European food safari

I have just returned from an amazing four week European holiday. Four weeks of sightseeing, eating, drinking, swimming and chilling. What I love about a holiday is the ability to wake up and think... "What am I going to do today?" No routine.
What I particularly like about this holiday however, was the food. You have already read about my experience in Dubai. Now I will give an overview of London, Paris, Rome, Rhodes and Marmaris.

LONDON

When I think of British fare, I think pie and mash, bangers and mash and eggs and chips. I wasn't disappointed. I ate a traditional pie with mash, liquor and red wine vinegar. Individually they weren't exciting, together they were amazing! A typical Australian, I asked whether they had tomato sauce. I was laughed at and told, use the vinegar. They were right - a great substitute.


In terms of yoghurt, the Brits seem to be fond of frozen yoghurt, despite the poor excuse of a summer they have. I stayed in Bayswater and there were two frozen yoghurt places right across the road from the station. I find frozen yoghurt an amazing way to confront the sun head on, however in London there is no sun. So does it have a place? I wasn't convinced.

PARIS

Our next stop, Paris. We arrived in Paris, settled into our hotel and then went to the local supermarket. I went straight to the yoghurt section to see what was on offer. I saw yoghurt sold in a jar - I was taken in and went straight to the counter to buy them. Yoghurt in a glass jar, would that change the taste? I opened one up, the taste was certainly different. However it wasn't the jar that did that, it was the sheeps milk used to make it. Not being able to read French, I didn't notice it was sheeps milk yoghurt. Until I opened the lid and noticed that it looked more like cottage cheese then yoghurt.
I had a few spoonfuls and was about to declare defeat until I had a brainwave. I love cottage or ricotta cheese with honey. So taking (ok stealing) a little honey from our buffet breakfast, I put the 'yoghurt' onto a baguette and topped it with some honey. It was excellent - absolutely beautiful. I'd go back for that yoghurt purely to have it with honey on bread. So I put the white flag down and replaced it with a proud smile.

ROME

Rome followed, a place where I swore I'd eat gelato, pizza and pasta everyday. I did and my favourite gelato - berry and yoghurt. In the strong Rome sun, this yoghurt gelato was sweet enough to please my sweet tooth and refreshing enough to give me a little resistance from the heat. Along with chocolate, coffee and vanilla - yoghurt gelato is a must when in Rome. Go to the gelato place right near the Trevi fountain - it is just a shopfront with about 25 flavours to choose from. I think it's called gelato en Trevi.


RHODES


From Rome we went to Rhodes - my favourite Greek Island. However, I will admit I'm a bit biased as my Mum was born there. Regardless, Greek cuisine is my favourite. I love the use of garlic, lemon and olive oil, which has a place in pretty much all meals. Here I lived on tzatziki - one of my favourite ways to use yoghurt. Extra tzatziki on a yiros, spread across a souvlaki, dipped into with pita bread and spooned onto dolmades - I had to have it every day.

However it was in the small village Gennadi that I had my favourite yoghurt experience. We were in our house eating breakfast - Greek yoghurt, honey and cornflakes, when my friend looked at me and said "I love this. milk makes me feel sick and I was looking for more breakfast variety but never thought of doing this." Then the next morning she was in bed and said, "You know what I'm looking forward to, eating breakfast!" This I am a little proud off :-)


I have to admit though, this was the best yoghurt I had ever had - it was smooth with very little tang, refreshing and creamy. This yoghurt was called 2% Total done by FAGE. Despite being low in fat, it is still thick and creamy. This is now my favourite yoghurt.




MARMARIS

Our final stop before heading to Athens and home was Marmaris in Turkey. I really liked Marmaris. With a population of around 30,000 that increases to between 300,000 and 400,000 during summer, this is a beautiful coastal area. Despite amazing weather beautiful beaches and a great night life, Turkish cuisine is delicious.

However to my disappointment, it was difficult to find restaurants with traditional Turkish food. The restaurants all had British sections on the menu and pretty much focused on pasta, pizza, burgers and steaks. We were a little surprised by this and set out to find some traditional Turkish food.

Our second day, after my cousin finally found a genie lamp that he wanted, we miraculously had some luck! It could have been the lamp, or it could have just been that we were in a less touristy area, however after finishing our shopping at the Bazaar we found a place. A small take away type place filled with locals and a few chairs to spare, I was looking forward to an authentic meal.


Walking in, my cousin noticed a meal with yoghurt, meat and some tomato sauce with rice. I was hooked. Once we found out it was called Iskander, we ordered it straight away. When it arrived it didn't look pretty but smelt amazing. With a layer of Turkish bread and rice, topped with lamb off the spit, covered with yoghurt and tomato paste - I was like a kid in a candy store. EXCITED. My excitement was met with a beautifully balanced meal with a good amount of yoghurt, meat that melted in your mouth and fresh Turkish bread that soaked up all of the other flavours. It was, wait for it, my favourite yoghurt dish for the entire trip!!


There was one other thing my cousin found in Marmaris - Yoghurt and Herb chips. Wow, amazing. Like a subtle sour cream and chives. I'm a S&V fan but after eating these chips. I have a new favourite. Pity they aren't available in Australia!






Overall I think my eating safari was a success - tried some amazing meals, was surprised by others and was inspired by all. So from here I will cook a dish from each country I went to, with yoghurt as an important ingredient. Wish me luck.

Remember I am still accepting challenges! A friend has challenged me to tofu and yoghurt so I'll let you know how I go with that!

Comments

  1. Anne, I challenge you to "save" a veggie surprise with yoghurt. :)

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