Octopus balls and goat stew – some of our favourite travel food

I believe food is more than fuel. It can lift the spirits, represents unique cultures and rekindles precious memories, …… I love that you can associate food with places and that the recollection of the memory can be so representative of the where the food experience took place, you can almost touch the people, the culture, the smells. So here are some of my top food and travel memories ..

Octopus balls in Schinoussa, Little Cyclades Islands, Greece – island number three in a last minute two-week island hopping trip. While the Olympics were kicking off in Athens we walked the length and width of the 9km square gem of an island. Slow paced, with fewer than 300 inhabitants we slipped into a world of mules and octopus. The latter, caught throughout the islands, were transformed by our hosts into the most delicious meze enjoyed on the terrace overlooking Tsigouri beach with a couple of bottles of cheeky island red wine made especially for 2004.

Octopus ball mémories of Schinoussa

Goat Stew in Cofete, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands – after a very bumpy 4×4 ride on the mountain road from Morro Jable on a somewhat windy day, a stop for coffee at the lone restaurant seemed well needed. It’s definitely a spectacular location with 12 km beach and worth the trip but it is remote and lacking in facilities. The food looked so good in the café we decided to stay to eat and had some exquisite goat stew that set us up for our way back to the more civilised side of the island.

Fish soup by the Gironde – this has become quite an annual pilgrimage for my family and I during our summer camping adventures. I can’t even remember why. Could it be the drive through undulating Medoc vineyards or the lure of authenticity? Not sure it really matters but there is one key restaurant for us, just outside Paulliac near St Estephe. The Peyrat is certainly worth a cloudy day visit when the Atlantic coast beaches are less attractive. The clientele, we tell ourselves, are wine makers or growers and if you tire of the fish soup option then the menu du jour certainly offers some some great local dishes including fruits of the land and sea.

Gherkins in Syrup, Paphos, Cyprus – food memories do of course exist for the wrong reasons and not to want to be seen to being playing it safe, on this occasion the gherkins marinating in syrup on the breakfast buffet had to be tried. There is of course a reason why this is not a renowned local dish and perhaps why research has recently been undertaken to establish an authentic and recognisable “Cypriot Breakfast”!

Looking forward to creating the next travel food memory!

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