One of the best parts of seeing the world is sharing in the way each new country and culture eats. As we enter each new country, we do our research and spend the first few days trying out delicacies of the region and as we leave, favorite food items are ones of the common themes of what we will most miss.
|Though we didn't make it to Ethiopia, it was fun to sample their food at this place in Cape Town.|
South Africa had amazing Boerewors (sausage) and the best calamari ever but we also learned to love pap, starking apples, breakfast porridge (filling and so easy – just add hot water), and Muesli. In Namibia we tried a variety of game animals including kudu and springbok but we especially liked ostrich. Our next stop was Morocco where we discovered incredible fresh-squeezed orange juice and other juices and loved grabbing snacks like the Moroccan panini in the medina. We also followed the stream of locals to the Tangier boatdocks where we ate platters of fresh fish, calamari, and shrimp straight out of the Mediterranean.
In Morocco we found ourselves to have both the money and time to do a family cooking class and didn’t regret it. From the trip through the medina with our local guide to learning about how spices and herbs are combined to form the authentic flavors that we have been eating on the streets and in the restaurants, it was an eye opening experience. And we do so much of our cooking in our rental homes, these techniques and recipes have expanded our repertoire.
|Silly hats were part of the costume but we loved the cooking.|
As we headed into Europe, we were confronted with a whirlwind of flavors. Tapas in Seville – especially espanacas y garbanzos and arroz negras y calamar - were delightful. Portugal take their bread and ice cream very seriously and it shows in the quality we found. France, of course, was the place to get cheese, bread, and crepes! Italy had amazing pizza and all sorts of pastas. In Greece, we dined three times a week on gyros at the local Lagonissi take away joint that were healthy and delicious and frequently enjoyed fresh feta and tomato salads – so easy to make! We also learned to eat yogurt the Greek way, with local honey drizzled on top.
|Arroz Negro con Calamar in Seville, Spain is made with squid ink and so good we ordered a second plate.|
We arrived in Budapest to sample goulash soup and other forms of amazing “peasant food,” the UK had fish and chips and English labeling which was nice, Berlin had schnitzel and currywurst, Paris had fancy dinners that defy description as well as macarons, Istanbul had döner, baklava, Turkish delight, and tavuk, and in Bulgaria we got to test whether their yogurt is indeed superior to Greek yogurt (we didn’t think so, but it was delicious).
|Sirloin Strips in Budapest, Hungary is simple and delicious.|
|Pizza is something we have eaten in nearly every country but it is always a bit different. This is from Turkey.|
Crossing into Asia presented us with a whole new set of flavors and unfamiliar cooking methods. In Osaka, Japan, we especially liked tempura, sushi, ramen soups, and gyoza and discovered that 7-11 has the world’s best corn dogs! Who knew?
Before our trip, the one food category that I was really looking forward to was Thai and it hasn’t disappointed. From Northern Thai with its soups and noodles to Southern Thai barbecue and satays, the food here has been amazing. And the common element has been fruit, particularly mango, whether in a smoothie or served with sticky rice and a drizzle of sweet coconut milk. And given how much we are loving the Thai food, we decided to take a class to learn to make it ourselves. We highly recommend Calm Cool Cooking if anyone is in the Chiang Mai area.
|We have all milked a cow before but never a coconut!|
|Carver and Erich took on the tricky task of skewering the pork satay.|
|Syarra is taste testing her pad thai. YUM!|
On Thursday we head into Malaysia for new culinary adventures. I’d love to hear about your favorite international cuisines?