Last week a put a tweet out asking for ideas of what to base this post on. My favourite was the suggestion to compare all the different types of cakes I've tried throughout my travels (for anyone who doesn't know, that is A LOT of cake). I originally started out by making a post with all my 'Foody Favourites', a list of all the amazing food and drink I've tried whilst travelling, as I wanted to be indiscriminate to all those crazy cake-haters out there. However, I've been ill recently and had a particularly bad night last night, so in an attempt to make myself and you lot giggle (and probably cringe a little too) here's a low down of my foody horror stories from my travels thus far.
Bus ride from Lima to Cusco, Peru - Chicken, Rice and Jam?
Imagine this. You arrive in a new country, a new continent in fact and you're just about to embark on a 24 hour bus journey. You're tired and frustrated because the bus company have messed you around so you had to pay for your ticket twice. You're throwing up from altitude sickness because you're around 3000km higher up than you're used to and you've not eaten a proper meal in a few days because you've been struggling with changing your dollars to soles. All you want is something bearable to eat that will fill you up. And this arrives. Because I'm an idiot and chicken is like my kryptonite, I decided that the pinkish bit in the middle was nothing to worry about, 'they must just make it like that' in Peru. I wasn't even brave enough to touch the jam thingy. As you can imagine, it all came back up rather swiftly.
Nashville, Tennessee, USA - Cheesy Fries
You'd expect Americans to be the experts in Cheesy Fries, but this cheese was possibly the worst I'd ever tasted. It was the glue-your-mouth-together-and-burn-your-tongue-but-not-in-a-good-way kind, that was more sickly than yummy. I can still taste it to this day... *shudders*
NYC, New York, USA - Large Chicken Nuggets Meal
This one is more of a rant at the RIDICULOUS portion sizes served in the USA. Here I'm sat with a large McDonald's consisting of 20 chicken nuggests, a portion of chips double that you'd get in a large meal in the UK and a drink so large that four of us struggled to finish it. It's insane. As someone who hates waste I had to soldier through and finish everything, feeling rather frumpy afterwards. Darn my, 'when in Rome' attitude.
Nice, France - Mussels in Curry Sauce
I'm sure this one doesn't need to much explanation as the description of the meal itself sounds unappealing to almost anyone who has tried mussels before. Unfortunately, Tom hadn't. In his defense, he did manage to work his way through a pretty impressive amount of them.
Bus ride from Copacabana, Bolivia to Juliaca, Peru - Bag of Cheese and Potatoes
You'd think that from our initial experience with Peruvian bus food we'd have learned our lesson. However just two months later, here we are again. This was a moment of desperation, we hadn't eaten for almost 16 hours and weren't going to get to eat for another four. So when these STREET VENDERS - I know, I know - got on the bus we decided to spend our last two soles (about 50p) on this bag of mystery food. Our logic? Well there was no meat in it, so we figured that there was no harm in trying. And the cheese was actually alright. But if you've never tried cold, hard and uncooked, potatoes before... then don't. Even starving hungry we could hardly stomach these.
Braunschweig, Germany - Apfelglühwein
Whilst on an exchange in college, we visited the Christmas markets with our partners. They were lovely enough to buy us all some of their locally brewed apple mulled wine as they wanted us to sample something typically German. As we're all terribly British and therefore far too polite, we pretended we found it delicious, whilst secretly pouring it on to the floor or feeding it to another friend whilst backs were turned. It turns out however that we were perhaps a little too convincing, as they then preceded to buy us more. Selina, if you're reading this, I'm sorry :P
Arica, Chile - Pizza, apparently.
Whenever I see these pictures I can't help but chuckle. I showed them in a presentation I was giving to some of the classes I used to teach and the gasps of horror and the looks of disgust on the children's faces at the fact that this was allowed to be called a pizza, will forever accompany these images in my mind. It was also possibly the most expensive meal I ate in South America, around 4000 pesos, equivalent to about £5.30. Doesn't seem like a lot but for a backpacker on a tight budget, it's a bloody fortune.
Nashville, Tennessee, USA - Some kind of Burrito at Taco Bell
Now you might be tempted to suggest that from the examples I've given you already, that it's clearly safer to stick with what you know or chains with seemingly good reputations. No. Taco Bell is easily one of the worst places I ate in the USA. The taste was bland and uninteresting and it's one of those places that makes you feel so bad about yourself that you find yourself seriously considering giving up food and living solely off weight watchers smoothies for the rest of your life. It also has errr... other negative consequences. I'll let you use your imaginations on that one.
Atlanta, Georgia, USA - Coca Cola World
An all together different experience which I wrote extensively about in April, was our trip to Coca Cola world. Besides the trip being a rather terrifying one, it turns out that their brainwashing techniques actually work. As more of a Sprite girl myself, Coke has never really appealed to me, however I found myself ordering it impulsively for the next few weeks without really knowing why. Once again I am warning you, steer clear of that place.
Milan, Italy - Limoncello
Let's just say that the night we drank this three of us ended up vomiting, a lot. It is not worth buying Limoncello at 2.99 euros a bottle, even if you are on a tight budget. Especially if you intend to play drinking games with it. Never again.
And that's about all I can think of for now. It'd be cool to hear of anyone else's stories so comment and let me know. I'll need more ideas for blog posts too, so keep them coming. Also, I'm a big fan of comments and I don't get too many at the moment ;) *hinthint*
If you were disappointed and wanted some actual advice on where to eat on your travels as opposed to where to avoid, the 'Foody Favourites' post has been completed and archived, so if it's requested I'll just put it up. Otherwise I'll bring it out one day when inspiration is failing me.