Tasto: an Italian experience at your door

Couple of weeks ago I got the opportunity to be invited by Giovanni at the launch party of Tasto, a website who promises to delivery Italian products at your door.

I did not know what to expect: while on one side I am a voracious online shopping user when it comes to clothing and kitchen appliances – that actually represents 80% of my purchases out of alcohol and food every month -, I have only been deceived in the past by grocery shopping experiences. In the specific, concerning what it is available in Luxembourg, Luxcaddy has unjustified sky-high prices while at Auchan-drive I have always been provided by products extremely close to their due date – last time, I picked up my delivery at 7 pm and I had some diary products which expiry date was the following day.

I also didn’t know what to expect because in the press release of the event it was mentioned a show cooking and a tasting session – so definitely something different from what I have been seeing so far.

Indeed, what I attended, at the end, was more a pleasant evening at friends’ place and not a formal press event.

Giovanni welcomed us in a lovely, secret location and seated around the kitchen, with a bubbles glass in one hand – as there is something to drink in all the great stories – and the mobile for taking pictures in the other, we were explained the background of Tasto.

Tasto is born from the passion for Italian products and decades of experience within the food distribution of his founder. The name, Tasto, that is symbolically represented in the website logo, is an instrument coming from a horse bone used to pinch a ham and check its maturity.

On Tasto, you can find products that might be available in some supermarkets in Luxembourg but also niche specialties for different Italian regions.

Giovanni used several products available for purchase on Tasto to prepare us a delicious dinner. As appetizers, we had linen seeds grissini rolled in Coppa, Parmigiano cheese with almonds and bell peppers cream –  my favorite -, tarallini, mozzarella cheese with truffle honey. This was followed by Bresaola with oregano and olive oil and a pizza prepared with a ready to go base, ham and artichokes.

As main, we had a typical dish from Apulia, orecchiette prepared with cime di rapa (a South Italian variety of broccoli), anchovies and crumbs of taralli. Finally, we concluded our dinner with a cheesecake in a glass. I chose the one with hazelnut.

The entire dinner was amazing and you could definitely not tell that was prepared “out of a box”.

My personal highlights were definitely:

The base for pizza: while you cannot definitely compared it to the pizza you have at the restaurant, this to me is an extremely valid alternative to frozen pizza – you wake up drunk on Sunday morning, this is very easy to prepare, request the minimum effort and it is ready in 5 minutes. I can confirm because I did it the Sunday after the event 🙂 Also, it is perfect to keep in the fridge when you have unexpected guests and you want to prepare something quick to accompany a drink but not totally industrial.

The cherry tomato sauce: this is the product where mostly I noted the difference with the commercial correspondent product. You can taste Italy and sun in this sauce and it is a product I would be really happy to pay the surplus compared to the supermarket.

The olive oil: this is another product which is slightly different in price compared to what you can find in store but you can feel (smell and taste) the difference. I would definitely keep a jar at home to be used “raw” and give dishes a very different touch.

The ricotta cheesecake: I am not very much into sweets, you know, and above all I am not into industrial ones. A jar of Nutella can get totally untouched to the expiry date in my flat, but this cheesecake was to die for. Creamy, tasty, intense. This is a product that I would definitely recommend you to buy but I will not buy myself, as still want to fit my clothes 🙂

So: why should you order on Tasto instead of buying Italian products at the supermarket?

  • Tasto is at your door (at home or at the office) within 72 hours from your order. The package is eco friendly and includes for fresh products a specific packaging with dry ice that keeps your products cool up to 5 days.
  • Tasto ensures your ordered product to have at least 12 days till the expiration for fresh products and 3 months for dry products (so, no products due the day after delivery 🙂 ). The invoice will include the detailed expiration dates of your order.
  • Delivery is free over 25 Eur order (in Luxembourg, Germany, France, Belgium, UK, The Netherlands and Italy). So you can even send your pasta stock to your holiday rental home on the Belgian coast where you don’t have big supermarket.
  • On your first order, 50% is off. Off everything. Isn’t this already a good reason at least to try?
  • There is a specific category called “Take away” where you have products you can take to the office for lunch and just warm up in a microwave. The average price is 5 Eur, that is a huge saving compared to the spent you have buying sandwiches or eating out for lunch in Luxembourg city.
  • And if you are vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free, Tasto has a specific category for you as well.

Tasto aims to be not only a website where you buy occasionally, but the one you can buy most of the products you need in the day to day life. You can stock up pasta and tomato sauce for example, what is more convenient than have it delivered at your door instead of loading and unloading your car?

Let me know if you will use Tasto and how do you find it. And have a spoon of ricotta cheesecake for me as well please 🙂

 

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Maison Steffen: where good food matters

Established in 1989 in Steinfort, Luxembourg, Maison Steffen is, without a doubt, one of the trendiest places to go grocery shopping when you are looking for a boucherie, a shop to get some good quality meat and cold cuts. Barefoot in Luxembourg was invited to the re-opening of Maison Steffen’s oldest boutique in Steinfort and it was a great occasion to discover more about this brand!

The boucherie itself was recently renovated and has now a completely different look. In my opinion, it’s very inviting as one of its walls facing the street is made entirely out of glass and lets a lot of light in. The interior of the butchery, is however, kept rustic, simple and harmonic; there are some sausages and cold cuts hanging and old butchery equipment is also present. When it comes to the selection of their products, you can choose from raw meats to ready to make meals and even catering options.

After visiting the shop, the night continued at another venue where we were taken by a shuttle bus. At this event hall, we were offered drinks followed by a short promo movie explaining the history and the current status of the shop. When the clip was finished, the food buffet was opened and we had a chance to sample many different dishes, that were made by using products available for purchase at the stores. Most of the dishes were very typical Luxembourgish dishes and small enough so I could try several of them – all delicious!


Overall, my experience at Maison Steffen was great and I was left with a very positive feeling about the shop; it is definitely worth visiting if you happen to find yourself in Steinfort. For those who live in Luxembourg city or other parts of this massive country, you have an option to check their other shops in Cents, Petange, Esch-sur-Alzette or Dudelange. Exact addresses and opening hours can be found on their website. Maison Steffen also owns a restaurant La Table de Frank, located in Steinfort.

Naturalia – A new Organic Grocery Store

For a long time, Luxembourg Gare area has been a very shady one but recently there have been a lot of improvements and new businesses have opened up. In the end of September, I attended at the opening of Naturalia at Luxembourg Gare. Originally from France, Naturalia is a  specialized in selling organic food items  such as vegetables and fruits but also cheese, wine, bread, rice and pasta. They also have a big selection of hygienic products, vitamins and food supplements.

Their new store is quite small but very bright and attractive. Presentation of fresh veggies and fruits at the entrance is lovely and the store even makes fresh “smoothies to go” in the morning. At the event, I had a possibility to try some of the different combinations they make and also some vegan raw cakes and other appetizers. I also liked the idea of them selling seeds, nuts and cereals from plastic containers from which you could choose the amount of each item you want to have  without additional waste or packaging.


The proximity to the train station certainly attracts many clients, especially because there are no other organic stores with a similar concept nearby and they have long opening hours. Even on Sundays. As ecological lifestyle is starting to be a growing trend in Luxembourg, I’m sure that once the possibilities for buying organic gets easier, people will also be more interested in green eating.

Naturalia Luxembourg
Address:
12-18 rue Joseph Junck

Opening Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8.00-20.00
Friday: 8.00-21.00
Saturday: 8.00-19.00
Sunday: 9.00-19.00

Bee Famous: Tasty, Affordable and Organic Wine Available at Auchan’s

As autumn is approaching, Barefoot in Luxembourg was invited for a wine tasting at Beef-Bar at Auchan’s to have a sneak peak of the shop’s new wine season range. “Foire Aux Vins” is in fact an annual event taking place in September ( this year from September 20th to October 3rd) in several supermarkets in Luxembourg, including Auchan, where winemakers introduce new wines and also offer special deals for products already on the shelves. You can check out Auchan’s website for more information about products and discounts.

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I had a pleasure to get to know Bee Famous, an organic wine brand from South France. I have shared my impressions below.

 

White wines:
Bee Famous Organic CĂ©vennes

  • Fresh and fruity
  • Excellent choice with spicy and Asian food

Bee Famous Organic Chardonnay

  • Very rounded, well structured, crispy
  • Goes well with grilled fish, and sushi

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Bee Famous Organic Viognier

  • Rounded, easy to drink
  • Great for appetzers and cheese

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Bee Famous Organic Sauvignon

  • crispy, quite strong after-taste of blackcurrant
  • To be paired with goat cheese salad or appetizers

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Red wines:
Bee Famous Organic Syrah

  • Fruity, spicy
  • Try it with mediterranean or oriental food, mild cheese or drink it as aperitif

Bee Famous Organic 2015 Cevennes

  • Complex, fruity, spicy, hint of pepper
  • Herbs of Provence
  • Perfect form meat dishes, especially pork and chicken

Bee Famous Organic AOP Costières de Nime Sans Sulfites

  • No sulfites; this wine is recommended to be drank within 1-2 years
  • Try with pork, paella or Mediterranean cuisine

Bee Famous CĂ´tes du RhĂ´ne 2016

  • Round, long, well structured
  • Serve it with a selection of chacuterie or other meat dishes

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Bee Famous CĂ´tes du RhĂ´ne Plain de Dieu

  • Plain, easy
  • Goes well with chocolate dessert, meat, lamb, pork, steaks

Bee Famous Organic Languedoc Rouge 2013

  • Elegant, silky structure
  • Great with ratatouille

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AKABOBUTTEK & NATURWELTEN: new ecological shop in Luxembourg

When it comes to  ecological thinking in terms of providing organic food or eco-friendly products, I feel a bit like Luxembourg is lagging behind in the development of offering these products as compared to many other European countries.

On Friday 31st of March, I was thrilled to attend the opening of AKABOBUTTEK & NATURWELTEN, located in the area on 8 Rue de Bonnevoie. The shop focuses on providing ecologically made products and they have a huge variety of different household textiles and other items (mattresses, carpets, curtains, wooden furniture), yoga wear, men and women’s fashion and accessories,  cosmetics and cleaning products. The owner of the shop has also a “tour bus” and the new shop is in fact an extension of what they were already offering via this bus.

At the opening evening, the boutique was full of customers and the new store crew was warmly welcoming everyone to come and have a closer look to the new establishment. The shop owners also explained to me the philosophy of the store which is based on sustainable development. The idea is to support the developing countries by providing the people better pay for their work. All the products also have a Fair-trade or equivalent certification.

This new shop is ideal for consumers who value environment and are concerned about the inequality of the developing countries. The prices of items are somewhat higher as compared to mass chain stores but the quality is often better and at least one knows that the extra money is given to people who really are in need of it and have earned it. The store itself is also cute and the crew very eager to help and advise.

 

 

Naturwelten Wunnen & Schlofen
8, rue de Bonnevoie
L-1260 Luxembourg-Gare

Opening hours:
Monday 10-18h30
Tuesday -Friday 10-18h30
Saturday 10-18h
Sunday and holidays closed

pictures courtesy of Akabobus 

 

Lazy boy, here we go: Food Delivery Websites in Luxembourg

One thing that definitely improved since I arrived in Luxembourg ten years ago is the availability of food delivery websites. I remember at that time, if you were lazy or hangover, the only reasonable options you had were to drive to next Mac Donalds or to call a very bad pizza guy from a kebab house.

I will go quickly through the websites I usually order and my favorite delivery places and then some favorite options.

Webfood.lu
+++ 
my favorite delivery website
best choice of restaurants in the city
all deliveries are free and delivery time very reliable
you can collect points to get (fast) discount on next deliveries

Foostix
+++ great choice of restaurants,
possibility to pay online before the delivery or at the door,
each order makes you earn some points to get a discount
the delivery times are normally starting from 60 minutes
some delivery costs 3,8 euro
to get a discount with the points, it takes a lot of orders

Livraison
+++ great choice of restaurants,
you get a message with the estimate time of delivery
you can decide if to pay by cash or by card in most of the places and delivery is for free
The delivery indication given are not always reliable

Pizza.Lu
+++ after ordering, you can leave a review for other users and rely on others reviews if you don’t know the place you are ordering from
choice is not huge like in the first two websites

There are other websites you can order, like Eat Me, that is very user-friendly, had delicious food proposals but unfortunately in Luxembourg city is only available for delivery in Kirchberg (but works fine if you live outside the capital and has also take-away and shops). There are also many restaurants, like Namaste, Rusticana, Everest or Sushi Shop that offers direct delivery from their websites – not bad either if you know already what you are up to.

Regarding multiple options sites, these are my favorite choices. Unfortunately I can judge only places in my area, but please comment with other nice places you have tried in order to share! Check below!

Pizza: I quarto mori
Love the pizza here because it always comes still very hot and they have also a “Family size” that is perfect for big appetite of for sharing. Toppings are very “Italian” and the delivery is always pretty fast.
Unfortunately they are closed on Saturday lunch time and Sundays that are the days I use the delivery most.
Personal Favorite: Pizza Gustosa

 
Mama loves you
When I Quattro Mori is closed, we tend to order from Mama loves you, as the delivery is also relatively quick and the pizza is very tasty, even if a bit smaller in size. Only downside: prices are not very competitive.
Personal Favorite: Pizza Gabriella

Indian: Bay of Bengala/Royal Bengala
I think I tried all the Indian deliveries in Luxembourg, as I love Indian food. I really find the Royal Begala/Bay of Begala the really best one. Portions are very fair, tastes are great, food is coming extremely hot even if they are pretty far from where I live and every order you got a free beer.
Downside, in rush hours the delivery is very slow – once it took even 2 hours. Not good. Moreover the minimum delivery is around 30 euro, so not ideal if you are alone.
Personal Favorite: Mushroom Soup and Madras Vegetables.

Chinese: Mr Wok
For sure if you are ordering Chinese food you don’t look for anything sophisticated. Mr Wok is really cheap one, minimum delivery is 15 euro, they are super fast and they always offer you a portion of shrimp chips and a drink with the delivery.
As said, don’t expect gourmet food, but something fair enough to avoid a walk of shame to the next kebab.
Personal Favorite: Spring Rolls and Chicken Noodles

Sushi
To be honest, I tend not to order much sushi at home. I really dislike Sushi Shop – I find prices terribly high and the rolls quality and presentation, above all during pick hours, is ugly. I tried several more places in the meanwhile, most of them were Asian kitchen restaurants converted to sushi. Quality was definitely low as well as taste. I tend now to order or to take away from Sushi and More. The prices are fair (lunch combo are for about 11 euros), they are doing only sushi and the food is pretty good. Still not the best, but definitely better than others I tried.

Hangover bonus: Planet Pizza
If you are following my blog, you know I eat everything – really, there’s nothing I have or would not tried/try. But I am picky – cleanness, presentation, atmosphere of places are very important to me. With one, huge exception: hangover meals. In this case, I think I really eat in every condition and every type of ugly food. If you are like me, the place to order is definitely Planet Pizza. They have these huge XL pizza with weird ingredients – potatoes, kebab, meat, raclette – chicken wings, fajtas, burgers. Quality is low, food is greasy, but it definitely might be the place to order for some you after a big night out.
Personal favorite: XL Diavola Pizza and Finger Food Jalapeno with Cheese


  

Barefoot in Luxembourg goes shopping: Lush Winter Collection

Last month, I have been invited to the presentation of Lush Winter Collection that was held at the Lush store in the Gran-Rue. It was a great occasion to meet some fellow bloggers, spending couple of funny hours and above all learning about the new Lush Winter Collection 2015 – with great products dedicated to Halloween, – gone already, and Christmas, – coming!

Some pictures of the event – together with lovely Imena of Katherade preparing her Butterbear – followed by some more information about the Winter Collection.

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Lush has always been one of my favorite brand for bathing products. If you are following me on snapchat, you know probably that a long, bubbly bath is one of the best treat to conclude my day. I tend to associate my bath products to my daily feelings – using sparkling products before nights out or calming one when I had a bad day. This is the reason because the Lush collections are perfect for me.
Moreover, I am always very attentive regarding the quality and the origin of the products I am using – my granny is used to say: ” you are born with a great skin, but to keep it you must work for it” – and for this reason, Lush products, with natural and organic ingredients, not tested on animals, are, once again, one of the best thing you can find on the market.
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I waited a bit before writing this post because I wanted to be sure to have tried all the fabulous products we have been gifted and that you can find at Lush shop for your Christmas shopping – great ideas for gift but, above all, for self presents! 🙂
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First product I have tried, as soon as back home the same day, was the Butterbear – well, I prepared it, so I wanted to be sure I did a good job. Butterbear is a great bath bomb, prepared with cocoa butter, vanilla and ylang ylang. I loved it – not only because I prepared it! – because gives you a very relaxed feeling and soft skin.

My favorite bath bomb was indeed Yog Nog , made with Karite, Ylang Ylang and with a very sweet perfume, and, above all, the Star Dust, with Rose and Vanilla. When you put it into the bath, you have tons of starts flowing around, it is perfect before a night-out during Christmas holidays and my skin was feeling absolutely delicious afterwards.
IMG_3511-bisIMG_3463For the Bubble Bar series, we could try The Magic of Christmas, Peeping Santa and Five Gold Rings. While the Peeping Santa was the funniest one – resembling a small Santa -, it was a bit problematic keeping it entire in my bathroom – was melting a bit. Opposite side, I loved The Magic of Christmas and the Five Gold Rings. The Magic of Christmas is made of almonds and cinnamon, with a real cinnamon stick to hold it. It was the most scented of all the products received and hubby loved it as well – without considering the amazing feeling of bathing in gold!
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Next was the Santa’s Belly – I am still using it! – a very unusual shower jelly, perfumed of apple and wine. At the beginning it was quite weird to use and was giving a strange feeling, but after the first couple of times it became my best shower product. It is very cleansing and give a spicy and warm sensation.

IMG_3512-bisAt last, my favorite favorite favorite product – The Santa Baby lip tint. Normally I am always using “big brands” make-up, as for some reason, I feel safer. But after trying this lip tint I have forgotten all my glamorous lipsticks in the box. I am really just using the Santa Baby when going out and I really hope this will become somehow a continuative product. Not only it has an incredible smell and a wonderful color, but it is the first lip tint I tried it stay all day long, without drying your lips and maintaining its amazing color even if you eat, you drink and wash your face. All my friends asked me about the color of my lips recently and all of them were surprised discovering it was “just” a Lush tint.
lip tint
Girls – trust me, go and try.
Boys – this is a perfect idea to complete a gift for your lady, you will never have lipstick on your face/shirt again.

In conclusion – I was really happy to be part of the Lush presentation of Winter Collection. I tend to be loyal to my usual products – even at Lush – and not to go out of my comfort zone, so this occasion was perfect for discovering amazing items and fall in love with them.. until Christmas 🙂
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