Food Traveller

I think about food several times a day…

Almost as much as I think about my loved ones.  I like to think I have a healthy relationship with food, bordering on obsessive. It’s in my European culture to think about eating all of the time.  I can’t help it. However, I always make certain to never over eat and I avoid mixing foods and drinks that don’t go well together. I respect food and it respects me in return. Most of the times… What I love most about food is trying out new flavours and experimenting with combinations.  I am always looking for my next food high.  That next moment of ecstasy in my mouth.  The next foodgasim.

Tempura in Taiwan
Tempura in Taiwan| photo by catia da silva

I Love food so much that it almost governs the way I travel. My memories of traveling almost always revolve around a meal or some food experience I had. Places I have eaten in the past serve as landmarks so that I know I’m close to a destination. I had the pleasure of living in Taipei with some amazing people for nearly two months.  All of my room mates were there teaching English. I was a Masters student doing some research and aimlessly following my heart.  Unexpectedly, I didn’t end up falling in love with a person in Taipei, instead I fell in love with the food and it’s food culture. It was cheaper to eat out than to cook at home in Taipei. I gave up buying groceries after the first week I was there.  There was food everywhere. By that I mean street food of any kind just about anywhere you went at any hour.  Taiwan is well known for it’s night markets filled with food venders and merchandise.  You can get green onion pancakes, spiced deep fried calamari, octopus, potato tornadoes and, of course stinky tofu. I will admit, that is one thing I did not try.  These are just to name a few.  If it wasn’t street food it was an array of restaurants and eateries focusing on anything from dumplings to Taiwanese Shave Ice treats to breakfast food. Don’t get me started on their bubble milk tea and avocado milk shakes.  One of the evenings I was there, I was being dumped while sipping on an Avocado milkshake. In between the bewilderment, the sadness and pain I was finding comfort in that avocado milk shake. Yes, even in the extreme moments in my life I still think of FOOD.  To this day, avocado milk shakes are a comfort food.

potato tornado
potato tornado | photo by catia da silva

One of my roommate’s had a cousin that was visiting from New Zealand. I had already been in Taipei for at least a month when his cousin arrived and offered to show him around.  At first I asked him what sites he wanted to go see. Lungshan Temple? Chiang Kai Shek Memorial? Taipei 101? He hummed and hawed for a bit and then ask me if I know the good places to eat.  I smiled and told him that he found the perfect guide for the tour.  I thought to myself, ‘This man was talking my language’.  I took him to the near by food market.  We had Taiwanese Shaved Ice, I introduced him to bubble tea.  We went on a food adventure trying all kinds of street food and snacks.  My favourite kind of breakfast ever, is the Taiwanese breakfast. Milk tea with a taro or turnip cake and a kind of crepe omelette rolled with tuna and some other kind of amazing.

Taiwanese Shaved Ice with red bean and condensed milk topping
Taiwanese Shaved Ice with red bean and condensed milk topping

Just about anywhere I have traveled I can think of a food item that I fell in love with.  Montreal, Shwartz melt in your mouth smoked meat. Lisbon, warm custard tarts and espresso, barbecued chicken and the freshest sardines known to human kind. Ottawa, precious beaver tail.  New York, cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes. Rome, hazelnut gelato, fresh ciabata and of course PIZZA. San Francisco, the best organic café au lait I have ever tasted, it was heaven in my mouth and, of course, sour dough bread sandwiches.  Toronto, an ethnic food meca! I can’t pick just one place in Toronto, there are soooo many.  Manitoullin Island, Elk Burger.  London, England – Chicken Curry and soft oat cakes. Southern Taiwan I had the best Thai Food I have ever eaten (not having been to Thailand yet). Cape Breton, clam chowder. I could eat buckets of it.

Along my travels I fell in love with a world of food. What does that have to do with Pizza?

EVERYTHING!  I can bring my foodgasm experiences to the pizza pie.


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