Eating our way across Europe

BONUS POST!

We’ve been back home now for two weeks, and our everyday routines are slowly falling back into place.  But our metabolisms remember the not-so-distant days when eating, and eating, and eating, and eating was the name of the game.  We were lucky enough to take full advantage of the culinary opportunities in several countries this summer.  As we begin to reflect on the past few months, memories of food anchor our recollections, and leave a nostalgic taste in our mouths.  So this post is a loving homage to the many meals that we devoured and the places in which they were devoured.  It’s not about the subtleties of French cheese or wine.  It’s about calories, and lots of them.  Enjoy:

Scotland:

Land of sheep, highland cattle, heather-carpeted mountains….and the classic “Full Scottish Breakfast,” complete with eggs, ham, bacon, toast, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans, haggis, and blood pudding.  When there wasn’t time for a full sit-down, no worries!  Just pick up a hard-boiled, breaded, deep-fried “Scotch Egg” for the run.  These meals kept us going during our first two weeks of the trip.

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That, and whisky, of course.

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Paired sensibly with a visit to the pub.

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England:

Mmmm…meat pies.  Such a perfectly contained bundle of protein, fat, salt, and delicious.  Never a bad time for a meat pie calorie bomb.

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But, really, England was all about tea.  Black tea, or as they call it: ordinary tea.  And what’s tea without an indulgent side of scones with cream.  What kind of cream, you ask?  Squirty cream? No.  Double cream? No. Clotted cream? Well, ok, but our winner was the classic, thick, almost butter heavy whipped cream.

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They even served tea at the bike shop!

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Other things were good in England, too.  Like ice cream shakes, homemade bread from a generous WarmShowers host, visits to the local bakery, and Ian’s bad habit of Marmite with cheese.

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And, of course–we finished our stint in England with a final feast of fish n’ chips, gobbled down in the parking lot waiting to board the ferry to France.IMG_20150706_131558014_HDR

France:

Ah, the land of stinky cheeses, fine wines, and famed culinary arts.  We were too dirty for the likes of table cloths and table service, so we kept our patronage to bakeries.  The boulangerie–our life line.  France simply can’t be beat when it comes to bread and pastries.  We know–we tried them all.

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Combine the baguette with some stinky cheese with whatever fresh veggies and fruit you score at the local market, and you’ve got a picnic.

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Cycling through France’s champagne country, we were determined to sample a selection.  After a hot day of searching in vain, we finally settled on a grocery store bottle costing six Euro (the most expensive in the store!), and drowned our champagne-failure-sorrows during a particularly giddy night at a campsite.

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Then it was back to water.

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Occasionally, we treated ourselves to a meal involving silverware.

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But it was just a phase.

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Switzerland:

We’re on a budget, people!  Switzerland was expensive, so we survived off of bread, Nutella by the finger-full, Ian’s persistent left-over Marmite, simple camp meals, nuts, and the generosity of various hosts along the way.

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Oh, and chocolate.

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Germany:

Germany brought with it Spaghetti Eis.  That’s ice cream squeezed through a press to make it look like spaghetti–could it get any better?

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There was also, of course, plenty of beer, wurst, and potato-based meals.

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Cakes!

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Fresh fish from the North Sea!

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The occasional fresh vegetable matter:

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And weird meat out of a can.

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But family awaited us in northern Germany, and Ian’s birthday was richly celebrated!

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Denmark:

Denmark (or at least tourists visiting Denmark) will not stop obsessing about their hot dogs.  So, we participated in the fun.

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Island-hopping, we enjoyed the required seaside fish, beer, and potato meal.

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And experienced the largest, most elaborate breakfast spread we’ve ever encountered.  And that’s saying something.

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What a journey!  What an indulgence!  What a lot of meat (we’re going vegetarian for a while…)!  It’s been tough entering the realm of normal portions–but let’s be honest, we’ve always been enthusiastic eaters.  We’ll have to satisfy our urges with the occasional tea party.  With scones.  And cream.  You’re all invited!  Feel free to bring the whisky.

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