Good Food.

Dec 8, 2013 by

Ah, it’s finals season, and do you want to know how to really tell? Come have a look at my fridge, kitchen and cupboards. I’ve been eating salmon out of the can and cooking up packaged noodles. I’ve been thawing out perogies and soups I made weeks ago and stored in the freezer. I’m throwing any fresh stuff I have left in a big pot and hoping I can call it soup. I’m eating handfuls of peanuts and crackers and resorting to canned soup for simplicity. What can I say? It’s nothing but high class, first rate luxury around here.

In working on a collaborative post this week, I was reminded of some of the more memorable meals I had during my summer travels around the world. Unlike the forgettable grub from Mongolia, this stuff left an impression. In light of my current depressing student meal plan status, here are some of my favourite meals from this summer.

St. Martin, French Caribbean

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I found a delightful little French restaurant in Grand Case. It was a bit expensive, but it was my first official night in the Caribbean on my own, and I’d just had an arduous day getting to my destination. That, and I was really freaking happy, and what better way to celebrate that than to eat ones feelings?

The evening started with a rum punch, was followed by lobster bisque and French bread with butter, and I ended with the scallops pictured above. It was totally worth it, and I was so satisfied that I didn’t even want to look at the dessert menu, even if I’d had room. Feelings had been satisfactorily devoured.

Saba

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This combination of having gone diving all day and unwinding with new friends, all the Presidentes we could want and hot fish stew was unbeatable. I’m a huge fan of soups and stews, and this one was excellent.

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The menu did nothing for this sandwich. When I think of “chicken sandwich” I think of cold chicken salad, chopped into pieces and mixed with a depressing mayonnaise-based sauce and maybe some onions. I took my chances when I ordered a chicken sandwich, and oh boy, am I glad I did. In life, every now and then, we are lucky to be graced with the presence of a sandwich that is unforgettable, mouthwatering, delicious, succulent and downright life changing. This particular sandwich was all of these things.

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And just a little shout-out to all the Presidentes that kept me hydrated and entertained during my stay in the Caribbean.

Anguilla

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I have loads of photos of the food I ate in Anguilla, but I will save those for a separate post. Let’s just say there was a chef flown in from New York and ALL THE INDIAN FOOD.

Keflavik, Iceland

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We were jet lagged, disoriented, and famished. We walked into town and found a bakery, stocked up on various baked goods and dug in. This was most definitely a good life choice. I mean, just look at that face.

Reykjavik, Iceland

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We had just hitchhiked from Keflavik to Reykjavik with no breakfast to fuel us. We checked into our airbnb accommodation, played with the host’s little chihuahuas and got jacked up on the cappuccinos he made us. When we finally went out to explore and locate some sustenance, Saj and I were both getting desperate. The solution? Find the first, relatively inexpensive place we could and jump on it. This place ended up being an Italian restaurant with a preset meal option – ours came with bruschetta and cannelloni and a coffee. This was so superb and wallet-friendly that we went back again for more.

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As I’m going through my photos, I’m reminded of all the great things I ate, and some of them are stand-alone stories, so sit tight. This food jerk is brewing up some good stuff to tease your salivary glands. Buahaha!

 

Madrid, Spain

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Oh. My. God.

Goat cheese salad.

And that is all I will say.

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Pulpo a feira – this was a new one for me. Boiled octopus, sprinkled with paprika and salt and served with potatoes. I was surprised by how much I liked it, and I would definitely order this again. This is a dish that I haven’t forgotten and won’t anytime soon.

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And I don’t really know why I like this one so much. This was a dish that a friend introduced me to when I lived in Madrid back in 2011. Warm, toasted white bread. Olive oil for drizzling (liberally, if you ask me). Tomato sauce for slathering. What’s not to love? It sounds so simple, but it’s such a magical combination.

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Oh yeah, and a shout-out to all the cafe con leche. I drink a lot of this in Spain.

London, England

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Fish and chips. Because it’s England, guys. Please.

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Also, there may or may not have been some day drinking happening, and that’s always fun.

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Also, traditional English breakfast. Because it’s England, guys. Please.

Greenwich, England

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Oh yeah, these dumplings. Handmade right before our eyes. Sadly, I dropped one on the floor after I took a bite out of it. It will never be forgotten. Let’s all take a moment to remember the dumpling.

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Burgers, fries in a mug… and my cousin’s charming face. The dumplings only whet our appetite, so we found a pub. Problem solved.

Hong Kong

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I’m skipping from Europe all the way to Asia. I can’t even open the black hole of photos that is my trip through Russia and Siberia to find an example of something yummy I ate. My mum emailed me a photo of a meal she was having at a banquet in Edmonton this summer: steak leaning nonchalantly on a pile of soft and creamy mashed potatoes, with the accompanying friends of asparagus hanging out alongside, skipping physics class and just the right amount of gravy at their feet. I replied to her email, “Jerk!” and she responded, “I take it you’re not eating well?”

“No! No, I’m not eating well.”

I don’t know why my food situation took such a nosedive in Russia, but by the time I got to Hong Kong and was served up big piles of satisfying noodles, meat and vegetables, I could have sworn I’d died and gone to a better place. Well, I definitely had gone to a better place, a place where the food was actually good.

In Russia, I mostly looked like this…

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…but we’ll save that for another day.

 

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39 Comments

  1. That last photo is priceless! I will admit that just from these pictures Russian food looked like it could not compare. Good luck in finals, I am in finals season too. Isn’t it fun? Can’t wait to read your next post.

    • Colleen

      Thank you for your well wishes. Good luck to you too! I’m definitely looking forward to being done exams.

  2. Hilarious descriptions and that final photo is just so pitiful. Note to self, if I go to Russia I’ll pack snacks as well.

    • Colleen

      I don’t know if it was just bad luck or what. By about midway through the trip we opted for buying vegetables at the store and making our own salads.
      Yes, pack snacks!

  3. Zhu

    Food in the UK is surprisingly good now. It was a bit of a joke for us, French, in the 1990s. But since, UK has embraced multiculturalism and somehow got into food, and traditional specialties (fish and chips done right, English breakfast and much more) plus Indian food Chinese food, etc. made it a great place to sample food.

    I am not a huge fan of HK food, I like Northern Chinese food better (less meat, less oil, more “bread-y” stuff like stuffed bread, dumplings, etc.). Still, it’s pretty good! Singapore was my foodie paradise. A great mix of Indian, Chinese and international food done very well!

    • Colleen

      Ooo I love hearing about places like Singapore. Can’t wait to visit one day, if for nothing else but to eat.

  4. Sam

    Oh, the poor dumpling. I feel your pain! (By the way it’s Greenwich, not Greenwhich. Sorry, I can’t help myself.)

    • Colleen

      Haha that’s weird because I know that it’s Greenwich! I blame the exam brain. And don’t apologize. I appreciate someone who has the balls to call someone out on such a typo!

  5. Lauren

    I guess I’ll have to have your exam schedule so I can come and cook some things to keep you alive and not reaching for the ramen noodles!

  6. I am totally drooling! YUM!!!

  7. Can you please not post delicious food photos when my effing propane runs out AND the electricity is out and I’ve been eating peanut butter out of the jar for 2 days just to stay alive. Kthx. Also, I totally poured one out for your dumpling. That is just tragic. I have been known to be on the verge of tears after dropping delicious food…I will blame this on my deep and sincere love of food, and not on my 3 year old inner self.

    • Colleen

      Haha I take zero pity on you! I am starving too. AND I don’t live in the Caribbean.
      I think… let’s face it. It was for our inner 3 year old selves that we felt sadness at the loss of my dear, departed dumpling. Let’s be real.

  8. Ahh food posts!! Right now, I want those scallops. And the bread and cafe con leche. And those Hong Kong noodles. Also, I have a serious dumpling addiction. Like… serious. I think I need to travel to Asia (I’ve never been) just to get my fill.

    • Colleen

      Food posts are the most fun. And you’ve got good taste because you picked out some of my faves from this post! I also have a deep love for dumplings… one of the main attractants for me to go back to Asia slash see more of Asia. The dumplings.

  9. Hahaha this was hilarious. So sorry about Russa/Mongolia and I feel your pain with not eating well during finals, I’m trying to finish eating what’s in my kitchen too before I move out and it’s just painful and sad. Seaweed soup and… fried fish filet? With rice?

    IT’S ALMOST OVER! (And maybe this is just Korea talking, but that octopus dish looks heavenly…)

    • Colleen

      Isn’t kitchen clearing the WORST. I am resisting the urge to buy groceries (which is aided by the fact that I don’t really have time, thanks 6 final exams) just so that I don’t have to throw anything away when I go home for Christmas.
      And… yup, that octopus was tasty. Any plans to go to Madrid in the near future? I’d gladly meet you there for an octopus party.

  10. Cough cough cough I just chocked on my saliva! Mmmmm so much deliciousness should come with a warning sign. Scallops and Octopus are my weakness.
    I’m glad to see Greenwich Market made it onto your list, I live a 15-minute walk away and can never resist buying a treat for myself when I go past.

    P.S. I love making soup too, I throw lentils into almost everything.

    • Colleen

      That’s so cool that you live so close to the market. It was such a great spot. I’d love to go back!
      Oh, and lentils in soup, YUM.

  11. LOL to the Russia picture, Colleen! You know I love me some food posts always! I would pretty much like a sampler plate of each dish, please? The scallops and bisque look heavenly. Dumplings…yes please! And I’ve got to, GOT TO, make an English breakfast one of these days! My stomach is at a low roar of wanting it all now. Deliciousness abound! 🙂

    • Colleen

      Mike, I would also like a sampler plate of all of the above. I’m such a starving student, haha!
      Let me know how the English breakfast goes!

  12. Ah! Cafe con leche all the way! Good luck with finals!!

    • Colleen

      Isn’t that stuff great? I so miss it.
      And thank you for your encouragement!

  13. I love your facial expression in front of the Russian food, it made me smile. The Iceland bakery experience sounds like heaven to me, I simply LOVE any kind of bakery and I’d happily try everything I come across, hang on, I’m already doing that 🙂

    • Colleen

      This bakery was fantastic. I didn’t know what any of the stuff we asked for was, but it was all tasty and put us in great moods for the afternoon!

  14. I was very sad today having to make do with just cereal for breakfast and then I come across this food porn post, most notably the English breakfast that teased me so. It looks like you had some incredible eats although your face in the Russia pic is priceless though!

    • Colleen

      Yes… having posts like this at my disposal is an easy way to be disappointed in my depressing student-life meals. And just you wait for the Russia post…

  15. Omg I know, how good is the food in Iceland?! I wasn’t expecting much since I have lived and travelled in other Scandinavian countries and just hated the food, so I expected it to be similar. Looks like you had a great summer of travel. I love the reference to Perogies 🙂 So yum.

    • Colleen

      I was so surprised by the food in Iceland! And boy was I glad for that.
      Also, the perogies I’m talking about are the REAL DEAL – handmade stuff from southern Ontario farmer’s markets. Ugh, life changing.

  16. I hope the finals are going well—you’re almost done and can soon start enjoying your much deserved holiday break!

    I was always thankful that I did my undergrad in Toronto and was just a 30-minute drive from my parents… come exam time, my mom would come down from work and bring me all these individually packed home-cooked meals she had made for me which sure beat the heck out of the canned/frozen stuff I would have had to rely upon otherwise!

    In other news, now you’ve made me REALLY want to go back to Hong Kong. I don’t think it matters where you’re arriving from when you land there—gorging yourself on Cantonese cuisine is ALWAYS the right choice! 😀

    • Colleen

      Yes! One exam left… I just CANNOT wait. I’m so ready for a bit of freedom. Actually, I don’t know if I will be able to stand myself when the time finally comes.
      I’m so jealous you were so close to your mumma during school. My mum has come to visit a couple times and cooked up a storm for me… but if she were 30 minutes away, I’m sure I’d have her over all the time!
      And YES to going back to Hong Kong. I had a really great time there (and the food was fab too!).
      x

  17. Colleen, I am drooling…. Can’t wait when we’ll be able to attach smells and tastes to our photos 😉

  18. That has been definitely a year of good food for you Colleen! I don’t drink beer, but love to have some different coffees when traveling. As you, I’m a huge fan of soups and stews and the one you had looked so yummy although I would not have it on a white bread :). These pancakes AWWWWWW look so good!

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