Monday, September 26, 2005

Best meals

Because i'm ruled by my belly and i get lots of pleasure from eating and drinking

1. Wine tasting
One night my cousin's husband took me wine tasting in small winery on a hill. To prepare our stomachs we ate lamb off the spit, raw onions, fresh bread and drank red wine; all outside by the vines just pawing at food with our hands, getting all greasy.I tried telling dirty jokes in a foriegn language but i believe alot was lost in translation and my limited vocab. It was all very manly.
We then siphoned wine straight from the barrels to taste. This particular winery specialed in white, which I'm not that keen on so i was not impressed until i tasted ice wine. It's wine made from frozen grapes and therefore not made in Australia and it was awesome, like a reisling with a more rounded sweetness and smoother finish.

2. Spaghetti with Scampi
We stayed in the smallest village in Cinque Terre (northwest coast of italy) and in the town centre next to our apartment was a little resturant. We had dinner there a couple of nights because it was convenient and they made really good food(though laziness was the main motivator). I like seafood in pasta but usually in resturants they serve it in a rose or cream sauce which i'm not that enamoured by, at home i make spaghetti vongole, but thats just cockles, olive oil and garlic.
Anyway, I discovered scampi are prawns with claws and when mixed with sauce and spaghetti by a professional they taste awesome. The following night I upped the ante and ordered the spaghetti marinara, by the time i had got rid of the cockel, mussel shells, shelled the scampi and lobster tail i was exhausted, plus I'm incredibly slow with the whole spaghetti twirling thing. The hardest work i've ever had eating a meal - but it was worth the effort.

3. le Cheeseburger with cheese
At work, we have had a number of dicussions on what constitutes a hamburger; my view pretty much boils down to a steak sandwhich is not a hamburger. Hamburgers need to be made of minced meat, beef preferably. I had few burgers while away; burgerking in Kuala Lumpur, a pub burger in london that was ok if not a bit dry and bland, another burger in london from a 'burger studio' near Coventry Gardens that was pretty ok - but the frenchie cheeseburger was le manifique. It was simply minced beef topped with melted cheese but the cheese had flavour and the meat was cooked medium so it still had some moisture. Served with fries and drunk with a proper merlot it was like eating really really good steak, it took all of emma's powers from stopping me eating there every night.

4. Horse meat
Foal horse meat, to be exact. I ate snails, frog's legs, duck and horse. Snails are pretty much a nuggety oyster, with lots of parsley and garlic to give it flavour, frog's legs are exactly like chicken but a pain in the ass to eat - they serve you the back half of the frog but you can only eat the puny thigh - and it made me naseous because they servie it crumbed which is not my favourite way of cooking food. It was an incredibly lean meat, like kangaroo but not as sweet. Usually lean meats are very dry and lack flavour, but this was nice and moist and in terms of flavor it was oooooookay but not great. Essentially like rump steak, however it gets included in this list because its horse.

5. Fried up fish
It was simplicity; fish caught from the river, fried and served. It was also very good. Nice little pub with huge oak tables next to the river (from where yon fish be caught). Most interestingly, was the manner it was served; it was presented whole but with one side sliced as a fillet, so you had the best of both worlds. My slicing skills are rubbish and I can't fillet a fish to save my life (but i'm getting pretty fancy with squid) so it was an interesting technique to see.


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