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Cooking down memory lane…
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11 Responses

  1. Alli

    Mmm… that looks delicious!

  2. mick

    When I was in Poland, we did a tour for two weeks, and a meal was included each day. The meals were never traditional Polish food, as I’d hoped, but instead were pandering to supposed Western tastes, with meat and potatoes. Every single day. I was really bummed (and disgusted with the meals most of the time), until we stayed with a family friend in a tiny village in southern Poland for our third and final week in the country. Each day was started with a traditional Polish breakfast, and our friend’s mother allowed us to help in the kitchen when she cooked dinner. One day our friend’s father returned from the woods, where he’d collected nearly forty pounds of mushrooms to clean, dry, and sell (a common way to make extra money there). We spent all day sitting in the kitchen, telling stories and laughing, cleaning and drying mushrooms. One of my favorite, food-related memories ever.

  3. Josiane

    When I was in Grenada (the Caribbean island, and not the spanish city), one of my host mother’s friends came to visit one night, bearing food. My host mother asked me if I wanted to try something new and I, always open to discoveries, said “Sure!”. Oh, did I ever regretted it! Because I then learned that the new thing in question was called “chicken foot soup” and was indeed, literally, chicken foot soup – as was made clear when I saw the chicken feet (plural!) that were swimming in the bowl she handed to me. I was completely disgusted.
    Thankfully, now as a vegan I wouldn’t just go and answer a cheerful “Sure!” without asking questions first! :)

  4. whitney

    When I was in the Azores for a conference as an undergraduate, I had the most impossible time getting food! I’d been warned ahead of time that vegetarianism wasn’t really a big thing there, and had learned how to explain that I was a vegetarian in Portuguese. I had a per diem to cover my food costs, but ended up actually *making* money off it, because none of the restaurants in the little village we were staying would charge me more than 50c for the single vegetarian item they would make me: a cheese omelet (thank goodness I wasn’t vegan, or I’d've had nothing but pineapple to eat for a week!). Apparently it “wasn’t a real meal”, so they didn’t feel right charging me for it! I didn’t eat eggs for an entire year after eating cheese omelets for every meal for 6 days. Definitely my most vivid food-travel memory.

    My best food-travel memory, though, is of a lasagna I ate when I was in Belgium with my dad at a conference back when I was 13. It wasn’t anything particularly special, but it was the first time I’d had something with a lot of peppers in it, and it was there that I discovered my intense love for peppers. The rest of my family hated the lasagna but I loved it!

  5. Christina Self

    I’d love to hear about what group you were with. I would like to do the Inca Trail and would like a great group to join.

  6. Laura Michelle

    I live in Germany! I get to have some amazing German food (and Beer!) anytime I want. I have to say though, I’m not a big fan of Vegan, but that just looks AMAZING!!! Wish I could smell through my computer screen!

  7. Chandler

    It seems like for everywhere I’ve ever been, no matter how exotic or beautiful or historic, my most powerful memories involve whatever food I happened to have there. So for favorite haunts and recurring travel adventures, I always have a laundry list of food that Must. Be. Had. while there. Or there’s just the strong sense of place that hits me whenever I eat something that I experienced in a meaningful way on some trip. Like how I was 13, and my Dad and I were in the middle of a *January* road trip across ND, MN and WI to see our favorite hockey team, Colorado College, play at as many WCHA hockey barns as we could fit into a trip (this deserves a blog post on its own; it involves my very first hand-lettered posters and the befriending of several players). In Duluth, where it was 28 degrees below zero, we had leftover Chinese take-out for a midnight snack in our hotel room, but no utensils except the chopsticks I had never gotten the hang of. So I learned to eat with chopsticks that night—and every order of Chinese take-out, ever since, has reminded me of that night.

    But I think my best food memories are of Rome, where I lived for a year. The hole-in-the-wall restaurant around the corner from the Pantheon that only serves polenta, on beautiful wooden platters, in about 55 different ways. The kooky, garishly-branded gelato joint in Campo dei Fiori that was an every-other-day stop for me, all that year. The Campo market itself, with its heaping carts of blood oranges in March. The miniature glass bottles of apricot nectar that a wonderful woman used to insist that I take with me when I went out on sketching trips. The Chinese restaurant in Trastevere (yes, I lived in Rome, and ate often at the *Chinese* restaurant; it was that good, and not at all like the ones in this country) that I visited so often that they always knew what I’d order, and that after my 5th visit or so, the woman who owned the place always brought me a small gift with the check. The vine tomatoes I used to buy nearly every day, for my favorite lunch salad of tomatoes and arugula, heavy on the balsamic. And my all-time favorite, Ristorante Il Portico, right around the corner from where I lived in the Jewish Ghetto, that made the most to-die-for salmon risotto that I have never been able to replicate since.

    Oh, my. Now I’m hungry for about twelve different things. Including your plantains! Thank you for inspiring all my favorite food memories to come back more vivid than ever!

  8. Linda

    My favourite food experience was in New Zealand and we were cooked a traditional Maori meal outside in their special in ground ovens using the heat of the earth. I can’t remember the name of the meal though!

  9. Wendolene

    Mmm…your plantains look delicious! And now you’ve got me thinking about the food I’ve eaten while traveling… for me, seeking out local cuisine is essential to really experiencing the culture of the place I’m visiting. That’s not to say I’m always a fan! I loved British fish & chips, but just couldn’t get into the side that often accompanied them–mushy peas.

  10. Jenna

    Mmm, what a delicious-sounding meal! I’d love to hear your review of that cookbook, as you know my love for Veganomicon. BTW, did you see that Isa has a low-fat vegan cookbook coming out? So excited!

    Eating the food of a particular place definitely gives a great window into the culture. One of my most memorable experiences was in Paris, when I visited a friend who was studying abroad there. We went to a bakery that was known for having HUGE pastries and got beignets. We started eating them as we walked in the street, which I think is pretty unusual there. We started getting powdered sugar and raspberry filling all over our faces, and just laughed and laughed. It was a moment of pure joy. Oh my goodness, we also went to the best veggie restaurant there, so amazing. Sigh, memories. Enjoy your weekend! xoxo

  11. Ariane

    BF and I just came back from Gaspésie, a region of the Quebec province. We ate de most delicious seafood. Local, fresh, seafood.

    But I think, the most memorable moment of this trip was when, on the beach, we build a fire, scooped water from the Bay, boiled it, pour spaghetti in it, opened a Catelli Tomato/meat sauce, and ate directly from the pan. We laught so hard! And we made spaghetti on a BBQ. This will stay in my memory forever.

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