One of the reasons that I travel is for the food. There I said it. Yes, I enjoy the cycling. And yes I enjoy the views, the villages and discovering new places, but truth be told: high on the my list of favorite things to do while traveling is eating. I find that it’s one of the best ways to learn a little more about a country or region I’m in. The fact that I like to ride a bike has its distinct advantages. Burning calories all day while riding makes the daily food indulgences less of a guilty pleasure and more of an gastronomic adventure with something new at every turn.
While out riding the other day, I was struck with a thought: What if I could combine my favorite elements of the meals in each of the countries that In Situ visits, into one glorious day of food. What would I choose? And what would I choose for each meal? This isn’t about cramming everything I could into one gluttonous 24 hour period, but rather what do I enjoy most at each of the meals? Now this may sound a bit silly to some of you reading this. What exactly do I mean by combining food items from different countries? Well, it stems from conversations I have with friends about what country has the best (fill in the blank)? For example, I tend to think that France makes some of the best salads (Salade Niçoise, Salade de Chèvre Chaud, etc.), while neighboring Italy tends to fall woefully short when it comes to their salads.
So what would I eat? Here’s my list of the the “Perfect Day of Food”.
- Cappuccino (Italy)
- Pain au Chocolat (France)
- Croissant (France)
- Grainy Breads (Germany)
- Yoghurt (Germany)
- Serrano Ham (Spain)
- Fresh Fruit (France)
- Pasta, any and all (Italy, of course)
- Salade de Chèvre Chaud (France)… this warm goat cheese salade is perhaps my all time favorite. Goat cheese, honey, nuts over some fresh greens. Yum.
- Espresso (Italy) … nothing quite hits the spot like an Italian espresso after a good meal.
Afternoon/Early Evening Snack
- Tapas (Spain) … if you’re going to eat late anyway, this is the BEST idea to tide you over until dinner. And no one does it quite like they do in Basque Country.
- Wine (France) … something from the Côtes du Rhone perhaps? This might be a point of contention for some that I chose a French wine, but I love how balanced and how well many French wines go with your meal. Not too overpowering and not too weak.
- Beer (Germany) … If you’re drinking beer, this is a no brainer: Germany, of course.
- Entrecote (Spain) … ok, no jokes about Spanish beef! They know how to cook a steak!
- Veggies (Italy) … A contorno such as grilled zucchini or eggplant with good olive oil. Simple and perfect.
- Dessert (France) … no one does dessert quite like the French, unless of course you’re talking about Gelato
- Gelato (Italy) … why can’t others make it this good?
So there you go, that’s what I’d eat if could have some of my favorite foods all combined into one place. Now the good thing that they are NOT all in one country/region is that it gives me even more reason to travel!
What would you eat (and from where) if you made the perfect day’s menu?