The Food Bucket List

So I’ve been told about another post over at Dealchecker entitled ‘Food Bucket List: 101 Unique Travel Eats’I don’t think I have to explain why I was interested in this one. I like to eat. I like to travel. I have eaten many things in many places, so I figured I could make a decent dent in the list. I think I’ve made a good effort but it turns out I have a lot more work to do.

At 101 items, I’m not going to include everything but I thought I’d select some of my favourites and point out my own accomplishments:

Checking off the list

3.  Soak up a mind-numbing hangover with a hearty English breakfast in London, black pudding included! Ok, I can’t remember if I’ve had a full English breakfast in London but I’ve definitely had my fair share of full Englishs (but not black pudding, that stuff is not ok), I’ve had other hearty breakfasts in London and some of those have certainly soaked up mind-numbing hangovers. All in all, I think that’s close enough.

One point.

10. Nibble a French crepe under the Eiffel Tower in the devastatingly romantic city of Paris, the most visited city in the world. I’m almost completely sure I’ve eaten crepes in Paris, although maybe not under the Eiffel Tower itself. I’ve eaten croque monsieur with the Eiffel Tower not too far away. Does that count? Maybe I’ll just take half a point there.

Half point.

11. Eat crispy battered fish ‘n chips out of paper on a windy day on Brighton beach, England. I’ve been to Brighton beach. I’ve eaten fish ‘n chips out of paper on a windy day on a beach. Surely that’s okay?!

Half point.

12. Try a dish you can’t pronounce the name of from a street stall in Southeast Asia, such as the yummy Gaeng Keow Wan Gai (Thai green chicken curry). Finally, we have one that is indisputable.  I’ve have eaten in several markets in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Laos. Half the time, I couldn’t tell you what it was I had eaten. I can only say that it was good.

One point.

13. Sip an Earl Grey tea and indulge in rich cream cakes and scones at the ridiculously posh Ritz Hotel in London. Admittedly, I can’t really claim this one. I’ve had high tea before at The Walk in Nottingham. It was amazing, with piles of delicious sandwiches, cakes and scones- I had to get a doggy bag on both visits. There is also a good chance I ordered Earl Grey as my accompanying type of tea but I can’t remember. I think I’m nearly there with this one, just not quite. When I finally get a job, I’ll try the Ritz.

No points.

14. Be spoilt for choice choosing a flavour of gelato at a parlour in Italy. Why not try a really unusual flavour, such as vodka and lobster ice cream at Fata Morgana Gelato in Rome? I’m on a roll, I’ve done this one too! More than once, in fact. The last time was in Venice, where I went for nutella flavour. It may not be really unusual but I’m taking that as a suggestion rather than a condition, so this one is done too.

One point.

20. Sip smooth-tasting bottles of beer after exploring the Heineken experience museum in European hotspot Amsterdam. Technically I didn’t sip bottles of beer after exploring the Heineken museum but I did sip from a glass of beer in the museum itself (after we’d walked around it) so I think that’s enough.

One point.

23. Lunch on backpacker favourite Pad Thai, a popular cheap-as-chips stir-fried noodle dish, on a gorgeous white-sand beach in Koh Lanta, thought by many to be home to the best beaches in Thailand. I’m taking half-points for this one. I’ve had Pad Thai in Thailand, just not on a white sand beach.

Half point.

25. Order a colourful Greek salad with slabs of salty feta cheese whilst watching the sun set in one of Santorini’s charming white-washed villages. There’s a chance I did this when I was in Crete, but I can’t really remember and it wasn’t Santorini. I don’t even know why I’ve brought this up.

No points.

27. Line your stomach with a paprika-rich meaty meal of Hungarian Goulash in Budapest. Allow to settle before heading out to sample the city’s famous nightlife. I’ve lined by stomach with a meaty meal of Czech Goulash in Prague before heading out to sample the city’s famous nightlife, but that’s not quite the same, is it?

No points.

31. Munch on a crumbling pasty, stuffed full of a chunky filling of mince and vegetables along the stormy Cornish coast in England. Some of our favourite Cornish beaches are tucked in by the untouched St Agnes, a tiny but thriving village on the North Cornish coast. It wasn’t stormy but I’m pretty sure I had a pasty that one time I was in Cornwall during a school trip. I don’t think I was much of a fan, I’m sure I would be now.

One point.

35. Fill up with a meal of dim sum in China, eating your way through various bite-sized portions served in small steamer baskets. Some favourites include ‘Cha siu bao’ which are softly steamed barbeque pork-stuffed fluffy buns and ‘Har gau’ which are curiously translucent dumplings consisting of crispy shrimp. I’ve had a meal of dim sum in Asia, just not in China. Nearly.

Half a point.

36. Share a bowl of homemade Italian spaghetti topped with hearty meatballs with someone special in the stunningly romantic city of Verona, à la Lady and the Tramp. I’ll readily admit that I have not done this but I had some amazing meatballs in Venice at Trattoria Ca’ Doro alla Vedova, which really just deserve a mention.

No points.

37. Watch the world go by as you wake up with a wonderfully-flaky croissant and a café au Lait for breakfast in a tiny independent Café in France. I’ve eaten croissants in France, I’ve drank coffee in France and I’ve been to a independent cafe (probably). I’m not sure if they were all at the same time but I’m taking this one.

One point.

45. Sip on glühwein (mulled wine) and nibble on stollen, the traditional German fruitcake as you wander along festive German markets during the Christmas season. I’ve wandered through the German Christmas markets with gingerbread but not mulled wine and stollen so I don’t think I can claim this.

No points.

51. Feast on Moroccan tagine and couscous as you absorb the colourful surroundings of Marrakech. I don’t think there was couscous but I’ve had tagine in Marrakech. That counts.

One point.

101mustvisit1

56. Learn how to crack open and drain a coconut, and eat up the juice and flesh inside. Coconut water is extremely hydrating so it is the perfect go-to hangover cure after a night on the tiles! Done it! But not for hangover-related reasons.

One point.

59. Plan a traditional picnic for a warm summer’s day, complete with finger sandwiches, fresh strawberries and a classic red-checked woven picnic basket. I’ve picnic-ed on a warm summer’s day (and there was probably sandwiches and strawberries) but not with a class red-checked woven basket.

Half a point.

60. Collect a variety of different types of berries on a long country walk and use them to bake up some delicious cakes and muffins. But remember – unless you’re an expert, it’s always best to stick to picking the `berries you recognise, such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, wild cherries and wild strawberries. As a kid, I went blackberry picking with my family. Sometimes they would be put into a crumble (I think) and I probably helped make it but my memory isn’t good enough to claim this one.

No points.

62. Go on a fishing trip and if you’re successful take your prized catch home to cook for dinner. To make the trip more exciting, why not turn it into a competition as to who can catch the biggest win? I’ve been fishing and I’ve even caught something but afterwards I threw it back into the lake instead of taking it back for dinner.

Half a point.

65. Put together your own personal cookbook, full of your favourite recipes as well as any you’ve created yourself and gift a copy to a fellow foodie. Despite not being able to cook, I have put together my own cookbook. However, I’ve never- and will never- gift it to a fellow foodie. That would be too embarrassing. Mine isn’t exactly good- more along the lines of how to cook pasta. And by pasta, I mean out of a bag, not handmade.

Half a point.

67. Throw a formal dinner party for a group of friends, complete with a starter, main and desert (and not forgetting lots of wine!). Try to cook everything from scratch, and no cheating! I threw a dinner party for my 21st (I know, classy) but the idea was that everyone brought a dish that they had prepared themselves. I made Peri Peri chicken kebabs myself. Other dishes included Katsu curry and chocolate pots. I didn’t cook everything myself but I made something, threw the party and there was lots of wine so I’m taking something there.

Half a point.

68. Learn how to order your favourite meal in its native language. Good luck if it’s Chinese dim sum that tickles your tastebuds! Can I have some fish and chips, please? Jokes. Kann ich eine currywurst haben, bitte? Done.

One point.

69. Create your own soup from scratch and give it its own name – and remember to keep and pass along the recipe if it’s tasty! I doubt that chorizo and butternut squash soup is a unique flavour but I made it myself from scratch and passed it along, since it was very tasty. It doesn’t have its own name but surely that counts for something?

Half a point.

71. Plan an all-you-can-eat meaty barbeque with friends in your back garden, and go ahead with it rain or shine. I love a good garden barbeque and in England you have to go ahead with it rain or shine because, lets face it, it will probably rain.

One point.

72. Mix up a bowl of pancake batter and learn how to flip one in a frying pan, just like they do in the movies. Keep practising until you can perfect it and become a master pancake-flipper! I can’t cook but I am proud to say that I can flip a pancake. Sometimes. With practice.

One point.

73. Attend a cooking class and learn how to serve up dishes of your favourite type of cuisine. This is even more interesting in a foreign country, as you’ll get the chance to learn different types of cooking skills you may not be aware of. Give it a try! During my cruise around Ha Long Bay, we were given a cooking class on how to make spring rolls. I can’t say mine was good but it was edible!

One point.

74. Go on a camping trip in the woods and rely solely on cooking up your own food on a back-to-basics camp stove. A big pot of chilli is a classic camping favourite! Whilst in Australia, I spent two nights camping in the rainforest/beach of Fraser Island. We had to cook ourselves on our camp stove and our big pot of spaghetti bolognese was delicious.

One point.

101do

86. Crunch on a couple of fried grasshoppers along the busy back-packer hotspot of Khao San Road in Bangkok. I’ve haven’t tried grasshoppers or any other insects on Khao San Road itself but I have eaten enough weird stuff to feel that I deserve some points somewhere. This weird stuff includes crickets in Laos. I also have been to Khao San Road.

Half a point.

92. Use your nose to find a durian fruit, commonly sold throughout Southeast Asia. It’s said to be the world’s smelliest fruit, so bad that it’s been banned on public transport. The taste has been compared to rotten onions by some, but is described as rich custard by its fans. Done it. Didn’t like it. The taste wasn’t bad but the sewage smell pretty much ruined it.

One point.

My score: 19 points altogether, out of a possible 101. I need to get eating. And travelling.

Some of the ones still left to do:

1. Feel the heat at El Diablo Restaurant in Lanzarote, Spain, where you can watch in wonder as the chefs grill your food using heat from a live volcano.

4. Embrace the cold and snuggle up in Finland’s Snow Castle Restaurant, where you can dine on a festive bowl of Reindeer soup. The restaurant is always at least -5 degrees centigrade and the inside is filled with snow, so don’t forget those woollen mittens!

5. Wake up to breakfast with a giraffe at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi. The long limbed creatures living near this stately country manor stick their necks in through the windows so you can feed them a few leaves whilst you tuck into your cereal.

15. Munch on an authentic New York city bagel whilst walking through the scenic Central Park, New York.

24. Feast on a slow-roasted kalua pig at a luau, (a traditional Hawaiian party) and celebrate with jovial Hawaiian music and hula dancing. Don’t forget your grass skirt!

26. Cool down at the Labassin Waterfall Restaurant in the Philippines where you can dine on bamboo tables and dip your feet whilst you eat, just inches away from running water from the falls.

101dare2

29. Tick two countries off your bucket list and literally finish a meal off in two different countries at the Kalin restaurant, situated bang on the border of Croatia and Slovenia. Have your lunch in Croatia, and enjoy desert in Slovenia!

34. Share a spread of fresh tapas and seafood paella on Benirrás hippy beach in Ibiza. The unspoilt bohemian beach is famous for its impromptu drumming concerts at sunset, so get practising your dance moves.

38. Taste a deliciously refreshing caipirinha cocktail as you dance away at the spectacularly extravagant world-famous Rio Carnival in Brazil. Next year’s doesn’t start til February, so there’s plenty of time yet to plan your costume!

44. Take in the spectacular view of the impressive man-made city-state of Dubai whilst dining at the world’s highest restaurant, At.mosphere, towering up to a whopping 1,450 feet!

52. Partake in a food fight, such as La Tomatina festival in Spain in which participants pelt each other with tomatoes and get very messy!

55. Guzzle pints of beer at the famous Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

63. Explore a city of your choice a with a different perspective and go on a food walking tour, soaking up the sights whilst stopping off for food tastings in various different eateries.

75. Attend a food festival of your choice and fill yourself up with lots of small dishes of different cuisines round the world, tapas-style.

81. Attend a cocktail making master class with an expert mixologist. Add to your repertoire on your travels; perfect your caipirinha in Brazil and get recipe for a Singapore Sling from Raffles Hotel in Singapore, where it was invented.

How did you do? Did you beat my grand total of 19?

Anyway, all this talk of food has made me hungry, so I’m going to go and eat whilst thinking of my own food bucket list. Stay tuned.

 

All images from Dealchecker.co.uk

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “The Food Bucket List

  1. Wait, wait, wait. If you’ve eaten on the roads of Southeast Asia, I have to know which was your favorite country. My face nearly exploded in northern Thailand (spicy isn’t the half of it) and accidentally ate the spices raw in Cambodia (everything is in tiny bowls, how am I supposed to know which is the main course!) so I’m invested in this.

    Like

    1. Oh dear- that sounds painful! Thankfully I’ve been pretty lucky with street food.
      I think my favourite country in Southeast Asia food-wise has to be either Laos or Thailand- mainly because of the pancake stands. They were dotted around everywhere and were perfect for a cheap meal. They also tasted particularly good with condensed milk and peanut butter- not necessarily the first toppings that may come to mind but it was one of the highlights of my trip 😛
      Where was your favourite country?!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s