Thursday 19th January 2012
Holidays are the perfect time to throw caution to the wind & try something new. I’ve had the pleasure, & incredible fortune, to be able to have literally hundreds of new experience on my holidays.
It goes without saying that the vast majority of mine revolve around food. Whether it be diving for clams off the coast of Kerkennah, Tunisia, before eating them raw on the side of the boat or the splendiferous sight of the all-you-can-eat buffet at ‘Bob Stupak’s Vegas world’, Las Vegas. An experience in itself.
That’s not to say that eating the finer things in life is what it’s all about. (Ok, I know an AYCE buffet doesn’t smack of fine dinning but they did have prime rib!) Far from it. In fact some of the more modest meals I’ve eaten have had a more lasting effect on my life.
A simple salad of feta & black olives served with crusty bread eaten looking over the blue seas in the sleepy village of Igoumenitsa, Greece, was one of the highlights of inter-railing around Europe. Or eating straight-from-the-fryer sugared donuts whilst walking along Southend Pier, England, arm-in-arm with my now wife, then new girlfriend, is a memory that will stay with me forever.
It doesn’t have to cost you an arm & a leg, nor do you have to go to the ends of the earth.
Pizza has played a memorable part in many a trip. And one of the best pizzas I’ve had the pleasure of eating, came with a fair amount of danger attached.
We were camping in Porto Teulada, Sardinia. It was right at the end of the tourist season so the place was nigh on empty, which was fine by us. (Always preferred to travel out of season – guarantees a spot on the beach!) Besides, it had a beach & the sea to keep us happy so we pitched up for the week. Evening meal was cooked on our 1 ring camping stove but for lunch we treated ourselves to a delicious, freshly baked pizza bread from the campsite store.
They were oval in shape & thick like Indian nann bread. The topping consisted of halved sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil & lumps of beautiful, creamy mozzarella cheese. All laced with olive oil. The dough had risen around the delicious ingredients so they were incapsulated in pizza bread.
At around 1 o’clock everyday we’d carry our warm & doughy delights down to our regular spot on the beach where we would proceed to have lunch.
Or try to at least!
Unbeknown to us, September was wasp season in this tiny part of the northern hemisphere. Every time we uncover lunch we were swamped by two & half thousand hungry wasps. My wife & I would then run up & down the beach cramming handfuls of mozzarella into our mouths before the wasps descended on us again. The first day ended with us both standing in the sea up to our waists finishing our pizzas.
From then on we devised a method of ducking our heads under a towel to take a bit. Not perfect but the view of the turquoise seawater licking at our feet was too enticing to turn down.
“What d’ya think Zee? Is it was good as the usual one.” I asked of our Greek delights.
“” He gestured between mouthfuls.