For me travel is about discovery – I learn a little history and see some amazing scenery – but best of all I get to eat things that are rare or unavailable at home, and occasionally discover something completely new. Here are five of the best things I’ve eaten overseas this year, and where to find them.
Almond Croissant (Fleur de Farine, Romainmôtier, Switzerland)
It shouldn’t be hard to get a good croissant – such a basic breakfast staple. But even in Europe, I’m often disappointed. Not so at this unassuming wood-fired bakery-café in the Swiss Jura, where the almond croissants are my benchmark. The flans, artisanal bread and coffee are good too.
Passatelli (Osteria La Corte di Berengario II, San Leo, Italy)
Passatelli, a specialty of Romagna (the eastern half of Emilia-Romagna), is a short extruded pasta made from stale bread, egg, Grana Padano and lemon. I discovered this at a rustic osteria on the cobbled main street of San Leo, served simply with butter and grated cave-aged cheese it was a revelation!
Chicken Oyster Salad (Le Coq Rico, Paris, France)
This casual modern bistro in Montmartre, specialising in poultry, serves some of the tastiest food I’ve ever eaten. The highlight was a salad of roast chicken oysters (those two tender bits of meat either side of the backbone) tossed with waxy potato, radish, rocket and a citrus vinaigrette.
Morels Stuffed with Wild Garlic (Café de Riex, Riex, Switzerland)
Two of my favourite Ingredients just happen to be in season at the same time in Europe – fresh morels (hard to come by in Australia) and wild garlic (bärlauch in Swiss). So I was in heaven when I discovered them together in this delicious dish in a small town on the hillside overlooking Lake Geneva.
Orange & Black Pepper Cake (Flat Three, London, UK)
The menu of this subterranean Holland Park restaurant reminded me of home, with its combination of interesting herbs and vegetables, foraging, fermentation and Japanese/Korean inspiration. Most memorable was a deceptively simple orange and black pepper cake with carrot sorbet and lemon balm ice cream.