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Old 01-28-2015, 05:31 PM   #1
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Dining while on vacation, trying new foods

I also subscribe to the Cruise Critic forums. One couple from Toronto was concerned after reading some menus from a European River cruise.
They said," We have fairly simple North American taste in food and unfortunately we are not very adventurous to try new foods, all of the dinners on these cruises seem very gourmet and many items we have never eaten". Furthermore, they also said,"I must admit we are very leery of the sample menus we have viewed......we don't eat any fish.....and have seen veal, lamb, duck....which we have never eaten".
The comments from other posters were supportive, explaining they could get their meat and potatoes on the cruise.
The most interesting one came from someone posting derivations of "American Food"
Almost all so-called American food is directly derived from foods from other countries. Most American recipes came from Europe. The biggest difference between American food and the European counterpart is that cooks used what was locally available to make the same dish. For example:

Macaroni and Cheese came from Italy where it is known as Cacio e Pepe and made with Parmesan Cheese instead of American Cheese.

Pizza (all types) came directly from Naples, Italy. Neopolitan pizza is about the highest quality of ingredients. Americans added more ingredients and lower quality.

Meatloaf is actually from 5th Century Rome.

French Fries likely came to France and then the US by way of Spain and then Belgium.

Pasta came to America via China and then Italy.

Pot Roast is essentially and Americanized recipe for French braised beef or Daube de Bouef.

Chicken pot pie's origin began in ancient Egypt and Greece, then spread all over the Roman Empire before making its way to Medieval Europe. In the early days, the crust was used more as a pot lid or to preserve the food than something people would eat. In Europe the pastry was refined by the Italians and French and then crossed over to Britain and finally was brought to North America by English Pilgrims.


Probably you already are eating all kinds of European classic dishes ALL the time and don't even know it. So do go on this lovely river cruise and enjoy the wonderful food they have onboard. Perhaps you can take advantage of the lunch buffet to try small amounts of foods which are new to you. After all, they are included in the price of the cruise anyway. You may find a new favorite or two.

Do you enjoy trying new foods when they are available? When we travel, trying local cuisine is part of the travel experience.
The one place that blew us away was the Les Halles market in Lyon, France! On the same trip we loved going through the local farmer's market in Nice, France. We bought some neat Herbes de Provence spice grinders for ourselves and some of our friends.

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Old 01-28-2015, 06:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Souschef View Post
I also subscribe to the Cruise Critic forums. One couple from Toronto was concerned after reading some menus from a European River cruise.
They said," We have fairly simple North American taste in food and unfortunately we are not very adventurous to try new foods, all of the dinners on these cruises seem very gourmet and many items we have never eaten". Furthermore, they also said,"I must admit we are very leery of the sample menus we have viewed......we don't eat any fish.....and have seen veal, lamb, duck....which we have never eaten".
The comments from other posters were supportive, explaining they could get their meat and potatoes on the cruise.
The most interesting one came from someone posting derivations of "American Food"
Almost all so-called American food is directly derived from foods from other countries. Most American recipes came from Europe. The biggest difference between American food and the European counterpart is that cooks used what was locally available to make the same dish. For example:

Macaroni and Cheese came from Italy where it is known as Cacio e Pepe and made with Parmesan Cheese instead of American Cheese.

Pizza (all types) came directly from Naples, Italy. Neopolitan pizza is about the highest quality of ingredients. Americans added more ingredients and lower quality.

Meatloaf is actually from 5th Century Rome.

French Fries likely came to France and then the US by way of Spain and then Belgium.

Pasta came to America via China and then Italy.

Pot Roast is essentially and Americanized recipe for French braised beef or Daube de Bouef.

Chicken pot pie's origin began in ancient Egypt and Greece, then spread all over the Roman Empire before making its way to Medieval Europe. In the early days, the crust was used more as a pot lid or to preserve the food than something people would eat. In Europe the pastry was refined by the Italians and French and then crossed over to Britain and finally was brought to North America by English Pilgrims.


Probably you already are eating all kinds of European classic dishes ALL the time and don't even know it. So do go on this lovely river cruise and enjoy the wonderful food they have onboard. Perhaps you can take advantage of the lunch buffet to try small amounts of foods which are new to you. After all, they are included in the price of the cruise anyway. You may find a new favorite or two.

Do you enjoy trying new foods when they are available? When we travel, trying local cuisine is part of the travel experience.
The one place that blew us away was the Les Halles market in Lyon, France! On the same trip we loved going through the local farmer's market in Nice, France. We bought some neat Herbes de Provence spice grinders for ourselves and some of our friends.
I love experimenting with new foods. It's part of being abroad. When we used to take a house in Menorca every summer we used to go to the market and see what there was and if we didn't recognise something we got involved in a pidgin English/pidgin Spanish conversation about it with the help of the cookery books we'd taken with us. We quickly learned to say "what's good today?"

We went to Egypt 20 years ago and part of the trip was a week's Nile cruise visiting sites on the way. The food was out of this world and served on the "help yourself" style. The first course was always a vast spread of mostly vegetable based specialities and salads which you could have made a whole meal of, second course was a selection of meat or fish dishes and there was a choice of fruit and a dessert. At our table there was a couple who were vegetarian. They "couldn't" eat anything on the display of food. The waiters and chef pulled out all the stops and really wanted to help but this couple weren't having any of it. They ended up having plain omelettes twice a day for the whole week and moaning constantly about the awful food.
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:37 PM   #3
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I am more of an "adventurist" when on vacation. I love going to a new place and trying something that I never heard of, now it has bitten me a few times. One time that comes to mind when I struck out TWICE at one sitting, lol, we were in France, and my wife ordered a vegatable sort of green wrapped dumpling {cant remember what they are called} with french cabbage soup. Now keep in mind it was my first time in france and at a french speaking restaurant {I don't speak french}...
I order a dish that has rabbit, it was a special that night, and like i said adventurist while on vacation {I actually ate rabbit many times in the US}. But the sauce they covered thes epoor rabbit parts with was TERRIBLE, thick, cheesy-ish, and brown, was not good, so NO big deal, I ordered the next special down, {I have no problem paying for a full dish i took 2 bites out of, I am on vacation}...

That turned out to be Cow utter and tongue, which I have never tried, and my father used to tell me stories of a place in texas they used to get cow tongue from...
I found out its not for me, I am not sure which was the utter and which was the tongue {it was mixed up in another sauce, which tasted much better than the rabbit sauce..}

I ended up with onion soup with a piece of stuffed chicken breast that melted in my mouth, the onion soup had a soft cheese on the top that they carmelized, it was amazing, and the waiter brought me over some hot breads to try since I didn't like the first two meals, I left their stuffed, and we were on vacation with another couple that was arriving the next morning, I gave my left overs to my friend John who ate them and said they were great, when I asked what he thought about the sauce on the rabbit he said "which one was rabbit?"... Its a funny story when I tell it in person, lol
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:02 PM   #4
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DH and also think part of the traveling experience is to eat the local cuisine. Food, art, architecture, textiles, etc., are ways to learn more about the history and culture of a place.

One of my favorite experiences overseas was visiting the central market in Florence; it was absolutely breathtaking. And I know that one of DH's favorite places to visit in Thuringia, Germany, was the beer market. Yes, a store devoted entirely to beer. This was 20 years ago, long before the craft beer explosion in the United States.

Yes, food, drink and travel are inextricably linked. I hope that couple is able to enjoy their trip.
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:16 PM   #5
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Dining while on vacation-trying new foods

We love to eat locally when on vacation too, though we draw the line at eyeball tacos. And menudo.
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:40 PM   #6
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Foreign Foods

My sis is not quite that bad, but after a cruise on Oceania, she remarked, "I guess we are just not Jacques Pepin people". It is kind of sad, with all the interesting food in the world, to limit one's self.
When we were in St. Petersburg, Russia, there was a restaurant across the
street, with a Cryllic sign НИХАО, I could read enough to sound out "nihao", which is hello in Chinese. It was a great find, with a menu in English, Russian, and Chinese, with pictures of all the dishes.
There was another Restaurant next to it, and when I sounded out the letters, it was Burger King!
My sis would have been right at home there
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:46 PM   #7
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It was very important to me before I became a diabetic, now it's just a nuisance.

I've always enjoyed seeing how the locals live and sampling the local food. I would rather go shopping in a local farmers market, bakery, grocery or drug store than spend time looking at one more old relic behind a velvet rope. Having said that I also like a little old fashioned familiar comfort food, nothing wrong with stashing a jar of peanut butter in the suitcase!
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:14 PM   #8
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I'm an adventurous foodie married to a meat and potatoes Ogre. I don't eat bugs, brains or brussels sprouts.
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Old 01-29-2015, 01:47 PM   #9
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I'm very adventurous when traveling. I'll try anything once...including bugs (provided they aren't moving), brains, and brussels sprouts.
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:53 PM   #10
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To me, a huge part of a vacation trip is trying the food. Everywhere we go, we hit a local grocery store, which can be a real revelation in other countries. Even Canada! I know some of you are Canadians, and I was surprised at how different the stores were in Quebec compared to the bordering U.S. states. Once we were going to Vancouver from Seattle and when the border guard asked our purpose in Canada. We replied the simple truth: Chinese food. She was NOT amused and made us choose from her available options, so tourism it was. We still laugh about it. We did other things, but the Chinese restaurant we chose and Asian grocery stores were what we really missed from our Hawaii days and was our real goal!
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