Food-related confessions

It’s strange because I’ve never considered myself an epicure, a gourmet, and not even a gourmand. There were the amazing culinary experiences – vegetarian-wise – from Brazil, Greece, and Cyprus… yet I never thought I’d eat as much as I recently have during one trip alone!  
I always say that I’d try anything vegetarian once. That’s why, when researching my next destination, I make a list of the local food that I could eat and try to experience it during the trip. Being a vegetarian is not always easy on the road, but there are times when you’re savouring your dishes and treats from the first bite down to the trimmings. From the first tiramisu I tasted and to the last merendine I had before heading back home, it was exquisite!...
Tiramisu in Fertilia, Sardinia
My first tiramisu in Sardinia was creamy and puffy and I couldn’t get enough of it... and then came a giant vegetarian bruschetta, with the taste of rucola lingering ‘til the chocolate waffles washed down with a sip of the local beer. Even the roll at breakfast was fluffier than usual rolls are and the zucchini/aubergine penne were amongst the best of my life. And when I finally had seadas [with honey]... I felt that sweet smell get into my system. For good. Some mushroom crêpes, a crema catalana [courtesy of the Catalan heritage of the island], and a bottle of unfiltered local beer later... well, I started recalling scenes from ‘Eat Pray Love’... I had the urge to finally try a gelato and I did, a pistachio one, and my first vegetarian pizza during the trip. Let’s play a guessing game—What do you think my friend and I bought when we finally found a supermarket open? 20-Euro worth of sweets.
When we switched islands and found ourselves in Corsica, it was high time for me to recall my last lunch in Cluny, in 2007, when I also had cheese. This time, it came as a salad and was a perfect mix of Corsican pecorino, mozzarella, and fromage de chèvre, topped with toasts à la marmelade de figues. It was the best meal of the trip, ending on a sweet note with traditional crêpes aux marrons and the – usual! – local beer.
Mic dejun in Olbia, Sardinia
Back in Sardinia, cappuccino and homemade pizza were waiting. With the following day’s breakfast buffet looking very inviting. I always feel joy when I have breakfast while travelling, it’s one of the favourite moments of a day, but I usually felt like that in Bosnia or Morocco, where I do not normally have what I do back home. The only annoying thing involved the opening hours of the restaurants – if we felt like eating at 5:00pm, there was no chance we’d see to it. Probably something light – toasts or sweets, while sophisticated aubergine appetisers; fregola con carciofi, pomodoro, curcuma; chocolate cakes, and local wine would stay pending on our list. We’d have the pasticcerie, however, and they’d always seem to save us: full tilicas and addictive pardulas were always there to keep the sun shining on us. And when I finally found and tasted the ravioli alla ricotta, I felt like having gone full circle.
I was mocked for having talked about this trip only in terms of food (50%) and men (25%)... well, these were the specialities. No wonder I came home 4 pounds heavier!

© Olivia-Petra Coman (text & pics)

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