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
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.
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.
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.
And just a little shout-out to all the Presidentes that kept me hydrated and entertained during my stay in the Caribbean.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Oh. My. God.
Goat cheese salad.
And that is all I will say.
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.
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.
Oh yeah, and a shout-out to all the cafe con leche. I drink a lot of this in Spain.
Fish and chips. Because it’s England, guys. Please.
Also, there may or may not have been some day drinking happening, and that’s always fun.
Also, traditional English breakfast. Because it’s England, guys. Please.
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.
Burgers, fries in a mug… and my cousin’s charming face. The dumplings only whet our appetite, so we found a pub. Problem solved.
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…
…but we’ll save that for another day.