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An Eating Adventure

World-renowned for its incredible food, France frequents the top spot for gourmet eats. Visions of sugar plus danced in me head, quite literally, and I could not wait to get my mitts on something French – anything would do! Our first day there, we went to a cook-it-yourself restaurant, guided by our very own chef, and made what may be the best meal I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. Believe me when I say I was impressed with French food, more so than I had even hoped. I was mentally preparing for duck every day (not a hardship, in any way), but was brought to a screeching halt not very long after. I found out the hard way the French frequently enjoy cold food, what I would consider sort of hors d’oeuvres, as entire meals. I like appetizers, and I like salad, so this shouldn’t have been an issue, except…the protein in these cold meals tended to be either pate or some sort of gelatinous sausage, both of which fall into a ‘textural issue’ category for me – meat should not be these things. I pride myself on my willingness to try anything once, but there are some things that need to be tried and immediately stopped!

After my sudden displeasure with French food, I wasn’t sure I’d be quite so positive about the whole eating experience, but continued to find wonderful things to eat in so many different places, and was happy again. My favorite thing to do was order a dish that we serve commonly over here and compare – for instance, I have never met an American lasagna without the ricotta cheese layer, but I ate a few different ones in Europe that were entirely missing it! My other foodie surprise was the number of “taco”/kabob shops around. Kabob sandwiches were essentially gyros: spit-roasted meat sliced onto a flatbread, topped with some lettuce, tomato,  and sauce, but the “tacos” were not recognizable as what we’d call tacos. Extra-large tortillas filled with meat, cheese, sauce, and sometimes veggies, folded, panini-pressed, and delicious, were amazing, not to mention almost too big to eat, but there was nothing south or central American about them. Eating European was an adventure for sure, but I have to admit, I’m glad to be back in the midst of some good ol’ comfort food.