Courtesy to Melissa.
First I was delighted by Ms Zorra’s request: Food! Now there is a subject I’m really good at. There is hardly anything that provides me with as much joy as eating, there is hardly anything I love more thinking of. (Did I ever mention that I remember almost any meal, any dish mentioned in a novel I’ve read? And I’ve read a lot.)
But as soon as I tried to start a list of “five things to eat before you die” I felt paralysed and helpless: Just five? Completely out of context? Because, you see: What makes a meal, a dish, anything to eat unforgettable and highly recommendable depends on countless details: The place, the company, what happened before…
So my list will rather consist of food experiences I wish everybody could have had rather than of things to eat.
(Which actually might be covered by what Melissa, the blogger initiating the collection of five things to eat, might have had in mind as she wanted “to create a list of food bloggers’ top picks for things you’ve eaten and think that everyone should eat at least once before they die”.)
1. Yes, I definitely think everybody should try churros con chocolate. But only really good ones, definitely in Spain, in a street café or just bought from a flimsy shed in Madrid next to where their Spanish grandmother lives who already waits for them with selfmade hot chocolate. (I just want to avoid that somebody happens to run into deep frozen and re-heated ready-made churros in a Bavarian tapas bar and doubts my recommendation.)
2. Cured and smoked ox tongue in leek sauce made by my mother, accompanied by her wonderful fresh and fluffy creamed potatoes.
3. Brambles at the beginning of September when rambling through the South Downs just north of Brighton – straight from the bush and warmed by the late summer sun. Alternatively at the end of August in northern Spanish Galicia, but also picked in the wild.
4. The best pizza possible on an Italian farm in the province of Latio (I’m afraid this includes being a child).
My aunt lives in Italy, and when I was twelve years old she took us to a farm where friends, the farmers, had invited us all for dinner. The women of the house prepared a very simple kind of pizza as a starter. One of the younger women saw my curious looks and explained the preparation to me (not that I knew any Italian, but we all know that it just takes high volume and lots of gestures to make any language easy to understand). So she showed me the kneading of the dough, how you stretch it out on the trays moistening it with lots of olive oil, how you cover it with herbed tomatoe sugo. And then she took me outside to a special brick oven where the pizza was cooked. It tasted uncomparable.
5. Ramen, the Japanese noodle soup. This dish is one of my more recent discoveries, and I love it because it makes a complete Asian meal out of delicious broth. I usually have it at a tiny Japanese eatery opposite Munich’s famous Hofbräuhaus, the Shoya, sitting amidst Japanese tourists who look ever so glad to finally get a decent meal after all this strange European foodstuff.die Kaltmamsell