As my weekend comes to an end and I contemplate what lies in the week ahead, the sweet scent of slightly charred vegetables, mixed spices and simmering coconut has filled my apartment. Preparing food for the week in my kitchen so small I can barely turn around in it, I am reminded of the countless meals I have had in places far beyond my home stove. Every country prides itself on its food culture and the unique smells, sights and sounds of the local foods, markets and restaurants do their actual taste no justice. Each experience unique and mesmerising, our senses overwhelmed by the new and the unknown, our eyes often blinded by the beauty of the dishes, as they transport us to places far beyond our imaginary capabilities.
I remember the sweet, warm, buttery smell of croissants in a little bakery in Brittany, France as if it where yesterday. Barely reaching the counter I handed the woman a note, hoping she would understand I was on a mission to buy six of the delicious breakfast treats. Clasping the bag tightly in my hand I delivered the goods untarnished back to the family breakfast table. Meandering the narrow streets of Italian towns, in search of the best gelato that is delicately draped on a cone in a race against time, as the delicious raspberry sorbet and pistachio cream compete in melting and running down my hand before I can taste their divine sweetness. Stopping at the roadside to rejoice in one of the most memorable omelette baguettes and sweet Vietnamese coffees that ever passed my lips, as I headed out at dusk to see the sun rise over the jungle. Tasting the sweet and spicy barbeque sauce that encased the frogs, shared with the Cambodian locals in an attempt to take shelter from the sweltering heat on the grounds of Angkor Wat.
Eating beautiful, fresh Canadian Oysters in a back alley restaurant in Toronto, smoked salmon and fillet of reindeer in a local tavern in Iceland, hot Pho everywhere and at any time of the day in Vietnam, crab curry in Sri Lanka and home cooked chicken sate in Indonesia. I look forward to all the tantalising tastes and smells that I will come across, as I continue to embrace the local cuisine, wherever I travel. Wherever I go now, I enjoy being transported back to these beautiful places, as spices, smells and tastes awaken the memories.
Take a moment to remember all the wonderful foods, mornings, evenings, lunches, parties, celebrations and pit stops you have enjoyed all over the world and relive them wherever you are.