Friday, 10 December 2010

Eat, Write, Win 1: USA, Italy & Croatia

Earlier this month I ran a competition in which I asked my readers to relate their most memorable food/drink experiences while travelling. 

The prize, generously donated by Lonely Planet, is a copy of Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2011.

Here are a selection of the entries, with more (and the winner!) to be announced next week...

1. Instant Omelette, from Jude Dodd

Not me, but a friend touring USA... was appalled by the food. One morning in a good hotel they offered to freshly cook her anything she wanted.

Thinking an omelette would be hard to ruin, she sat and watched them make it.

First, yellow powder into a plastic bag, followed by UHT milk. Shake. Into microwave, in the bag. Onto plate with a "tadaah" flourish, then covered with orange squeezy-tube cheese.

She asked for one with real eggs, twice, both times with the same response: "Sorry ma'am?"

Follow Jude's Twitter feed.

2. Microwave Madness, from Lynne Kelly

I have always loved Italian food. Although I was looking forward to a convention in Padua, the stopover in Venice beforehand was planned as three days of gastronomical overindulgence.

On the first day, we walked into the glorious Piazza San Marco for my first genuine Italian meal. We choose a table in the sun, and sipped the red wine. At the little booth nearby, we ordered focaccia, thick with lettuce and cheese.

They heated it - lettuce and all - in the microwave. 

Read Lynne's spider blog. 

3. Go Eat It on the Mountain, from Karen Graham

In 2007, I travelled to Croatia to spend two weeks volunteering at a brown bear refuge in the tiny village of Kuterevo [pictured above right]. The work included upgrading a pathway from the village to the mountaintop (known as Kopija). But there was also plenty of time for enjoying food and drink.

Kopija is a traditional place for the villagers to celebrate and we had a couple of memorable occasions atop the mountain. The first was a picnic for St Rok Day, where we dined on a feast of lamb and chicken cooked on a spit in the fire. Our camp leader tried to tempt us with the sheep’s head and one brave volunteer actually ate the eye.

While I passed on this delicacy, I did eat a traditional dish made with sheep’s heart and lungs (but only because the ingredients weren’t revealed until after we’d eaten). I’m not that adventurous when it comes to food!

The second occasion on Kopija was the farewell celebration of a long-term volunteer from Germany and her family treated us to a concert. It wasn’t just the food that was memorable; it was one of those surreal moments you sometimes have while travelling.

There I was, sitting with a group of volunteers (from various parts of the world) on a mountaintop in Croatia - where bears and wolves roam - listening to a German brass band. Simply unforgettable!

Read Karen's travel writing blog

Next week: Alpaca ribs in the High Andes of Peru... and I announce the winner. Be here! 

[Photo credit: by Roberta F. (Own work) CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons]