Currently, we are in Basel, Switzerland. We're staying with a friend from the Crescendo Institute (the violinist in our quartet) today and tomorrow Karl, me, and our friend will travel to Paris. It took us 21 hours and 9 trains to arrive in Basel and we are so happy to be here.
Since I last blogged we have been in Padova, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, (and Nice, France- although it was only for 25 minutes, so it doesn't really count). Today I want to share about some of the food we have been eating while we have been in Europe. We've tried some of the local foods and some familiar foods and have seen strange things that aren't usual at all for Americans.
For instance, we stayed with a host in Padova, Italy and on the way to his flat he pointed out the butchers store. But this wasn't just any butcher. It was a butcher that only sold horse meat. Yup. Horse meat. It's quite common and tasty, he told us. (thanks, i'll take your word for it)
(fresh salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta, dill and bacon)
This first picture if from our free-day at the festival. We went on a wine tasting tour that included a 3-course meal at a French restaurant in Hungary. I loved the idea of this place- it was opened by some French artists and chefs who have a beautiful restaurant filled with their artwork!
(couscous, herbed chicken, and a sweet squash loaf)
this was the second course at the restaurant. I felt so fancy eating in courses and trying new flavors!
(different kinds of desserts- sweetmeats, etc.)
The final and 3rd course of our meal had some sweetmeats and different dessert bites. I'm not even sure what to call them. The little meatball-looking things were very sweet- I think they had some nuts and honey in them. They were served neither hot nor cold. Interesting, but I think my taste buds would have preferred gelato ;)
this is a traditional Hungarian dish- chicken paprikish. It is VERY DELICIOUS (!!!!!!!!! I loved it) and is served with their traditional pasta, which is super dense and therefore, super filling.
speaking about paprika, this is one of the stands at a Hungarian market (in the Great Hall Market) that sells all different kind and forms of paprika. In restaurants you won't find salt and pepper on the table. You'll find paprika. I bought a beautiful tin of paprika and plan to make some chicken paprikish when we get back home.
(just so you know, we're not choco-alco-addicts) We found these (and more!) flavors of chocolate in the Hungarian supermarket and thought it was slightly funny since there were so many alcoholic flavors.
one night during the festival, we had a grill party outside the castle gate. they served kebabs, pita wedges and salad. Yum!
our last night at the festival we went to our favorite hangout-food place in Sarospatak. They have the most adorable outside garden to eat in. Also they have a bajillion different kinds of pizzas with every topping imaginable- from hot dog pieces to corn.
here we are in Venice trying a Spritz. It's white wine, bitters, red flavoring, ice, seltzer water and lemon wedge. If you leave it on your tongue it tastes sweet, but the moment you swallow it, you could breathe out fire. Oh, also I wouldn't recommend drinking it in the morning on an empty stomach. just saying :)
beautiful marzipan in Venice.
an outside street market in Venice- these hot peppers were so beautiful! they also had a notice saying don't touch them. Yeah, I'm going to listen to that.
a night dinner in a beautiful garden in Venice. Al fresco eating is pretty much the only way to eat in Venice, Rome and Florence. As far as I can remember, I didn't see a restaurant that didn't have outdoor seating. This meal was very yummy- Karl had the gnocchi with meat sauce and I had penne arrabiata. They served it with bread and a healthy helping of parmesan. Also the wine was cheaper than my water. That's how you know you're in Italy.
A bakery window with gigantic meringues and biscotti. Seriously, these meringues were bigger than my hand. And every bakery has bigger meringues than the last one. That's my kind of bakery.
This is the traditional pasta dish in the Vernazza of the Cinque Terre. It looks like worms, but it's actually pretty tasty and covered in a basil-pesto sauce that is wonderful!
Well, that's all for now. I can't believe we don't have a picture of gelato-we probably just gobbled it up to fast to think about taking a picture. But hey, we've got priorities.