I got back last Sunday. Plunged right back into work the next day. Or tried to. Jet lag forced me to take two days off on Tuesday and Wednesday. Eep. I’m lucky work is so understanding. My bosses being from the UK know a thing or two about jet lag when returning to Singapore, I suppose.
The last time I attempted a recap of my March/April trip to Malta and Italy, I failed miserably. I stopped at the Venice leg and never picked it up again. I guess you’ll never get to hear about my Couchsurfing host in Florence who repeatedly persuaded me to eat pork and drink wine; my host in Rome and his girlfriend who were simply wonderful; my other Rome host who didn’t respond too well to my joke about Italians (oops), or my Naples host who had loud sex with his girlfriend one bedroom away. And of course all the crazy-beautiful things I saw/did/ate in each of those cities.
Too late now. That ship has sailed. I’ve gone on yet another trip and now this trip is alllllll that matters. But! This time around I want to do something different. So I don’t bore myself by trying to cram too many words and too many pictures into a single post, I’ve decided to make things a little more interesting by dividing my trip into categories.
First up: food, glorious food that I ate in Malta, Italy and France.
Or some of, rather. I didn’t take photos of everything I consumed. But I damn near did. Oh, and to get an exact picture of the amount of coffee I imbibed, multiply what you see here by forty nine. Yes, I’m serious.
1. Injera – Selam, Hamrun, Malta
Injera is a yeast-risen flatbread with a unique, spongy texture and is loaded on with a variety of stews containing a few kinds of legumes, and salad and/or meat. (Ours was meatless.) It is a national dish of Ethiopia and Eritrea. How you eat it is you tear a piece of injera and use it to grasp at the stew and other stuff. Hence injera is simultaneously food, eating utensil and plate. Cool, no?
2. Scampi and fries – the Blue Grotto, Malta
3. Shrimp fried noodles – Wagamama, St Julian’s, Malta
I ate this with chopsticks, much to the fascination of my friend NT’s children. I tried to teach them but they gave up after several minutes. Ha!
4. Ginger cheesecake – Wagamama, St Julian’s, Malta
I couldn’t resist it even though I was so full from the noodles. It was worth the bloated stomach after.
5. Garlic bread and bruschetta – St Julian’s, Malta
6. Baci cake – St Julian’s, Malta
Because calories don’t count when you’re on vacation. (FALSE!)
7. Banoffee pie – Fontanella Tea Garden, Mdina, Malta
The very same one I had in April. Did not disappoint.
8. A buffet of antipasti – Camelot, Catania, Sicily
Our Airbnb host took us there. I wasn’t quite satisfied and wanted to eat more, but because both he and NT said they were done, I was too shy to have any more. Turned out NT wanted more but was too shy because our host and I both said we were full. Argh! Lesson learned: don’t be shy. Just eat!
9. Un caffè e un cornetto, per favore – Sapienza, Catania, Sicily
A typical Italian breakfast consists of an espresso and a pastry and I wasn’t about to deviate from the norm, no, sir. Our host directed us to Sapienza for our breakfast needs and the reason was clear. The pastry – any pastry – was always perfectly light and airy and buttery and flaky and creamy and succulent where need be. Mmmph. I have to stop thinking about it. I might cry.
10. Fusilli with swordfish – Siracusa, Sicily
11. Bruschetta – foot of Mt Etna, Sicily
Pretty standard and could have done with more balsamic vinegar, dammit. But seeing as it was our first bite to eat post-hike up Mt Etna, we gulped this down in mere minutes.
12. Farfalle with tomatoes, peas and potatoes – foot of Mt Etna, Sicily
First real meal post-hike, so DELIZIOSO.
13. Iced coffee – Taormina, Sicily
14. Chocolate dipped vanilla frozen yoghurt with pistachio – Taormina, Sicily
Life was hard, you guys.
15. Pasta alla Norma with a side of mushrooms – Trattoria Na Za Rosa, Catania, Sicily
God, it was good. Such a huge serving and cost just €7!
16. Un cappuccino e un cornetto, per favore – La Spezia, Liguria
This croissant had Nutella in it. Ooh la la! Sorry, wrong country. Mamma mia!
17. Muffin made with chocolate from Perugia – La Spezia, Liguria
18. Ravioli with shrimp – Ciak La Lampara, Monterosso, Liguria
19. Limone gelato – Vernazza, Liguria
Again, life was soooo hard.
20. Whole wheat panzerotti stuffed with mozzarella and zucchini – Luini Panzerotti, Milan
This snack shop is super popular among locals and always has a queue. One bite into this and I instantly knew why. I MEAN.
21. Gianduja e fragola gelati – Cioccolati Italiani, Milan
Need I say more?
22. Scialatielli ai frutti di mare – Fresco & Cimmino, Milan
This was one of MM my Italian teacher’s favourite haunts in Milan. He told me to come here on his behalf. Scialatielli is handmade pasta that looks like fettucine, but thicker. It was scrumptious but the serving was too small for the hefty price tag of €22!
23. Hot chocolate and a vegetarian sandwich – Cadorna, Milan
The last thing I ate in Milan before I took the train to Malpensa where public crying ensued. I will explain.
24. Mille feuille!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – Jardin des Tuileries, Paris
I ordered this – in French! – from a patisserie in Rue Cler and resolved that I would not eat it until I reached the Tuileries Garden. I took it with me on the metro and everything. When I reached the Standing Woman statue, I thought, yep, this is my spot. It was windy and absolutely freezing but I didn’t care. I had my mille feuille and I was in the Tuileries Garden. I was happy.
25. JL – Creperies des Arts, Paris
Erm. I mean crepe with egg and spinach. And JL. 😀
I reached our meeting place, Fontaine St Michel, before he did, and when he came I saw that he was looking around for me. I did a proper run/bump into him a la Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney in My Best Friend’s Wedding; I was ecstatic. I wish I could find a clip of it on Youtube. It was exactly like that except for the accidental kiss. That didn’t happen. Womp womp.
So there you go – some of the things I ate on my recent European trip. Woo!