I have a handful of meals I’ve eaten over the years that I’d still write home about. Perhaps they’ve been artificially improved through the rosy filter of nostalgia. Whether or that’s the case or not, these delicious meals, some simple, some extravagant, have found a permanent place in my head and heart, as well as too temporary a one in my stomach…
I’ll share these here, while taking a nod from Douglas Adams (Author of the five-book Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy “Trilogy”) and won’t limit myself to just ten, or force myself to come up with a few more if I find the number falls short… Consider this a list of absolute favorites of all time, presented or ranked in no particular order.
Ok, intro aside, here goes.
I spent a college semester living in France (as an exchange student St. Malo, Brittany). I wasn’t as open minded about food as I am now, not neccesarily picky just not culinarily venturesome. Being thrown into a new culture where everything was new and different I was able to broaden my mind and horizons. I had my first artichoke, different types of seafood, and rabbit.
I travelled as much as possible while I was there, went to Paris a couple times, spent some time in the south (visited Montelimar – the nougat capital of the world), and took as many daytrips as my “house family” would endure.
One such trip was to Mt. St. Michel – not an hours drive. We meandered up the narrow and winding streets, exploring shops, the cathederal above and eventually settled into a tiny creperie above a gift shop in a tudor house.
It was small, warm and inviting. We had galettes – a buckwheat “pancake” with an egg (over easy), ham and cheese (emmental – a type of swiss) cooked inside (think pancake meets omelette). It was so simple, but so good.
To drink we had cider (hard cider) – the regional specialty, as we were north of wine country). A perfect compliment to the meal, and something I decided was going to become my drink of choice then – and upon my return to the states. Unfortunately, it was several years before hard cider became so easy to come by commercially. During that time I found a supplier – a group of monks at a monestary in Quebec… not exactly a quick jaunt (only been there twice in 10 years) but authentic enough to bring me back.
Dessert was also simple, but sublime. A crepe served with chocolate ice cream (with tiny chocolate shavings in the ice cream)
The comfort factor could come from the fact that the entire meal was nearly all foods or flavors I’d eaten back home – Eggs, pancakes, ham, swiss cheese (which I didn’t like previously), chocolate ice cream, apple juice. I’ve always liked eating breakfast for dinner, but these were combined in a whole new way, that more than 12 years later it is still an unforgettable experience.
I think I’m going to try to whip this up tomorrow. Recipe to follow.