Culinary misadventures in Travel


Food is an important part of travel and culinary exploration is an essential part of my itinerary, wherever I go! I tend to become very courageous in my experiments with cuisines during travel and being a non-vegetarian helps. Although my stomach does not agree with too spicy or oily foods but I still try to taste the local cuisine and delicacies particular to the place I am visiting. The experiments lead to some amazing experiences and some not-so-sweet ones as well. Nevertheless, they form incredible memories!

On one such travel to Andamans, I learnt a couple of interesting things:

Be prepared to face the consequences of your experiment

Beaches are synonymous with sea-food. Being an inhabitant of North India visiting a beach for the first time, I was excited to try seafood. For us Punjabis, seafood means fish. When I saw a variety of fresh seafood there, my taste buds went berserk. Prawns were a delight. I even ordered crab which I had no idea how to eat. My husband and I kept looking at the crabs on our plates and the crab mallets lying at the side. After trying to break and understand what to eat and what to leave, we sat exhausted after twenty minutes, with little in our stomachs and much on the plate. As a last resort, we called the waiter and requested him sheepishly to help us out. He looked at the mess on our plates and (I know he was suppressing a smile) helped us very patiently and calmly. Eating a crab is not a child’s play.

The next day, despite the previous day’s misadventure, we both were not bogged down. Back at our favourite table in the four star restaurant, we went a step further and decided to order lobsters. The only issue was that the price was not mentioned and only ‘as per size’ was written. We again summoned the waiter who informed us that the price depended on the size of the lobster that we chose. He went away after telling us that he would help us make a choice. A little while later, I saw my husband smile mischievously. Before I could turn and see what was behind me, the waiter returned with two lobsters, one smaller than the other, both ALIVE! One look at the shining purple lobsters moving around, I gulped and turned green. My husband saw the look on my face and asked him to take the lobsters back. I could hardly eat any seafood that night or on the rest of the trip. You may call me a hypocrite for that but I just could not!

The bladder can be your biggest foe

Keeping your ‘spirits’ high during celebrations is good but comes with its side-effects and I am not talking about those on the liver and your consciousness levels. Alcohol is also a diuretic and sends your bladder into an overdrive. After celebrating with wine during the trip, I discovered that twenty kilometres can be very long when you have downed a couple of glasses. When you have chosen the exquisite restaurant that lies on the outskirts and the path does not have petrol stations on the way, you can end up hating your choice. It made me learn one important thing- remember to factor in the travel distance whenever you decide to clink glasses for a toast!

That doesn’t mean I don’t experiment anymore. I still do…for ….

”Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

The quote really suits here, especially so when I am talking of the ocean, beaches, and seafood. What do you say? 🙂

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