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5 Foodie Memories of My Childhood Overseas

August 11, 2010

Another donor requested post. If you donated to the the pledge drive, then consider a post on any topic of your choosing to be your pledge drive travel mug! I would love to do a requested post for every single person who donated, so please drop me an email and let me know what you want me to write about.

Saganaki – or Fried Cheese – Greece

In the fall of 1983 my family moved to the isle of Crete – specifically Iraklion Air Station, located near the city of Iraklion We lived a mile or so from the base behind the “McDonald’s of Greece” – a tiny diner called either The Souvlaki Stand or The Pita Stand, depending on how long a person had been on the island. The first place everyone goes to eat is The Pita Stand. And the first thing everyone tells you to order is the Saganaki, which is perfection on a plate. I loved ordering the fried cheese and steak fries, which came wrapped in a nice thick butcher grade paper. I would bath my slab of fried doughy goodness with fresh sour cream/yogurt and lemon juice. I could definitely go for some fried cheese right now.

The Cheese Soup – Innsbruck, Austria

In my entry “In Germany All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt”, I wrote about the complex travel arrangements required when my family relocated from Crete to Mainz, Germany. At some point in the journey, our travels took us through Austria and the picturesque town of Innsbruck. The hotel was furnished like an Ikea catalog picture – all blond woods and duvets; neither of which I’d seen before. I have to pause for a second to give props to my parents who were really freaking brave to drive through Europe (having never done so before). That’s pretty bad ass. Anyway, The hotel with the duvets, blond wood and the lampshades that resembled Devo hats had a fairly unremarkable restaurant that made a fairly remarkable cheese soup. I have never had it before or since! I can’t explain what made this soup so fantastic, except to say it had the best elements of soup and cheese, absent of the things I don’t enjoy in either. It was some good ass soup, y’all.

Spring Rolls – Luxembourg

There are two things I vividly recall about Luxembourg: the view of the incredible landscape from the train window and the Spring rolls I had a wonderful Chinese restaurant we stumbled onto after a day of sightseeing. It was just the girls that time – me, La Mommie and my sister. Earlier that day we’d found a shop that would put decals and such on sweatshirts. I got the Flashdance logo and silhouette of Jennifer Beals steamed onto a baby pink sweatshirt, whose neckline was immediately deconstructed the minute I got back to the hotel. So the Spring Rolls were divine, and the owners of restaurant were so kind to us. They even told La Mommie where to score some Black Barbies! The best part was they remembered us the following year when we visited again and treated us like old friends.

Pork Chops on a hill somewhere on the isle of Crete

While living on Crete I saw a great many cats, but I don’t recall ever seeing a single pig! Still, who could resist an evening jaunt to an undisclosed location in a van resembling Tony’s from Who’s The Boss, where we found a large outdoor dining facility with big serving dishes of steak fries and plates piled high with delicious chops of pork. Then to cap off the evening of pork and carb consumption, we did the Greek version of the electric slide, which is that dance where you put arms around the people standing next to you and dance around in a circle (all together) first clockwise, then counterclockwise to the tempo of festive Greek folk music until someone throws up. It was freaking awesome.

Schnitzel – Various locations in Germany

Germans understand that the best thing you can do to a cut of meat is to take a wooden mallet and beat the shit out of it. Beat it, batter it and than fry that shit in a pan. I think for the first six months I lived in Germany I ordered this at every single restaurant I went to. I ordered it on bread, alone or served with a heaping pile of Pomme Frites.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Octavia permalink
    August 11, 2010 6:25 am

    My dear friend N went to Austria a couple of years ago for a month and it’s no exaggeration that about half of her holiday photos were of her doing some form of thumbs up pose wearing a huge, slightly unhinged grin in front of a plate of schnitzel bigger than her head.

    Omg saganaki. Fried halloumi with fantastic NZ honey (seriously we make great honey) is one of my favourite any-time meals.

  2. August 11, 2010 7:12 am

    I’m working up your paint tutorial as we speak. Will have it posted tomorrow!!!

  3. August 11, 2010 9:57 am

    Mmm the thought of fried cheese as its own dish is making me hungry.

  4. August 11, 2010 4:42 pm

    I’m rather obsessed with Spätzle…

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