basically, in order for something to qualify as sustainable it must be able to function within its own means. By living sustainably, you are not being asked to become a full-on-vegan-tree-hugger, instead, you just live within what would be an acceptable environmental impact. In order to so, one must find a balance between factors such as environmental and economical needs. 

     This concept was adopted by Silo, a coffee shop in Australia. Silo was recently featured in an article on the BBC. The extent to which Silo goes to reduce waste is astonishing. Not only can they fit their annual waste in a jar, they can also inform you where your food comes from. While it is something many people take for granted, knowing the exact location of where produce comes from has become a modern day commodity. Silo buys their produce locally and in bulk, as an effort to reduce waste. While buying in this fashion might bring in extra expenses, in the long run, it pays off.

     Generally speaking, designing an environmentally friendly coffee shop is synonymous with added expenses. According to the BBC, sustainable design is 30% more expensive than traditional design. However, what many lack to take into consideration is that being environmentally conscious brings in added savings in the long run. While purchasing energy saving technology might be more expensive than traditional technology, the extra expense will neutralise itself and might even become a profit in the long run. For example, Silo turns their trash into compost through the usage of a dehydration machine. This machine cost Silo $32,349, but it annually saves them $7,394 from the city's trash collecting system. Over the years, these $7,000 will add up, and then balance out the initial price of the machine and eventually make a profit for the environmental coffee shop.

     While I might be ridiculously biased because of my interest in sustainability,  I think that what Silo is doing is something remarkable and absolutely enviable (for the right reasons, of course). Few are those who decide to tackle such an ambitious business model, but I happy that someone is willing to take the risk of selling a product of good quality with a clean conscious. Needless to say, I have never wanted to visit Australia as much.

See you soon, 
Karla Boza

Source: BBC.com

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dining With Good Company - Cóctel

     Sometimes good company makes food taste even better, and there is no better company than good music. This is why you should listen to Cóctel's new single, 'Last Ones Dancing'. Cóctel is a band from Guatemala who has recently blown my mind. They are incredibly talented, to say the least. I recently saw them play in El Salvador and I don't think I have ever fallen in love so quickly with a band. Their stage presence is remarkable and their music feels fresh to the ear. If you want to fall head over heels for them, check out their music. 

See you later, 
Karla Boza

P.S. another personal favourite of mine is 'Lo Hago Por Ellas'. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Revisiting Rustico Bistro - San Salvador, El Salvador

     As any good Salvadoran story, my gastronomic experience began in Rustico Bistro. As many of you may already know, I've made a habit of making it the first place I visit after I step out of the airplane. With the bags still in the car, a tired body, and a sweaty face (courtesy of the warm and humid rush of air received when stepping out of the airport - I know we are all too familiar with this) I always feel more than welcomed when I visit Rustico. Maybe it is that we've been there one too many times, or that their customer service is actually that fantastic, but we are known by name and feel loved whenever we visit. Few are the places where you can count on seeing the owners actually socializing with their customers, and it is therefore why few are the places where the quality of their meals is consistent.

     Having returned to the vegetarian days, I ordered a vegetable panini instead of having my usual Aussie burger. However, for those of you meat eaters, rumor has it that their burgers as just as good as they have always been. My panini was fantastic, and of course, I paired it with their spicy sauce which made my panini even better. Every bite was full of flavor and just so you know how good it was, my belly didn't even miss the Aussie.

     I am pleased to announce that upon my return, I found Rustico to be just as good as it has always been. I know for a fact that continuing with the newly placed tradition, it will be the first place I visit when I return to El Salvador.

see you soon, 
Karla Boza

Back from my meat-eating days! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Briefing

Good morning, Paris

     I figured out that since the experiences are fresh in my mind, I would like to dedicate the next postings to the places I have been to during the summer. Given that I have eaten at so many places and taken so little (if any) notes or pictures of what and where I've eaten, the postings might be a little vague. A few here and there will be dedicated to specific places, but they will stay pretty darn general.

   The list of places includes:
- San Salvador, El Salvador 
- Milan, Italy 
- Florence, Italy 
- Rome, Italy 
- Paris, France 
- Venice, Italy 
- and of course, to be fair, airplane meals

Karla Boza 

Back to Business!

     After a hectic college semester of being swamped with chemistry problems and sleepless library nights, I am pleased to announce that Dual Citizenship is back! I am bringing stories from El Salvador, Italy, and France... so get ready!

     I am eager to get back to work, and specially eat with a greater purpose than to satisfy my own and personal needs. I would like the future of Dual Citizenship to hopefully bring a more consistent amount of postings, and to more specifically catch up with all the stuff I missed - I owe you so many postings, even from before the Chicago days. In an attempt to keep my word, some postings might lack pictures or lengthy descriptions, but I will try my best to keep the stories as interesting as possible; after all, every meal has a story to tell. 

     I am also officially back to New York until further notice, so if you know of any fabulous place I should check out, please - I (and my taste buds) beg you - let me (us) know! 

Karla Boza 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Whole Foods and GMOs

     As a Whole Foods fan, I was pleased to see that they will be requiring their products to be labeled by 2018 if they contain GMOs. Being an environmentalist, I oppose GMOs since they reduce biodiversity and have so many negative side-ffects on the environment. However, with a growing world population I can see the benefits GMOs bring to humans. 

     Genetically modified organisms are a current hot topic, specially now that Whole Foods will be requiring their products to be labeled. Despite being happy about this, since I believe people do deserve to know what they are consuming, I think five years is a little too long.

What do you think about this? 

See you later, 
Karla Boza 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Del Seoul - Chicago, Illinois

Last year my friend and I visited Boston for Spring Break, we discovered many delicious places to eat, so this time we decided to give Chicago a shot! 
As soon as we arrived to our hostel, we quickly placed our belongings in our room, brushed our teeth and headed out the door. We had the luck of being in one of Chicago’s nicest areas, or so we were told. After walking a few blocks outside the residential area we found ourselves in what appeared to be one of the busiest streets in the zone. Oh my goodness, I instantly fell in love with the city. There were various small restaurants and shops, the type of places you could spend a whole day walking in and out of and just never get bored. It was already dark outside yet we decided to stroll around the place. We discovered various restaurants, some where packed and others were empty. In Chicago we found that there were only extremes; either your restaurant was packed, or your tables were empty. Of course, we went for the place which could barely sit anyone else in. 

As soon as a customer left their table, someone else quickly got it. This seemed to be the dynamic of Del Seoul, a Korean BBQ restaurant. We entered the shop and headed straight to the cashier and placed our order. Of course, me being myself, I took what seemed an eternity to order. I ended up trusting the recommendation of our adorable cashier. Few times have I met someone who treated with me so much patience, considering the way I am and that there was a long line behind me. We headed to a nice table near the window and waited for our order to arrive. As soon as I got my Korean taco I instantly took a picture of it. This action alarmed our neighbor who, without any hesitation, pointed out that I must really be obsessed with food. This turned into a somewhat interesting conversation between strangers in which she mentioned how she studied abroad in Korea and had never heard of a Korean taco; to say the least, she was a skeptic. 

To keep this somewhat short, our skeptic neighbor seemed to have loved her food. She devoured a plate of wings and another of meat, rice, and veggies. Meanwhile my friend had a pot of veggies and meat over a bed of rice, and I had a combination of meat, chives, cheeses, and cream over fries. I have no idea what anything that we ordered was called, but to say the least, it was all amazing. As I write this I am still dreaming about the beautiful combinations of flavors that formed in my mouth with each bite that I took. I followed the instructions given my the waitress, which were to alternate the combinations of my plate. Sometimes I’d take fries with meat, others meat with cream, cheese, and a spicy sauce I stole from my friend. Every bite tasted different, and yet everything was perfect.

I would recommend this place to anyone who visits Chicago. I feel so lucky we stumbled upon it because I’ve never tried anything like it before. The combination of Korean food with Latin American influences, like the taco and cream, proved to be physical representation of perfection. 

See you later, 
Karla Boza 

*Please excuse the poor quality of some of the images, as they were taken with my cellphone. 

Kalbi Poutine

Miso Soup

My personal favorite, the Kalbi Taco