Part of my study abroad trip to London and Rome in September is a series of blog posts about the things we see and do while on the trip. This is the first of four final required posts about the experience, and is about the food I ate.
Meals while abroad were always an interesting mix of the strange and the familiar, or at times the familiar being what is so strange about the meal.
Getting a pasty while in London was like eating a Hot Pocket filled with potatoes and gravy that had been fried instead of baked. Which was tastier than my description probably just made it sound.
Gelato in Rome was less different from ice cream than I expected, or at least the ice cream I normally get. It was flavorful and given the heat of the day at Sperlonga it melted a lot more slowly than ice cream would have. Given gelatos lower fat content, I am surprised it hasn’t caught on in America, it’d be perfect for a food cart since it doesn’t have to be kept as cold as ice cream does.
I can’t really describe the fish and chips I had that first night in London, I honestly am surprised I was awake enough to eat it all, but I do miss the ciders I had there. Crisp flavor, a little tart, none of the over-the-top sweetness that a lot of ciders marketed in America have.
I avoided fast food while in either city, aside from the Pret A Manger sandwich shops in London which I suppose sort of count. But it was amusing and a little absurd to see at times this ancient buildings, and then see a neon yellow M in the window marking that a McDonalds was inside the building. Or see ads for Burger King advertising itself as the “Euro King of Burgers”.
Cooking while in Rome was amazing. The cheeses, the meat, the bread, the pasta, the vegetables. The raw ingredients just seemed to be so much better than what I can normally find at the grocery store near my home. They seemed to be fresher, with less preservatives. Healthier, with less artificial things added. And they were well-labeled so I could tell where everything came from, so I knew how far away the meat for my sausages came from.
I somewhat dread cooking now that I am home again, because despite having a better equipped kitchen then I did while in Rome, I just can’t figure out how to produce food that was as simple yet as delicious as what I was making for myself for breakfast and dinner while there. Well, at least not without breaking my budget buying really fancy ingredients instead of the cheap groceries I was getting in Rome.