When one thinks of French cuisine, automatically scenes of charming patisseries overlooking the Eiffel Tower and freshly baked croissants are conjured up. I think it is safe to say, this was not my experience.
After a trip to ‘Paris’ was slightly falsely advertised, a tired and disappointed Year 6 class ended up 2 hours outside the city borders in somewhat dodgy accommodation. Being faced with ham paninis – with more butter than meat – consistently throughout the trip made the kitchen take pity on us; they decided to treat us to their speciality one evening. Although, as a general rule I agree ‘it’s the thought that counts’, on this occasion I had to make an exception. For while I had been blow-drying my hair for dinner, I noticed some movement by the plug socket. Curious, I looked closer…only to find a very much alive frog hopping about. Screaming, I ran to my friends in the canteen, at which point you can imagine my horror to find even more amphibians limbs on display…
Nevertheless, my experience of French cuisine was salvaged upon my return to Paris – this time actual Paris - two years later. If you haven’t already, try a falafel and pitta dish in the Jewish quarter. You won’t regret it!
Another unforgettable encounter was approximately 7 hours into our 15-hour train ride from Split to Budapest. Despite my group remembering UNO and Cards Against Humanity, it seemed the Croatian heat got to us as we instead forgot both food and water for the journey. Alas, some questionable goulash – with an even more questionable smell – had to suffice for the carnivores, whilst us veggies were reduced to dog-food style pâté and a hefty loaf of stale dough. Lesson to be learned: plan ahead.
With our stomachs rumbling at this low-point in time, we were reminded of the absolute steal we consumed on our second day in Split. A margarita pizza, topped off with a litre of any cocktail we chose, costing only £3! Of course, the impressive progress of my tan throughout this meal did add some major brownie points, confirming this was a highlight.
Therefore, it’s clear that travelling - and its accompanying cuisine - makes for some interesting experiences. The more you travel, the more you try, and the more you try, the more fun (I think?) you’ll have.