Those of you who have been following along will have realised by now that food is probably my favourite aspect of travel. I love eating what the locals eat and tasting the speciality dishes of the country or region, be it the street food stand everyone lines up for or that restaurant-of-the-moment where the chef is pushing the boundaries and giving the cuisine they know and love a modern spin.
I really enjoy going to museums and breathtaking churches but I equally enjoy walking through the aisles of a foreign supermarket- is that weird? I love taking in the views of a city and just getting lost in the streets soaking up the atmosphere of everyday life, but I’m also always on the look out for a bite to eat in those streets. Food can tell you a lot about a country’s culture and heritage; this may be through the story behind a certain dish, the produce most frequently used or even the styles of fusion food which have developed. But while all this is true, at the end of the day, I eat because I enjoy good food!
When the lovely Frankie, also known as The Mayfairy, nominated me to whip up my own Celebrity Cruises Taste of Travel Menu, I thought it would be pretty easy. I was wrong. I have eaten so much wonderful food on my travels so far that I have been umming and aahing about it for the last couple of hours, but here goes…
Starter – Sushi
My love for this delicate morsel of rice, (usually raw) fish, and nori in all its forms is well documented. To me, perfectly made sushi demonstrates the power of simple flavours and the best quality ingredients, traits which are sometimes lost when everyone is trying to impress with their whiz-bang techniques and hybrid ingredients.
I’ve eaten sushi all over the world, both low and high end, and as long as the fish is fresh and the rice is well seasoned, I don’t care where it’s from. But despite the hundreds of maki and nigiri I’ve consumed there is one goal I am yet to achieve and that is to actually eat sushi in Japan- you can probably imagine my excitement levels when that day finally arrives!
Main – Steak Tartare
The words ‘I could murder a steak’ have passed through my lips many a time, I just love a well seasoned piece of beef cooked medium-rare, erring on the side of rare, well actually if it came blue, I’d eat it too. You get the idea, I like things pretty pink and sometimes still kicking so it may surprise you to know that I only had my first steak tartare experience about a year ago at Carnevino in The Venetian, Las Vegas. Like the restaurant itself, this dish was rich, traditional and decadent. I was smitten. Since that first bite, I feel like I’ve been making up for lost time and have most recently enjoyed a steak tartare in Avignon, Toulouse, and Cantinho do Avillez in Lisbon.
Dessert – Huecoco from L’Eegs, Barcelona
I have a sweet tooth so dessert is generally a must-eat course. I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to a sweet treat, aside from a creme brulee, I’ll be happy with anything involving ice cream, cake, mousse, chocolate, fruit, biscuit, caramel… and bonus points if it looks pretty!
Of all the amazing desserts I’ve scoffed down, the one that stands out due to it’s quirkiness and tastiness is the ‘huecoco’ or ‘cocoegg’ with mango and chocolate from L’Eggs in Barcelona. A wonderfully thin white chocolate egg shell encompassing a light coconut mousse with mango jelly ‘yolks’, served with mango ice cream and coconut ‘bread’ bits- this was a playful take on egg and soldiers, delivered with style and sweetness!
So there are the 3 courses which will always succeed in getting my tastebuds tingling! This menu definitely won’t win prizes for continuity, though it seems raw foods are trending right now so perhaps…
The Celebrity Cruises #tasteoftravel competition closes tomorrow so it’s probably a tad too late to nominate anyone, but hey that doesn’t mean you can’t reminisce about the glorious food you’ve eaten on your travels. I warn you, it might make you very hungry but on the bright side it could inspire some new cooking experiments or travel plans!