Six Month Retrospective: Best in Food

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This week marks six months since we left Canada and moved to Madrid. So, I’ve decided to take a quick break from the regularly scheduled travel programming to take a look back at the last six months – the adventures we’ve been on, the places we’ve seen, the foods we’ve eaten, and to look ahead at what the next six months has to offer.

For me, travelling is as much about eating new and exotic foods as it is exploring and seeing amazing things. The last piece of advice my mom gave to be before leaving was: “Eat and try all the weird new foods!” It was advice that I’ve taken to heart since we arrived in Europe – and thankfully, only once has it not gone my way (it didn’t go my way for 10 days, but that’s a story for another day…)

Here’s a sample of the most amazing, weirdest and most surprising foods I’ve tried:

Disclaimer: I’m horrible at remembering restaurant names, so this post is in no way a restaurant recommendation, but more a celebration of deliciousness.

Barcelona: Hot Octopus Salad

After a day in the sun, and an evening spent sampling sangria around the city, we were in need of a meal—and it was well after 9PM so it was socially acceptable for us to eat dinner in Barcelona. We wandered a few streets trying to find a restaurant, but nothing seemed like the right fit. That is until we happened upon a traditional Italian restaurant just a few blocks from our hostal. The menu was expansive so we asked the waiter for a suggestion and he couldn’t stop raving about the hot octopus salad.

With such a ringing endorsement we had to try it, and let me tell you, it more than lived up to expectations.

The most tender piece of octopus was resting on a bed of potatoes in a hot tomato sauce. We savoured every bit and were even tempted to order a second serving—that’s how good it was!

For Dave and I, this is a meal that has lived down in infamy. Although we only visited the restaurant once, this is a meal we talk about often.

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For more about our city break to Barcelona, check out: https://petiteadventures.org/2015/12/18/travel-diary-barcelona/

Marrakech: Tajine

I’ve talked about tajine an awful lot on this blog, but for good reason, it’s an amazingly delicious meal! This traditional dish is the perfect combination of spicy, sweet and savoury. Before our trip, I had very high hopes for tajine and I’m so happy to say that all our meals exceeded my expectations.

During our time in Marrakech, we frequented Tiznit Café Restaurant in the Medina sampling both the chicken and lamb tajines. Both meals were absolutely delicious, but different. It’s quite hard to pick a favourite—whilst I preferred the lamb meat to the chicken (which is surprising because it doesn’t normally sit well with me), I was pleased with the assortment of vegetables that came with the chicken.

Read more about our city break in Morocco: https://petiteadventures.org/2016/04/06/48-hours-in-marrakech/

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Seafood Salad

Vegetables can sometime be hard to come by in Europe. Unlike in North America where most meals can be accompanied by a salad, in Europe I haven’t seen this as much. So, when we were in Las Palmas I was very happy to have the opportunity to eat a salad—I never thought I’d be excited to eat lettuce, oh adulthood!

On our last night in Las Palmas we finally had a chance to eat at the beautiful little restaurant right near our hotel. We’d tried a few times before but it was always closed (our fault for not adjusting to a Spanish eating timetable). The menu offered pages of delicious options, but I settled on the seafood salad and was blown away.

This was no tiny salad; this was a tower of deliciousness and I inhaled every last morsel.

For more about our Christmas visit to Las Palmas: https://petiteadventures.org/2016/01/11/travel-diary-las-palmas-de-gran-canaria/

Hamburg: Everything at the Christmas Market

I’d long wanted to visit the German Christmas Markets to bask in their festivity, marvel at the twinkle lights and sample all the hot, mulled wines I could get my hands on. And, when we visited in December I did just that. What I wasn’t anticipating was how many amazing food options there would be at the markets. We’re not just talking pretzels and bratwursts here (although they were both present and delicious), but we’re talking meals. Plates and bowls full of sauerkraut and pork, chicken and dumplings, goulash, and more. I was in food heaven.

Everyday we were in Hamburg we would stop by the market for lunch, letting our noses lead us to the stand we wanted to sample.

Read more about our time in Hamburg by checking out my Travel Diary: https://petiteadventures.org/2015/12/11/travel-diary-hamburg/.

For an in-depth look at all my favourite foods (+recipes) from the Christmas Market, read: https://petiteadventures.org/2015/12/14/my-favourite-foods-from-the-german-christmas-market/

Guimarães: Beans, Pork, Potatoes and a Giant Wheel of Cheese

We visited Guimarães on a day trip from Porto, and we just happened to be visiting on a very special day: Guimarães noc noc, an annual celebration that brings the city together to celebrate art and artists. As we wandered the city everyone was running around preparing for the party: decorating, hanging installations, and more. The city takes such pride in the celebration that it essentially shuts down mid-afternoon to prepare.

We didn’t know this, and it wasn’t really a problem until we went to have lunch. Arriving around 2PM (typical Portuguese lunchtime) we were completely thrown off to find out that the restaurant we’d chosen had closed their kitchen (but not their bar) in order to prepare.

Not a big deal. We sat for a bit while deciding what to do, but before we could make a move food started arriving. The kitchen had scrounged together a few foods for us: beans and pork, potatoes with onions, and a giant wheel of cheese with bread.

We were blown away. We didn’t really know what we were eating, all we knew was that it was delicious and we were so grateful that they had gone to such trouble for us. We ended up spending the rest of the afternoon on their terrace, munching away, enjoying our wine, and taking in the festivities around us.

Read more about our day trip to Guimarães here: https://petiteadventures.org/2015/12/01/travel-diary-guimaraes/

What was one of your most memorable meals?

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Please Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. All thoughts, feelings and opinions shared on this blog and in this post are my own.

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2 thoughts on “Six Month Retrospective: Best in Food

  1. Lillian says:

    Great overview with a variety of foods and flavours. So many memorable meals but the first one that came to mind what just last night, where a friend came back from visiting Thailand. She brought back a packet of fried slugs/worms… and I ate one! Can’t believe I did it! Not exactly a whole meal but quite the experience :/

    Liked by 1 person

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