Five Countries That Make Me Hungry
Today we’re talking about food.
It goes along with marathon training, because the more I run, the more I need to eat. And since I’ll never be running another marathon again, I feel that I need to take full advantage of this time and eat my heart out.
Once upon a time, I wasn’t very curious when it came to food. I knew what I liked and that’s what I ate – the first time I tried Indian was in Belfast, of all places. I was 22 and it blew my mind. There was a whole world of food out there!
By now, I’ve tried a lot of food and my list of favorites is too long to recount. So that got me thinking about what I haven’t tried. So today, I bring you 5 countries I’d like to eat my way through but haven’t yet.
Burritos have become one of my go-to post-run foods. Something about the mixture of beans, rice, cheese, sour cream and sauce really hits the spot. But I know that what I know as Mexican food, sadly, isn’t quite authentic. It’s likely an Americanized Tex-Mex creation, and while that doesn’t make it any less droolworthy, makes me curious. What, then, do they eat in Mexico? Because I’m sure it’s delicious, and I’d really like to test that theory.
Cypriots (I love that word) are well-positioned to produce some killer cuisine: at the crux of Greece, Turkey, and the middle east, I imagine lots of spices, fresh herbs and vegetables, seafood, grilled meat, and baklava. Eat fresh, eat local, eat well. If I ever make it to Cyprus I fully intend to eat my way around the island. Maybe I’ll follow it up by a scuba dive or an intense session of lying on the beach. But probably I’ll mostly eat.
What? That’s right, I’ve never been to Canada. Which means I’ve never had poutine, some sort of mythical combination involving french fries, gravy, and cheese. And if I don’t like that, there’s always beaver tails, which look like an elephant ear on crack. I’d like a Canadian to verify that they’re actually a thing, but even if they’re not, I’m a fan.
I first learned of piri piri (peri peri?) chicken in Brisbane, at the Australian chain restaurant Nando’s. It’s a Portuguese-African brainchild, using a specific type of African chili. If I liked the poor man’s version, I can only imagine how good it tastes in its alleged birthplace, Mozambique. And considering the rest of the food is centered around spices, creamy coconut sauces, cashews, lime, and garlic, I’d be in food heaven.
1. Indonesia & Malaysia
I had a really hard time choosing between Malaysia and Indonesia, two places I’ve yet to visit. Does satay originate in Malaysia or Indonesia? How about laksa? Aaaugh too many questions! I was forced to combine the two. Again we’ve got creamy sauces, firey spices, and succulent seafood, plus slurpy noodles. I’m dying here. Get me on the next plane so I can indulge.
I’m going to the kitchen now, where it’s unlikely that I’ll find something to satisfy my new Mexican-Cypriot-Canadian-African-Asian cravings, but I’m sure going to try. Not that it’s really worked out for me in the past, but today is a new day.
I’ll let you know when I’ve perfected my recipe for spicy baklava-flavored piri-piri beaver tails. If that doesn’t work out? Burritos for the win.