Mmm…can you smell that? As you approach one of the open-air restaurants in Santorini, Greece, the scent of fresh rosemary teases you. There are buckets of fresh rosemary on every table. There’s soft pita bread, warm from the oven, with amazing fresh feta cheese, kalamata olives and tomatoes, all drizzled with fruity olive oil—a simple meal in one of the most beautiful cities in Greece.
I love food. I love to cook. And, I love to travel. Luckily, many years in the cruise industry has afforded me the opportunity to indulge in my passions, and I’d love to share a few of my favorite foods from around the world.
We just came back from Alaska. In Sitka, we broke open large king crab legs, dipping chunks in melted butter, with a squeeze of lemon. In addition to the fresh seafood, I loved the reindeer sausage…especially hot reindeer sausage gravy on fluffy biscuits for breakfast, or a link grilled and served in a bun, washed down with Alaska Amber beer for lunch. Spruce syrup, wild salmonberry jelly, salmon jerky—so much to taste in that great land.
In Rio de Janeiro, visiting an old friend, we sat on the beach with our toes in the sand, eating savory empanadas, drinking Caipirinhas, the local favorite. It’s made from Cachaca, a Brazilian distilled liquor that starts from unadulterated sugarcane juice. We had dinner at Restaurante Garote de Ipanema, where we cooked slices of fresh seasoned beef on our table grill, accompanied by black beans and rice. We also ate at a buffet restaurant of local specialties, where they charge you by the weight of your food! How brilliant is that?
When you visit the unbelievable Paradise of French Polynesia, go to Bloody Mary’s Bar on Bora Bora and have a Bloody Mary. Tahiti is known for vanilla beans, and you’ll find vanilla undertones in your drink. Freshly-baked French baguettes are delivered in residential mailboxes. I’ve eaten fresh Tahitian pineapple, cut with a machete…sweet golden goodness. And don’t miss the overwater restaurant on Moorea, where your fresh, flaky-skin fish is caught right off their deck!
Ahhh…Italy. I think of drinking Bellini’s at Harry’s in Venice; being proposed to on the Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge (I have a very romantic husband.); listening to live music, while drinking red wine served with olives and potato chips in St Mark’s Square; drinking wine in a gondola; fresh pizza in a piazza in Sorrento; the crunch of the fresh crust, the fresh buffalo mozzarella pulls, as you taste the tomatoes and basil; and cooking classes in Civitavecchia, with the Italian “grandmother.” We made fresh pasta to savor with her Americana sauce, along with our own individually made-from-scratch tiramisu.
Tasting the world isn’t difficult. You just need an appetite, a sense of adventure and someone who knows where to go and the best way to experience it. Bon Appetit!