Flier died from airline meal, says family
December 2nd, 2011
01:00 PM ET
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As it deals with fallout from its bankruptcy announcement, American Airlines is also facing the wrath of a family who claim their loved one died after eating a meal served by the carrier.

The wife and daughter of the late Othon Cortes of Miami are suing the airline and Sky Chefs for more than $1 million, alleging he ate food contaminated with bacteria during a flight from Barcelona, Spain, to New York.

The incident happened on May 18 after Cortes consumed an in-flight meal that allegedly contained chicken, according to a lawsuit filed last week in the U.S. District Court in Miami.

Family: In-flight meal killed flier

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Filed under: Airlines • Food Safety • Health News • Tainted Food • Travel


Cheesecake for breakfast? Yes, please!
November 29th, 2011
07:00 AM ET
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I had just loaded up a plate at the breakfast buffet in my hotel in Warsaw, Poland, when I noticed the other guests making a beeline for a small table just off to the side from the main spread.

That’s when I saw it: A silver serving platter full of perfect little slices of cheesecake topped with an apricot glaze.

It was 8:30 a.m. and I had already made plenty of choices from the European breakfast fare on display: freshly-baked rolls, sliced cheeses, and a selection of cold cuts, pâtés and other meats.

Still, I didn’t hesitate for a second.
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Filed under: Breakfast • Dishes • Travel


Hooked on cowhorn peppers (and possibly "happy hormones")
August 1st, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Come summer, it’s not unusual for me to fall apart during dinner and shed a few tears. No, there’s need for cheering up, thank you, but please pass the tissues.

The waterworks come courtesy of cowhorn peppers growing contentedly in a big flower pot outside my window and burning my mouth to a crisp every time I take a tiny bite out of one or add a sliver to my favorite sauce.

I’m not a spicy food person. I know a lot of people will go out of their way to order anything with the “hot” symbol on the menu, but I’m not one of them. I have a low tolerance for it and I’ve never been big on breathing fire at dinner.

Yet here I am, choosing to turn all red and teary-eyed during home-cooked meals - something I wouldn’t dare do in a restaurant.
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Filed under: Gardening • Hot • Ingredients • Make • Peppers


No Golden Ticket? Chocolate tours for all
May 26th, 2011
03:30 PM ET
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"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." - Charles M. Schulz

Traveling to beautiful places is already sweet, but the journeys can get decadent if you succumb to the power of chocolate.

Chocolate tourism is big, as luscious bonbons, pralines, pastries, cakes, cookies, mousses and other delights have chocoholics all over the world craving classes and museums devoted to the heavenly food.

You probably already know about Hershey, Pennsylvania; Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco; and other destinations for chocolate-lovers closer to home.

Here are five more decadent spots in Europe for chocolate lovers on CNN Travel.

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Filed under: Bite • Travel


Bulking up at Costco
April 15th, 2011
08:00 PM ET
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A. Pawlowski writes for CNN Travel and she is nuts for Nutella

There’s something deliciously odd about buying groceries in the same place where you can also pick up a flat-screen TV and a $5,000 diamond ring.

Even more intriguing is the magnetic pull that Costco – the chain of warehouse clubs - seems to have on shoppers, if my local store in suburban Atlanta is any indication. On most days, it’s filled to wall-to-wall with bargain hunters stocking up on the giant portions of food that wholesalers are famous for.

Buying in bulk is big.

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Hotel guests scramble for free breakfast
October 20th, 2010
04:00 PM ET
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To ensure a happy hotel guest, offer excellent service, provide a comfortable bed and never, ever underestimate the power of a free bagel: After a good night's sleep, many travelers these days are expecting - and receiving - a good breakfast.

You know the kind, included in the price of your stay and often served in a room just off the lobby of a Best Western or a Hampton Inn - the quiet space that suddenly becomes the center of attention for several hours in the morning.

There's just something very comforting about waking up in a strange city and knowing your first meal is ready and waiting for you as you start your day - no searching around required.

CNN Travel has the FULL STORY

Previously - Tray Cool: Why I love room service breakfast

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Filed under: News • Travel • Trends


Fried chicken: Hot or cold?
October 5th, 2010
11:30 AM ET
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When a chef tells you you’re missing out on something, it’s time to pay attention.

I was recently interviewing Michelle Bernstein, owner of Michy’s and Sra. Martinez in Miami, Florida, for an article on luxury airline meals when the conversation steered toward fried chicken.

Cold fried chicken, to be exact.

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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • Dishes • Fried Chicken • Southern


Marvelous mile-high meals
September 1st, 2010
10:30 AM ET
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The caviar and smoked salmon were superb, the chilled champagne flowed freely and the service was impeccable as Jake and Linda Richter gazed at each other across a table covered with white linen and set with fine china.

The only thing missing was the candlelight, but an open flame wouldn't have been encouraged in this dining room cruising at 550 miles per hour somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.

Sitting in first class on a recent Cathay Pacific flight from San Francisco, California, to Hong Kong, China, the Richters were dining in style.

The menu included stir-fried prawns and scallops accented with tangerine peel and jasmine rice; double-boiled ginseng and lean pork soup; and an extensive wine list.

"It was as if being in a restaurant," recalled Jake Richter, a U.S. businessman who lives on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. "They worked very hard on presentation. Everything was individually plated. ... It was fantastic."

CNN Travel has the FULL STORY

Previously - Wherein we mourn the passing of coach-class meals

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Filed under: Airlines • Travel


Nuts for Nutella
August 27th, 2010
10:30 AM ET
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I was 9 years old when I first had chocolate for breakfast, breaking into a jar of Nutella one morning and spreading the sweet, rich, velvety contents on a slice of bread usually reserved for strawberry jam.

It’s been a love affair ever since.

I live for dessert, so Nutella - a hazelnut and cocoa spread that's been around since 1963 - is my favorite indulgence and vice. Few days go by when I don’t dip a spoon into the smooth mixture that melts on warm toast and coats the roof of my mouth with chocolaty happiness whenever I take a bite.

There’s a price to pay, of course – all that deliciousness comes with 100 calories and more than 5 grams of fat per tablespoon. But the company that makes Nutella insists the breakfast spread can form a part of a balanced meal "when used in moderation with complementary foods."

Moderation? Forget about it.
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Filed under: Bite • Obsessions • Products


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