As you know, we are celebrating our 1st we-left-Dubai anniversary. Birthdays usually involve cakes (at least where I am from), but we’d rather present you with the full meal!
Let’s remember what the year was like… on our plates!
IT’S FOOD TIME!
We started off in ETHIOPIA. I wasn’t a fan of injera, but got to develop a taste for it once I got to have the real deal! I particularly liked Ethiopian vegetarian platters, as the meaty ones tend to be quite heavy!
Afterwards we went to INDIA and you know how you tend to take less photos when you are familiar with things? That’s exactly what happened! Still, here’s a little tribute to the one thing we are truly addicted to: chai!
Believe it or not, we didn’t take a single food photo while in London, UK – shame on us! I do remember having a delicious pizza overlooking the River Thames and Ashray has quite fond memories of fish and chips.
Welcome to PORTUGAL – I am a very proud Portuguese person when it comes to food! Here are some of the delicious things we had during our stay in my motherland:
When we reached SPAIN, the land of tapas, we obviously got our kicks!
MEXICO was, hands down, one of the best countries we visited food wise – if not THE best! The moment we crossed the Atlantic ocean, we were in love with the rich, spicy flavors of Mexican cuisine. In Mexico, your taste buds wake up fully starting with the very first meal of the day!
After what you’ve seen above, it would be hard for any country to match the level of taste that Mexico delivers in every dish. CUBA wasn’t particularly memorable food-wise. The shortages that this country undertakes affect even their cuisine: there is a lack of ingredients and seasonings. But they do have something very good going for them, and that is fresh ingredients!
COSTA RICA is well known for it’s typical dish “casado”. Casados present on the same plate a combination of rice, black beans, chicken/beef/fish or mixed vegetables, salad and fried softened plantain. Sometimes, it might include a fried egg, but most commonly not. For me, this is the best combination a traveler could ever wish for: a place full of flavor, energy and variety!
While in Costa Rica, we came across a restaurant serving INDIAN FOOD. Oh my!… we couldn’t pass on the opportunity of eating some roti and tandoori delicacies! Surprisingly, this was very, very good! Funny enough, the restaurant would only serve Indian food for dinner but the chef was happy to make an exception and heat up the tandoor just for us… what a privilege!
To fly from Costa Rica to Brazil, we took a flight via MEXICO CITY, where we ended up spending 13 beautiful gastronomic hours. It felt like going back home, and food was a big part of it!
After one day in BRAZIL, we knew we were in beef-land! That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, once our friend Dushi, beef lover if there is one in this world, came to visit. Good rodizzio places were SO expensive, that we ended up trying this buffet of grilled meats served at your table at a very so-so place. It was our mistake as we could have had a much better experience. During Carnival in Salvador da Bahia, we had the following:
ECUADOR was a refreshing change in our palates after Brazil. We had arrived to the land of fruits! If it’s true that in Brazil we experienced some of the tastiest fresh fruit juices I had ever tasted, in Ecuador we got to try even more new fruits, for me, “exotic frutis”.
When you have so many new things, sometimes even rather rustic preparations, things can get boring. As adventurous as one might be, sometimes you’re not in the mood for experimentation and you just crave something familiar. That’s when you go for what I’d like to call “city food”:
I love fresh tuna steaks and the GALAPAGOS ISLANDS stole my heart on this one – apart from their beautiful landscapes and wildlife, of course! Staying at the Red Mangrove Hotel we got to enjoy their restaurant multiple times. Their cuisine is a fusion of Ecuadorian and Asian – absolutely brilliant!
Finally in CHILE, we got ourselves an apartment in Santiago for 5 weeks. Having a place with a kitchen meant that I could do some cooking – not only were we missing home-made food, I was actually dying to do some cooking. Here are some of the dishes prepared in our Lastarria home:
After a couple of weeks in Santiago de Chile, our friend Ayush arrived from India and brought with him a festival of INDIAN FLAVORS: tea leaves, masalas, salty snacks like bhujia and masala chips and even some parathas his Mom was kind enough to make and wrap for us.
Santiago de Chile, like most big cities, is good, food-wise as it makes available a variety of restaurants, cuisines, influences… not only we had CHILEAN FOOD, but also Indian, Korean, Sushi… It is this kind of variety and availability that makes me think I have to live in a city. I am too driven by cravings to limit myself to a place with “local” kind of food only.
And so in CHILE, we also fell in love with red wine…
As we went South in Chile, towards PATAGONIA, it was time for fresh seafood:
Still, we never forgot about desert!…
In EASTER ISLAND (aka Rapa Nui), was time to enjoy fresh island tuna… again! I couldn’t be happier!
A country that knows how to eat well is a country that wins my heart very easily. PERU was extremely successful at that!
Let’s see what our intro to Peruvian cuisine was like, in Arequipa:
Leaving the coastal region and going towards the ANDES mountains, the cuisine varies a lot, consisting in heavier more caloric preparations:
Again in LIMA we had an apartment for almost a week, which allowed us to do some home cooking:
When we weren’t eating at home in Lima, we were again digging into some “CITY FOOD:”
Food in the AMAZON had nothing to do with in the rest of Peru. Almost anything that crawls in the jungle can be eaten. We didn’t have such extreme preparations such as armadillo stew, grilled lizards and the likes, but we did have some simpler, nevertheless yummy dishes, like the ones below:
And so one year of food comes to an end!
I love food and I love eating and I do believe that, same as music, eating brings people together! It’s just one of those things, like breathing or sleeping, that we all do, no matter where in the world.
Food tells so much of the history and culture of a place that, without the gastronomic experience, traveling wouldn’t be complete!