I’ve decided it’s about time to write about my eating habits. As they’ve been non-consistent, but delicious — I really want to write about these tasty foods (and some not so great) that I’ve encountered while in Europe.
FIRST! I want to say — Maine is the homeland of Seafood. DELICIOUS. Seafood. But somehow, London *yes, they were around before us chaps settled our lovely state and industry* is famous for their fish & chips. Maybe I should read into the history of this phenomena more, buuut, that’d just be too easy. I’ll let it baffle me. So, obviously the first time I make a visit to London-town in March of 2011 I wanted to try the famous fish & chips — but, the two day venture was too quick for my taste buds so I left the country without having tried the main dish. This time around I wouldn’t allow that to happen.
As soon as I arrived in London to visit my lovely friend we made a list of must-do activities while I was in the country for the week. On the list: FISH & CHIPS.
For some reason, I had weird images in my head as to what this typical dish might be even though I knew exactly what it was. I was playing mind games with myself. When Libby & I finally made it to a restaurant around the corner from her place to order this famous dish it turned out to be nothing more than fried haddock and giant potato wedges.
Yessss, yes. I realize I say this like I was surprised . . and disappointed. To be honest, I was. The fish was like anything I’d have back home and the “chips” were also nothing out of this world — AND to top it off — it came to the whopping price of 18 POUNDS PER PERSON. WTF.
London, you’ve stolen my heart in many ways — but this put a strike against you. Never again will I be tempted by the deep fried smells and allure of “fish & chips” from England. Never again.
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As I made my way from England to France I was delighted to find boulangeries on every corner selling delicious, buttery, and chocolate pastries (best I’ve ever had) BUUUUUUUUT they were also filled with macarons.
You may ask — what, pre-tell, are macarons? I would gasp, look at you in utter disbelief and shake my head: Only the most decedent, crispy, airy and deliciously flavored treats to be created. I would take you by the hand and find the first place to sell these delightful goodies. Unfortunately, in Maine, the only place to sell them is Mornings in Paris located in the Old Port on Exchange Street. Not the best I’ve had, but they’ll do since I can’t venture to France whenever I crave one.
While in Paris and Montpellier I made the most of my time there, buying macarons almost every time I craved one — which was often. It wasn’t until my 2nd to last day in Montpellier when I stumbled upon only THE BEST macarons I’ve ever tasted. They had flavors I’d never tried before and the fillings were perfectly made. My taste buds were in heaven. From the flavors I’ve tried, I have to say my favorites are: Raspberry, Passion Fruit, Vanilla, and Salted Caramel.
I was sad to leave France as I didn’t know when I’d be back — but it just so turns out Ill be there again this Friday March 24th. Let the over eating of macarons begin.
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The next adventure for my taste buds landed in Prague, Czech Republic. Home of the sausage, cheap beer, and Svičková. Somehow a tasty combination of meat (preferably tenderloin), gravy, whipped cream, cranberry sauce and slices of the softest bread I’ve ever eaten. But, thats the only meal that made a good impression. Everything else was sub-par and slightly left me feeling gross and oily. Not a feeling I tend to pursue in my food choices.
Overall the country disappointed me on the food scale. I guess I’m just not cut out for sausage and beer.
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Austira brought a much needed rest with spending money on food — I hit up the grocery stores and made my own meals every night which mostly consisted of pasta and different sauces. Maybe some veggies thrown in here & there. The best meal my entire visit in Austria was when I ended up spending a night in Innsbruck and found Andi on Couch Surfing.org. He let me stay on his couch last minute since my train has come into town late & I therefore missed my connecting trains. The first night at his place we ordered take out and vegged, watched some high lining videos and other paragliding videos he’s made as well. It was the second night that was glorious.
He took me to his friends place for a homemade meal. OMG. Almost rare cooked slices of meat accompanied by a delicious salad and potatoes and good conversation. Although much of it was in German, their friend translated ideas to me and then we all spoke English at different points, too. It was a lot of fun and I’m really grateful that Andi brought me into his home. He was a great host and I can’t thank him enough! After that lovely meal Andi drove me to the train station where I caught my overnight train to Rome so I could visit Salva in Ancona the next day. And that’s when my Italian food consumption began 🙂
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Lasagna. Only the best combination of pasta, sauce, cheese and meats there possibly is. And I can’t get enough of it. Too bad I haven’t actually gone out that much to eat it — probably tomorrow. So far Salva’s mother has taught me how to boil spinach and add salt, lemon & oil or butter & parmasan cheese. So simple, yet so delicious.
Italy has also provided me with another amazing gift: GELATO.
So far I’ve only had three cones, one in Rome & two today in Florence. What can I say, I have to embrace a good thing while I have the chance. Tomorrow may or may not be more than two cones. We’ll see how the day goes. It’s just simply delicious. Good work, Italy. Good work.
I’m sure the fun with food will continue as I venture back to France, Spain and then to Scotland (ooooooh, I can’t even wait to see what they eat up there). Write later my friends! Until then — enjoy the food around you. Enjoy every bite and every sip of wine.