Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Matter of Taste

I am still on the hunt for the local specialty, žgnaci z kislim mlekom. I must travel to the mountains, I hear. Grrr.(pic by The Captain, a natural talent)

From time to time, I've been known to complain about the quality of food here. I am an avid cook and a bit of a foodie, and I've found a lot of the food here bland, with far too few sauces for this condiment junkie. I've gone to gostilnas (local pubs) and been served a plate of roasted meat with only a side of onions and bread. While my fellow diners heartily dug in, I just glared. No nice presentation? No sauce? No festive sprig of parsley on the side? What?!! I was practically clutching my pearls.

But you know what? I realized I need to take (some of) my criticism back. I have, actually , had quite a few fantastic culinary experiences here, and I thought I better share (if only to keep me off government watch lists).

In Hvar, Croatia: We got the most absurdly fresh olive oil, sold to us (in old water bottles) by the very woman (a fiesty one she was) that made it. We grabbed slices of fresh bread, a little salt, and some of the wine she'd sold us. It was heavenly. We also came across the most incredible tub of salted sardines. We'd slice the thin skin off on both sides, de-bone, and go to town. It was addictive.

Here at home in Radovljica, I've had some of the best freshly made apple streudel (with apples from our tree!) and just the other day I tasted sarmas for the first time. For someone-- like me--who thinks cabbage is an underappreciated vegetable, the sarmas (meat and rice wrapped in slightly vinegary boiled cabbage with a light tomato sauce)was lovely. Just yesterday, I ate a fresh salad (pulled also from our garden) with mache' (a very expensive salad green in the states) . I am also enjoying going to the bread shops early in the morning for cheap warm baguettes (I was worried that all this bread would make me fat, but with the rampant inflation, I think bread will be axed from our diet, soon enough).

So, there, it ain't all bad! My mouth isn't angry. I am available for dinner, any night. Just tell me what you're making, so I can bring the sauce. ;)

EDIT: (Poulette, never fear! I printed out your list of gostilnas and we are headed there soon!)


Anonymous said...

Gee, I just saw your post and got worried that you'd chosen to ignore my advice for a second there! As far as my list is concerned, you can be sure that you'll be treated to culinary delights, Michelin star worthy presentation AND a bill that won't break the bank. What more could a girl want?!

Anonymous said...

I have the exact opposite problem here, Swedes INSIST everything should be sauce soaked and being a native East Coaster, our motto is if we can't see it we don't eat it. lol!