Wednesday, May 6, 2009

European memories - Part I

It's been two years to the day since Europe. It took me about four months to get used to idea of being back after my two months away. Something doesn't quite add up there, but here's the first of a four part pictorial stroll down foodie memory lane. Or is it more a frenzied dash across the road hoping that crazy Roman traffic will pity me? Or a casual lope down a cobble-stoned, lantern-lined street in Prague? Sigh...

(Note: this was pre-obsessive food photographing days, so a lot of my memorable, to-die-for meals aren't pictured. And there were many.)

First beer in Europe/Italy/Rome

First night in Europe; first night in Rome; first night on tour. What does one need? Local beer, and here is it in Birra Moretti with a suitably Mafia-esque guy on the label.

Delicatessen in Roma, Italia

The most unassuming, unobtrusive little delicatessen right by the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. After viewing one of the most amazing places of worship in Europe, let alone Italy, it's just delightful to have this rustic little deli nearby to serve the tourists and worshippers alike. Personally I would have loved to have lugged one of the legs of prosciutto home, but alas, this was only the beginning of my trip. And Quarantine may not share my enthusiasm for the cured pig.

Crostate di frutti - fruit tarts from the above deli

They did have more traveller-friendly fruit tarts, however, although I think we were too excited to think about food. We had romantic, if not cliched, visions of la fontana di Trevi and the Spanish Steps (not really all that impressive in real life) to see and experience. With sights to see, food was relegated to second priority for a change.

Surely something food-related at Pompeii - storage or cooking?

Our self-guided trip to Pompeii is one to remember: for the empty and eerie walk from the train station to the ruins; the hauntingly gracious unearthed structures and roads; the getting lost without a map in an ancient city; the panicked sprints for stations and trains. Ah, the fearlessness of naive travellers.

Sweets in the window, Venezia, Italia

Memorable times in Venice too, with a day spent dilly-dallying around streets and over bridges, gondolier-ing around residences and under bridges. This particular store was bursting with sweetness and had more meringues than you could throw eggs at.

Deep pan pizza, Venice

We also spied an intimidating pizza display though I'm still not sure if these were Chicago-style deep dish pizzas or just a really thick base. Either way, I thought it a little odd to see in Venice.

Selection of biscuits and pastries, Venice

More pasticcerie

What did attract our attention, sweet tooths and euros was a jam-packed pastry store with tray upon tray upon tray of baked goodies just leering at us. I remember being enamoured with mini cannoli in a variety of flavours and a great many other nutty, chocolatey, crispy sugar and flour concoctions.

Next stop: Bavaria

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