I adore traveling. I know there are those who fear flying, hate security lines, can’t stand packing, blah blah blah, but I love it – even the airplane part. One of my absolute favorite things about traveling is the chance to try new kinds of food.
As I’ve already mentioned, I lived in London for three months while studying abroad, and I think it was during that time that I really started to enjoy eating good food, because there was a chance to eat something new or different literally every day. Not that this food was always the most…refined, but most of it was undeniably delicious.
There was the night that my flatmates and I vehemently argued about what a “Smartie” was, which ended with me Google-imaging “CANDY SMARTIES” and the Brits running to the grocery store on the corner to buy me their version of the same candy (like big M&M’s instead of the chalky little candies we have here). Or the first time I was handed a red beer (cider, beer, and concentrated black currant juice) and fell in love.
In Dublin, I unknowingly ate blood pudding every morning for breakfast and loved it – I didn’t actually find out what it was until years later. I tried Guinness, one of the best beers ever, for the first time at the Guinness factory, and Jameson for the first time at the Distillery. The only two foods I ate in Brussels were frites and Belgian waffles (Literally. I got one out of a vending machine before I even picked up my baggage). And I swear to you, my life was not complete before espresso, gelato, Peccorino cheese, and gnocchi in Roma. Or crepes in Paris. Or brie. Or McVities (I still kick myself for not bringing these home with me).
I’ll stop there, since I’m now starving and to be honest – I just ate lunch.
My point is, travelling, for me, is not just about seeing the sites or not having to work for 4 days (but still, yay for that) – it’s about experiencing the culture of another country, city, or region…and my favorite way to do that is through food!
Why am I yammering on about travelling? Because next week Boyfriend and I are off to New Orleans! We’re going for four nights with another couple and can I just tell you how incredibly excited I am!? Since I’ve never been (and because I’m a nerd and was an English major in college), I bought a book about NOLA to make sure I did everything I wanted to in the short time we’ll be there. Boyfriend was with me when I started reading the book:
“Is that your New Orleans book?”
“How did you read that much of it already?”
“I didn’t…this is the section I started with.”
“It’s the food part isn’t it?”
Needless to say, Cafe du Monde is on the to-do list for the beignets (even though I’m not a big fan of donuts in general) and cafe au lait, and I’m sure the boys will eat more than their fair share of muffalettas and po’ boys. And man, am I excited to eat some Jambalaya and drink Sazarecs. I’ve been taking restaurant and bar recommendations from anyone who will give them, and in addition to my travel guide, I have a lengthy Word doc listing everything that isn’t in the book. I don’t think we’ll be sleeping much in those four days and I know we’ll come back broke, but ready or not,
NEW ORLEANS, HERE WE COME!