The plan for my culinary adventure in Europe

Okay, so I’m not traveling to Europe for the culinary joys alone.  I have people to visit and sights to see, but I am going to make a list of foods I want to enjoy while on vacation.  And one of my first stops, after being picked up from the airport, is going to be to the grocery store.

Strange?  Well I have admitted in the past that I  spend much of my day planning what our next meal will be or what my next fun food adventure will consists of.  And, besides that, I do need sustenance for my travels.

I will be arriving in Milan, so my thoughts are to purchase some crusty Italian bread, some assorted salumi, provolone piccante (Auricchio, preferably), some Italian tuna packed in olive oil (the best and only way we eat tuna anymore. If you haven’t tried it, do!  You will never go back to the water packed stuff!), a glass bottle of unfiltered apricot juice, and some local traditional pastries.   I will probably have pick up a package of Paradiso, the sweet creme cakes sold in the cooler case, and will have a hard time saying no to some Kinder eggs too.  Hey, Kinder eggs aren’t just for kids!  Building the little toy inside will give me something to do on the train ride to Switzerland.

The train will take me into the southern part of Switzerland, to visit my family in San Nazzaro.  It is a tiny town along Lago Maggiore, just an hour and a half from the Italian border.  The only thing in the town is a tiny mini mart, a hotel, a church, and old houses built into the hill.  I won’t have many culinary options, but will surely be fed well.  I look forward to whatever culinary traditions they have to share with me.

After visiting my relatives, I plan to fly to Barcelona, to stay with my friend.  There I hope to start the day with either coffee and bread or a pan con aceite (A roll is nicely toasted in two halves and then spread with crushed fresh tomato pulp and olive oil, and a light sprinkling of salt.).   From there I would like to sample some authentic paella, go out for tapas, drink some cava, and enjoy some jamon serrano (mountain-cured ham).

I figure I will try some of the Catalonian specialties while I am there too.  The Calçotada sounds quite nice.  It originates in Tarragona and it is made by cooking spring calcots (a local variety of spring onions) over an open flame. When cooked, the spring onions char on the outside but inside are tender. They are eaten by brushing out the outer layer of ash and dipping the vegetable into a romesco sauce.

Before I board the plane to return home, I hope to stop at the grocer yet again, to stock up on all those wonderful Italian specialties that are hard to find back home.  But no cured meats.  I made the mistake of trying to bring home salumi once, on my return from Italy.  It was confiscated at customs and I was heartbroken.  But at least they didn’t get my mozzarella di bufula, that I had lovingly carried at my side for nearly 20 hours.  Oh, the culinary joys that await me!!

Categories: travel

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One Comment on “The plan for my culinary adventure in Europe”

  1. marcia
    March 15, 2010 at 6:45 am #

    can’t wait to hear about all your adventures!!!!
    Stay safe..
    love from Kalispell

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