Oct 23, 2013

International culinary adventures!

Building on Sharon's post last week about culinary adventures, today I wanted to chat about international culinary adventures! Have you had any amazing food experiences while travelling?

Food market in Mexico
I'm definitely all about the food and wine when I visit somewhere new, so I'm blessed to have been able to sample some wonderful meals.

One of my "lifetime" highlights was a meal in the Rainbow Room at the top of the Rockfeller Centre in New York. It was a corporate function, and served buffet style, so my expectations were not high. And then I saw the sushi display... The colours, the variety... I wasn't sure if it was art, or food. And then I moved on to the carvery -- a very rare roast beef, served in thin slices with rye bread and mustard.

I'm drooling just thinking about it!

I also got a laugh, because as I was diving head first into the sashimi platter (not quite literally) I overheard a couple say to each other, "This food is awful! Why isn't any of it cooked?" I'm sure it's terribly rude that I just chuckled and thought to myself, More for me!

But not all culinary adventures turn out to be positive ones. The photo above is from a trip I did a few years ago to Mexico and Guatemala. It was a fantastic trip and so much of the food was wonderful. In almost every place we went to, as soon as you sit down a plate of sliced limes would be put in front of you.
There were more avocados available and served up than I've ever seen in my life. And mostly, the food was wonderful and all about fresh, zingy, delicious flavours.

BUT, then there was the dodgy tamale. I think it was from the food market that's pictured at the top of this post. You know how you kind of know something isn't right, even while you're eating it? Yeah. That.

It was a chicken tamale and really, I should have known better than to order chicken from a place that's probably not really taking care of that 'danger zone temperature' food handling practice. The dodgy tamale made my next few days in Mexico quiet ones, because I needed to stay pretty close to a bathroom. Luckily for me, once the nasty bugs had cleared my system I was able to get on with my trip and enjoy all that was on offer.

And, even better, that dodgy tamale (and my trip in its entirety) inspired my latest release, "Dance With Me", which starts off with Polly -- an Australian tourist -- running afoul of a Guatemalan market stall holder and having her own (albeit slightly more serious) experience with food poisoning.

Dance With Me is available now from Amazon. Tell me one of your travel-related food adventures (good or bad!) and I'll chose one lucky commenter to receive a free copy of Dance With Me.


  1. I'm with you, Emmie. Trying the food and wine while travelling in different countries is right up there. One of my favourite dishes while in France in June was the seafood paella in Nice. Absolutely delicious, and I raved for days. Have tried to emulate it but of course our fish is different.

  2. UGH on the tamale, Emmie! Poor you! Great use of your experience to torture your heroine though!

    We travelled in Nepal, did some days trekking and for the first few, my tummy was very very dodgy! I spent a lot of time eating very plain dahl which is a thick lentil soup until things settled down.

    I must say your feast at the Rockefeller Centre sounds delish! As does your latest release, Dance With Me!

  3. Emmie

    I have been on a couple of cruises and the food on board is just awesome and I loved all the things I tried whether it was at the buffet or the resaurant :) but we were warned to be very careful when on the Islands and seeing as how I really wanted to enjoy the cruise I steered clear of foon there although at one stop on Mystery Island you could buy fresh cooked lobsters for about $5 each and it was temping and after we got back to the boat the other passengers that did have them were not ill I so wished I had of tried them :)

    Have Fun

  4. That sounds like an amazing trip, Emmie. I'm like you. I love tasting new foods and wines.

    I had a very similar experience in Cappadocia in Turkey but with a Dolma. Very unpleasant.

  5. Emmie, isn't food while travelling fun? I remember eating fresh halva in Egypt so wonderful I all but licked it off the newspaper it was wrapped in (newspaper?) and home made rose petal jam in southern Turkey that made me think I'd gone to heaven. Bad experiences? A few but I remember the results more than the actual food in those cases. Let's not go there.

  6. Emmie, I just love the sound of "Dance with Me", but not so much your tamale experience!

    Two experiences spring to mind for me, one was the day my husband's aunt in Greece taught me how to make moussaka in her wood fired oven and it was indescribably good. The bad was a curry on an island in Thailand which my dh had collected at the early morning market and then we waited until lunchtime to eat...very nasty.

  7. eating pastries in France

  8. I've been lucky to never run foul of any overseas food experiences but I am the quintessential "safe" traveler. Third world countries aren't even on my bucket list - I'm a big fat fraidy cat :-)
    I adored the food and wine on the Amalfi coast in Italy. What I love about Italy is how provincial the food is in all the restaurants. Gives you a real feel for the area! And oh my Basil! I fell in love with basil!

  9. Hi Emmie- man, I love food and trying different cuisine around the world is my favourite hobby!! I've had a few dodgy experiences but some amazing ones too. I don't think I could even try to say which was my favorite meal- but I did love everything in Italy, just about everything in Greece and only started to get bored of curry for breakfast lunch and dinner towards the end of our Indian adventure!

    I love the sound of Dance With Me - so much so I just bought it! Can't wait to dive right in!

  10. Oh, I loved the beer in Munich...and the bratwurst. :-) And I had a fondue in Switzerland which made the chef at the hotel I was staying at so happy. :-) Mind you, he returned the favour.

    I think one of the joys of travelling is sampling the local food. That said, I don't envy you the tamale experience.

  11. I really haven't traveled very far from the US, but I did enjoy some garlic ice-cream at a food fair. :)

    Marcy Shuler