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Tag Archives: food

Stollen Memories

Are holidays for you – as they are for us – all about the food?  As the years go by, it seems the strongest memories of holidays past revolve around what we ate and drank, as well as the people we spent them with.

Last week, we posted a Santa Barbara Travel trip report from our advisor, Cathy Kroll.  She wrote all about her gluwein-filled riverboat cruise, as she visited the Christmas markets along the Danube River.  Cathy sailed with AMAWaterways, and this week we bring you a blog post written by the owner of that company.  It was originally published on AMAWaterways‘ website, but we’ve asked to reprint it here: her description of a favorite childhood treat is so vivid, we can almost taste it!

Stollen Memories

by Kristin Karst, Executive Vice President and co-owner of AMA Waterways, originally posted on 12/27/13

The holidays may be over, but as friends and guests return from their Christmas Market cruises, their suitcases stuffed with handmade ornaments and delicious seasonal treats, I am reminded of my childhood in Germany. Thought I would share some of these memories with you!

My hometown of Dresden is famous for its stollen, a moist cake made with dried fruit, nuts and spices and topped with powdered sugar.  The Dresden Stollen is an old, old tradition that dates back to 1474. The cake can be quite dense and heavy – nearly 4 ½ pounds! – and it still is my favorite dessert during the Christmas season. But it has to be the “official” cake, which is only available at select bakeries in Germany. My mom always sends one of these stollen cakes every year to my home in California, so that our family can enjoy this special treat when we are at home during the holidays.

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Dresden holds a Stollenfest every year, which in itself has a fascinating history. During the reign of Augustus II the Strong (1670-1733), he ordered the Bakers’ Guild of Dresden to create a gigantic stollen for everyone in the city to enjoy. They had to build a special oven and design a huge knife to accommodate this massive cake, which was large enough to feed 24,000 people! Today, Dresden bakers continue this tradition by baking a stollen that weighs an astonishing 6000 pounds! It’s paraded by horse and carriage to the Christmas  Market, where it is ceremoniously cut into pieces and handed out to the crowd.

Where else but Europe would you experience such wonderful things? This is one of the many reasons why our Christmas Markets cruises are so popular. Many of our guests have taken these cruises multiple times, eager to experience the magic of Christmas in Europe again and again. We love that our cruises have become an annual tradition for our guests!

Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

 

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Land to Sea Culinary Immersion at Terranea Resort

Here at Santa Barbara Travel one of the hottest  trends we see is the desire for culinary travel.  No longer do travelers merely want to visit a destination, they also want to experience it – and many want that experience to include locally cultivated food and drinks.

Building on California’s allure as America’s ‘Capital of Culinary Travel‘, Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes presents a 3-day, 2-night inclusive package for two that will immerse the senses and satisfy your inner foodie with a complete ‘Farm-to-Terranea‘ dining experience.

Join the Executive Chef in Terranea's own garden for a private tour

Join the Executive Chef in Terranea’s own garden for a private tour

Join Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra on a visit to the resort’s local farm, discussing seasonal ingredients, picking produce and then preparing a meal.  Participate in a pastry & liquor pairing workshop with Executive Pastry Chef Pierino Jermonti and Sommelier Szymon Piechaczek.  Go on a whale-watching picnic. Indulge in a spa treatment incorporating salts, lavender, lemons or honey – all produced on site by the resort.
Your 'Farm-to-Terranea' weekend includes a spa treatment with products all produced at the resort.

Your ‘Farm-to-Terranea’ weekend includes a spa treatment with products all produced at the resort.

This culinary immersion weekend also includes seats at the exclusive Chef’s Table Dinner series, dinner for two at signature resort mar’sel (with wine pairing) and your choice of a honey workshop, a sea salt workshop or a fish market experience with a Terranea chef.

Book through Santa Barbara Travel and you will also receive a $100 resort credit, daily breakfast for two, a VIP welcome amenity and a one-category upgrade upon arrival and early check-in and late check-out, based on availability.Enjoy this unparalleled culinary experience December 2-4, 2015, and the weekends of February 18th, April 21st, June 30th, August 25th, October 13th and December 8th in 2016.

Can’t make it for a full weekend?  Then how about booking a Chef’s Table Dinner for an evening?  These are available now on February 18th, April 21st, June 30th, August 25th, October 13th and December 8th in 2016.

A wine-focused dinner more your thing?  Consider a mar’sel Library Wine Dinner, which takes place in 2016 on January 21st, March 17th, May 19th, July 21st, September 15th, and November 17th.

All these events are incredibly popular and fill up quickly, so book now through Santa Barbara Travel for best availability.

Culinary Croatia: With Central Holidays

With 1,118 miles of stunning coastline and more than 1,000 islands, Croatia is an increasingly well-known travel destination for adventurers with a love of history, culture and dramatic scenery.  It should also be a country that comes to mind when people think of food and wine.
croatiaThe coastal regions of Istria and Dalmatia are famed for their fresh, Adriatic seafood.  Here, you’ll find a host of dishes based on shellfish.  With its warm Mediterranean climate, the coastal region also enjoys an ever-changing array of fresh seasonal produce.Inland, the cuisine is characterized by recent contacts with neighboring cultures – Hungary, Turkey, and Austria. Paprika and garlic are heavily featured in this cooking, and the desserts, including the delectable kremsnita, are a wonderful culinary legacy of the Austrian Hungarian empire.
This cream cake, when it's made around Zagreb, in Croatia has a puff pastry top, predominantly custard cream filling (less whipped cream) and is finished with powdered sugar. The massive size is at first daunting, but the light filling makes the cake easy to eat and not too heavy. Just perfect for an afternoon snack.

This cream cake, when it’s made around Zagreb, in Croatia has a puff pastry top, predominantly custard cream filling (less whipped cream) and is finished with powdered sugar. The massive size is at first daunting, but the light filling makes the cake easy to eat and not too heavy. Just perfect for an afternoon snack.

The Croatian peninsula of Istria is renowned for truffles.  The world’s largest recorded truffle (weighing 1.31 kg.) was found there in 1999.  Truffle hunting takes place in the autumn, and local food specialties include pasta or steak with truffles.  Italian foodies drive over the border just to have a truffle lunch before returning home.  In fact, some say that the best Italian food can be found in Northern Croatia!

You can hunt, dig and taste them in the dark forests of Motovun, on the Istrian peninsula of Croatia. Especially trained truffle-hunting dogs called 'breks' are used during the 3-month season, which begins in October.

You can hunt, dig and taste them in the dark forests of Motovun, on the Istrian peninsula of Croatia. Especially trained truffle-hunting dogs called ‘breks’ are used during the 3-month season, which begins in October.

Croatian wines are equally deserving of praise.  Basking in 2,600 hours of sunlight each year, Croatia abounds in a variety of excellent wine growing regions, with both quality red and white varietals.  Croatian wine, however, is largely undiscovered.  Wine producers are generally boutique, family operations, bottled only in small batches. This means that most of their vintages are consumed by the local market.

Learn more about the culinary delights of Croatia, as well as the Northern Italian Piemonte region, at Central Holidays’ presentation on October 1, 2015 at the State Street office of Santa Barbara Travel.

An Oceania Cruises Experience

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Recently, SB Travel Advisor Sheree Peterson had the opportunity to enjoy a cruise on Oceania Cruises, and she said it was the best cruise experience she’s ever had!

“We were very fortunate to have recently taken the “Mayan Mystique”, a 10 day cruise on the ship Riviera of Oceania Cruise Lines. Sailing on this beautiful ship was a wonderful experience and every crew member we met was very professional and attentive to us. The 4 specialty restaurants as well as the Grand Ballroom were over the top. We also enjoyed the fabulous lunches at the Terrace Café and Waves Grill.

I can personally say this was the best cruise I have taken!  Love the Oceania experience, and look forward to another voyage.”

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If you’d like more information on an Oceania Cruise, contact your SBTB Advisor today!