Travelling and trying out local cuisines are two very tightly connected aspects. And, on my travels, I really like to discover not only new countries, but to check out their traditional meals too. Usually I vote for good restaurants with good food and good ambient. But at the same time I am not against trying something extremely simple, like a street food in Morocco. As well I adore being a guest in homes of locals where they can prepare traditional home-made dishes. Curiosity to try something new plays a big role in my life, so one thing I never do while travelling – I never cook by myself.
During 2013 I tried many meals in different countries, so decided to make a list of them. Here are the winners of the year in various categories. By the way, I am vegetarian so meat options for my readers are not available.
“No.1 of the year”
Chia seeds. For every occasion in life.
“Ingredients of the year”
Rice. I was enjoying various types of Italian risotto, tried Senegalese and Iranian rice dishes, learned how to cook traditional Sicilian rice balls and really didn’t get bored by this white edible treasure.
“Discovery of the year” Kaunas, Lithuania
If speaking frankly, despite the fact that I am vegetarian, I never admired a raw food. For me it seemed like tasteless. But now I understand that the problem of raw dishes, which I tried before, was just a bad chef who made them: when I tasted this type of food prepared by good hands – simply fell in love. Check my new beloved place, named “Raw Inn“, if you’ll come to Kaunas one day.
“Fusion No.1” Sliema, Malta
Deep fried tofu with sour-sweet soya sauce, tried in Japanese restaurant in the promenade of Sliema.
“The closest to the nature” Castagno D’Andrea, Italy
In October we packed our stuff and went for chestnut hunting in the forests of Tuscany. After picking we immediately baked them in the fireplace. From nature in the nature. When you are a city kid every simple runaway to the woods becomes very exotic.
“The most holidayish” Corniglia, Italy
Selection of Italian bruschette with various locally made spreads and always so refreshing Spritz cocktail in one of Cinque Terre towns called Corniglia.
“The best pizza in the world”, Naples, Italy
It was definitely one, that I tried while visiting Naples. And probably that’s not surprising, because pizza as a dish born exactly there. Just it was so good smelling, so good looking, so good tasting, that nobody thought about taking a picture of it. For an illustration I used a picture of pizza made by pizzaiolo napoletano in Florence…
“The best refreshment on the hot summer day” Naples, Italy
Without any doubts the winner is sweety-icy lemon granita.
“The most elegant sweet treaty to enjoy together with coffee” Padova, Italy
When I am ordering Marrons Glacés which are candied chestnuts, I am always feeling very refined. When I’m ordering it, when I am saying its name, when I am having it on my table or when I am taking a small bite of it, I am always wearing imaginary black net gloves, black hat and black veil, covering my face.
Or what can be better than a sweet moment of pleasure with lovely cupcake in London rush?
“The strangest dolce of the year” Florence, Italy
Pasta with three types of sweet gelato: tomatoes, basil and pecorino cheese.
“Drink of the year” Fez, Morocco
Mint Moroccan tea, traditionally served already sweetened.
“The most heartwarming” Warsaw, Poland
The gingerbreads, bought in Chopin airport while waiting for the transferring flight.
“The strangest fruit of the year” Malta
Prickly pear or Cactus fruit. I really wanted to say that it has potential to be my new favourite one, but unfortunately I tried once and I am not sure if I would like to taste it again.
“The worst of the year” Madrid, Spain
Even if I loved Madrid so much, but unfortunately traditional fried dough pastry churro surprised me in an opposite way. This so-called Spanish doughnut, eaten for breakfast, had nothing in common with romantic French croissants or Italian brioches. Maybe I tried churro in a wrong place, but I don’t know if I would give a second chance for it…
by Gintarė Adamonytė