Since the end of January I’ve been trying to get back some of my normal self by going through my photos of my trips. I even created an Instagram page, where I’ve been posting on a daily basis the photos that I’m most proud of, photos of places and experiences I’ve been collecting from my travels. That is how I’ve been dealing with this second lockdown. That is how I’ve managed to get distracted enough so I don’t think about what I couldn’t do, the places I couldn’t visit in the last year.
The funny thing is that even though my Instagram audience is very small, I decided to ask what should this week be about, and the winner was food. I panicked for a bit, as I wrote on the blog last weekend, because I am not a good photographer of food. I’m always too excited to start eating to have the patience to set my lens right. To get the light right. The angle right. You know the drill…so I thought to myself “Crap, here am I committing to post nice photos of food from my travels for 7 days in a row, and I don’t think I have one single photo I could post…“
Oh I was wrong. I plugged in my external drive on my laptop and started going through the folders, just to find out an immense number of photos of food. My tongue twisted inside my mouth with so many recollections of flavours.
Flavours I got to try while travelling. Some of them were new, some weren’t. But what really mattered is that I was savouring them in a different places, potentially sitting somewhere observing the exotic architecture or the locals going on their normal lives. Maybe even other tourists. It is about savouring new flavours, understanding the culture. But, for me, it’s about submersion. The food may even taste more delicious just because I simply feel the exhaustion of my muscles from walking through the narrow cobblestoned streets of a old part of a city. About being a stranger eating somewhere new, somewhere unique, even if what I’m eating is a plain ice cream that I could be eating back home. It just feels different. May be because the simple act of eating is common to all humans anywhere in the world. You may use different utensils, different seasonings, cook your own traditional and unique recipes, using different kinds of pans… But at the end of the day, we all just need to be fed. As an outsider anywhere, that is the one of the only things that I do as a tourist that stands in the same ground as any local.
Some photos won’t make it to Instagram. The quality isn’t the best for that platform, but that made me sad, because most of those photos are actually from the trip I’m most proud of – that time in 2019 when I went to Mexico for two weeks by myself. The food there is simply AMAZING. The photos though… are just okay 😅
In 2018 I also made an amazing trip with a couple more friends (I usually travel solo) to Prague and Vienna. We ate great food over there (most of it apparently not photographed). The chimney cake on my previous post is one of delicacies I got to try for the first time. But there was more.
And finally, down below, I have dishes from two countries very close to me – Spain & the UK.
I lived in Madrid for 6 months when studying in Erasmus. It’s also the only neighbour of my home country, Portugal. I’ve eaten many tortillas in Spain, but the one down below was actually taken in Tangier, Morocco, where the Spanish influence in palpable. The desert you can see is a Crema Catalana, a milk based Spanish desert we have a very similar version in Portugal. I had this one in Sevilla.
The UK has been my country for the past 5 years. I don’t typically like English Breakfast, but the photo down below is a vegetarian version of it, with fake bacon and soy sausage. My absolute favourite of the UK are the pies. In the photo you can see a chicken and mushroom pie, with mashed peas and fries.
That’s all I have for today 🙂 I’d love to hear your thoughts on food and travel – do you share the same feelings? Do you see trying traditional local dishes as a way to get to know the country you’re visiting? Comment down below! If you like this content, follow me on Instagram or Facebook. I just really want to connect with people with similar interests so we can share stories and inspiration during these troubling times!