|Fresh peppers in a Croatian market|
Of course, I do have a few favorites from my own travels and am always interested in hearing the recommendations of others. While I don't generally pick my destinations solely on the basis of their food, I'll admit that it does play a part! So, how does my list stack up against Lonely Planet's? Well, here it is for your perusal:
|Maltese sausage and rabbit|
|Squid Pasta in Malta|
|Truffle and wild mushroom pizza in an Istrian hill town|
|Almond Cake in Venice|
|Chipirones in Santiago de Compostella|
Finland: It's been nearly ten years since I was there but I still remember the fresh berries, excellent, dense breads and the licorice. Oh, the licorice. For black licorice lovers, Finland is a must-visit destination!
Great Britain: A lot of nasty things have been said about British food, but there are some dishes that can hold their own, even amongst international circles. Yorkshire Pudding, roast potatoes, lamb and mint and Stilton cheese are just a few standouts. I also think there's a lot to be said for Cadburys chocolate and iconic British puds (i.e. desserts) like Victoria Sponge Cake, cream teas and sticky toffee pudding. Healthy? No. Delicious? Oh yes.
Uganda: My first passionfruit experience occurred here, and it was revelatory. What amazed me was that apples were treated as a fresh-fruit commodity while passionfruit was, literally, a dime a dozen! Another memorable food moment was fresh-caught, grilled-before-my-eyes tilapia on the shores of Lake Victoria. I also loved all the North African influences, as demonstrated by the use of curry and the street vendors selling chapati at all hours. Mmmm, street food.
Germany: Schnitzel, rye bread, white asparagus, fried carp, liver dumplings and Lebkuchen, just to name a few. Keep reading long enough and all of these will probably make an appearance on the blog!
Phew! After listing a large chunk of the countries I've visited, I guess the real lesson here is that I just love food and am able to find favorites wherever my travels take me. For me, that's one of the most important things to remember about foreign food; it may seem intimidating, but there's usually something for everyone and the best way to find your something is to be open to trying everything. Maybe I'm just too easily pleased, but I believe you can't go wrong with Andrew Zimmern's maxim from Bizzare Foods: "If it looks good, eat it!"
What food discoveries have you made on your travels? What do you think about Lonely Planet's Best Foods breakdown? Would any of my countries make your list?