What a trip!

muffins

One of the unique aspects of Half Pint Palates is our menu that changes with the seasons.  Many times, my customers ask what inspires me.  This month I thought to myself, “If I were going on a road trip for a month in North and South America, what would I want to eat?”  So, I picked all of my favorite foods and favorite locations for maximum flavor:  East coast seafood, Southwest barbeque, Carribean and California/Asian.

It’s no secret to those that know me that I have a huge love for South American cuisine. Fresh fruits, bright flavors and a seasonal cuisine – what’s not to love?  Through my time living and cooking in Miami and my travels to South America, these are the delicious foods that come to mind:  Florida key limes, Cuban moros from the Carribean and juicy fruits.  The food in South America is as diverse as the terrain.  Those in the mountains eat meat and potatoes, while those on the coast enjoy loads of fish and fresh seafood.  It’s the best of eating local!  Argentinian bistek with chimichuri rice, sautéed sweet plantains and quinoa with guava-lime are all featured this month.

There are so many variations based on lifestyles.  Barbecue is not just a flavor.  This month we feature Texas brisket (smoked), Chinese Spare Ribs (5 spice rub) and South Carolina Pork (no smoke, mustard sauce).  With the top down and headed from Maine to Mexico, I snacked on coconut lime macaroons and tasted sweet potato and lobsta’ hash, peach butter, zucchini, melons, chiles and then took a right turn to head for the California coast.

Kimchee, mangos, miso, tamarind – all of these are Asian inspired flavors that are found in California fusion cuisine.  When I travel to NW California, I love to eat all of the foods inspired by Asian cuisine, and when going down south, the flavors of Mexico can be found. This month, our little ones can dive into sticky mango rice and scallion zucchini pancakes with hoisin glaze.

The beauty of the Half Pint menu is the mixture of exotic with comforting flavors and preparations.  A child might eat a lychee smoothie for breakfast followed by sweet and sour carrots for lunch.  Their palate expands as they try familiar flavors in new ways and new flavors in preparations that they know and love.  We use sweet and sour with carrots, rather than the expected chicken or pork.  And we take classical hummus and pair it with edamame, adding a new twist on a favorite.

On my “trip” this month, I’m enjoying all the bounty of summer with the spicy personality of great regions.  Join me!  What would be your flavor trip?  Send me an e-mail with some of your favorite flavor locations and get a free snack with your next purchase.