Over the past couple of years I seem to have become a bit of a foodie, always on the hunt for something new to try and eager to experience local cuisines whenever I travel. I browse as many blogs, reviews and tips as possible, not just on what to see and do, but also on what to eat. I’ve noticed myself talking about, blogging about and taking pictures of food more and more often and my Instagram feed now seems to be filled with more photos of food than it is of travel (oops!)
So when Taylor Hearts Travel invited me to take part in the Taste of Travel competition by sharing our own delicious pick of a three course menu from around the world, well of course I would share my favourites with you!
The competition is run by Celebrity Cruises who have just been voted as Ocean Cruise Line of the Year in the 2014 Food and Travel Awards. I’ve been on a few cruises with my family, from mini cruises stopping at European cities to a New Year cruise around the tropical Caribbean islands, and, aside from all the food of course, cruises are a fantastic way to explore so many different places all in the one trip.
While the decision to take part in the competition was an obvious one, with so many wonderful delicacies all over the world, narrowing my decision down to just one dish per course was a whole lot harder. After a lot of drooling over memories of food from my travels, I hope my final menu makes all you other foodies drool too 🙂
Starter – Pierogi from Poland
For a scrumptious first course, I’ve gone for one of Poland’s most popular foods – pierogi. You can find these thinly rolled dumplings, stuffed with a variety of fillings, all over Poland and they really shouldn’t be missed out on. The tasty fillings range from potato, cheese, onions, meat and vegetables; pretty much anything can be stuffed inside making it full of flavour. There was always just enough on the plate to fill me up yet still leaving me wanting more. Pierogi can even be stuffed with sweet fillings although I wasn’t lucky enough to find a sweet one to try myself.
I’m not actually sure whether pierogi is supposed to be a starter or a main course but the food was so good in Poland that we wanted to try as many local dishes as possible so we chose to count ours as a starter!
Main Course – Thali from India
There really was no contest for me when it came to the main course. Thali is one of the most popular dishes in India and for very good reason. A huge round dish carrying lots of smaller dishes all filled with a range of local foods not only makes the presentation look amazing but it also gives you a taste of a whole range of local delicacies. The type of dishes in each thali differs across India but they were all just as scrumptious as the last and I have been on the search for one at home in London that is just as good but none quite match up to those in India.
I was extremely excited over the first thali I tried in a small locally run restaurant in Jaipur. The dishes were filled with typical North Indian cuisine including spicy creamy curries, chicken tikka, paneer and potato, with plenty of poppadums and roti to scoop up all the spicy sauce with.
The cuisine in South India is very different to that of the North, so the thali I had in Kerala came with a completely different range of dishes that were just as tasty. The meal came on a huge banana leaf which of course was, for me, cause for even more excitement. Flaky white kingfish, beetroot chutney and banana curry were among the dishes here, along with fresh vegetables, mint yoghurt and an Indian sweet. I usually hate both beetroot and banana at home but here they were so much fresher and sweeter and I gobbled the whole thing up until I was ready to burst!
Dessert – Waffles from Belgium
I’m the sort of person who will almost certainly always want dessert no matter how full I am from the previous courses. But when it comes to desserts when I travel it’s a little more difficult, as I’m allergic to nuts which means I have to be extremely careful and often I’d rather just be safe than sorry.
So when our noses caught the sweet warm smell of waffles being cooking in Belgium, knowing they were nut free, I pretty much ran to join the long queue. These waffles are, undoubtedly, the most amazing sweet treat I have ever had the pleasure of eating. Fresh sugary waffles with the softest warm centre and a crispy outer shell. Hot cherries sitting on top dribbled with cherry sauce and whipped cream. This was food porn at its best.
Drink – Inca Cola from Peru
Although a drink isn’t supposed to be included in this competition, I thought I’d include one anyway as I couldn’t possibly leave out the sweet deliciousness of Inca Cola from Peru. Tasting much like the extremely sweet cream soda we get in the UK, but bright neon yellow in colour, Inca Cola can be found everywhere in Peru just like normal Coca Cola is found everywhere else in the world. While we were travelling around the country we pretty much lived on it and so did almost every other person we met.
I’m hoping my menu has left you all drooling at my chosen dishes from around the world – I’ve certainly left myself drooling at the memories anyway!
Do you have a favourite dish from your travels? Let me know what you’d pick for your menu 🙂