What travel/food blog posted on December 31st would be complete without a round-up of the author’s favorite foods from the year? Not this one! So here they are, my top food photos from my travels this year. Conspicuously absent are all of the spießbraten, bratwurst, schnitzel, and kartoffelpuffers that I ate at the Christmas markets this year because none of them lasted long enough to be captured…maybe next year.
When I first started researching Normandy for our trip, I came across Lonely Planet’s description of the area’s gastronomy: “Two ingredients sum up Norman cuisine: salted butter and soft cheese.” Umm, I’m sold. “You’ll often see dishes served à la norrmande in Normandy, which basically means they’ll be served with a sauce made with butter, cream or cheese (sometimes even a combination of all three).” Heaven! I was already excited to visit Normandy because of the area’s rich World War II history and it’s proximity to Mont Saint Michel, but mix in butter, cheese, and cream, and I was on cloud 9 before I even arrived! Is there anything better than butter? Maybe cheese. Is there anything better than cheese? Maybe butter. Worthy competitors, but when their powers combine….
Last weekend S and I were lucky enough to travel with a few friends to the stunning and fascinating city of Istanbul. As I wrote here, our favorite thing about traveling is exploring the local culture through its food. After four days of non-stop eating, Istanbul’s culture quickly made its way to into our hearts through our stomachs and now ranks among our favorites. I guess when a city has such beautiful architecture and a Bosphorus view, the food has to work extra hard to compete, and Istanbul’s food is certainly a worthy opponent.
Everyday in Istanbul, my senses were dazzled with an enchanting mixture of East and West: the sights of the mighty Bosphorus, ancient mosaics, and painted tiles; the sounds of the call to prayer and street musicians; the smells of roasting chestnuts and spinning lamb döner; and the tastes of exotic spices mixed with yogurt, meats, seafood, and dried fruits. To me, this eclectic mix of East and West, old and new, was simply irresistible.