The days have passed, the time has come, and soon I leave my beloved Scotland to return to other places which are just as beloved to me but in a completely different way. Seeing as my return trip is soon coming, I’d like to dedicate my last couple blog posts to the people I have met here, because I am no longer who I once was. As clichéd as that may be, clichés are most often truths as well.
One thing I am immensely grateful for, are good friends who encouraged me to eat my weight in pastries and delicious foods on every…single…trip…we took. Such gratitude for the consumption of delicious foods is sort of a new feeling in my book because I am someone who (like many women who have ever gone through puberty) has felt self-conscious about my eating habits for significant periods of time in my life. Even in my apparent maturity, every girl needs friends to tell her to eat the delicious food now because these things are once in a lifetime…and that’s what I have.
The rest of my blog post will mostly talk about food and that’s because the best part about traveling is finding the best foods, eating those foods, and often going back for seconds because the food was JUST THAT GOOD. So, brace yourselves, for the best places I have eaten and a list of the foods I ate (I had to tailor these down, so not everything is included because I seriously ate so much food).
NORWAY: The fish, the FISH! My friend and I traveled to Bergen, Norway – city of the freshest seafood I have ever eaten in my life. If you have never had freshly-prepared sushi (where it’s literally rolled in front of you) get it, get it, get it! Also, don’t be afraid to go back to the same fish market for their fish soup on multiple occasions within the same weekend, and please eat an entire appetizer of mussels all by yourself; yes, I’m speaking from experience. Other notable eats: Norwegian cheese sausage with dried onions and ketchup; a Norwegian waffle; McDonald’s in Norway because loyalty is important and so are McDonald’s fries.
PARIS: French food is known to be amazing, and I’ve had great French cuisine before in my life, but the absolute best things to be eaten here are their pastries and confectionaries. I cannot begin to describe the elegance of their crêpes, the crunch of their macarons, or the creaminess of their cakes; honestly, some of these things made me feel like I had died and gone to heaven. On our final day, my friend, Izzy, led us on a journey to a world-famous pâtisserie called Sadaharu AOKI where I ate the most elegant chocolate hazelnut layered cake and the coolest macarons (matcha, chocolate, and green tea flavored). Other notable eats: the pâtisserie chain, PAUL, has the best raspberry macaroons of anywhere; Just buy a crêpe anywhere and your life will be better.
LONDON: So London is cool and all, but I mostly came for the Chipotle and that’s that (okay, so this isn’t entirely true because London has amazing food and gelato, but Chipotle was a very important part of my traveling here and I really think the world ought to know that). Other notable eats: Gelato at Olivogelo.
NEWCASTLE: My friends and I picked a rather lackluster and rainy day to visit Newcastle Upon Tyne in northern England, however, an important bonus came from this trip when we found an all-you-can-eat Indian buffet. Aneesa’s buffet was glorious. £13 bought us our food and we dined on amazing Indian cuisine as well as an odd but also delicious variety of Chinese, Italian, and British foods and desserts. It was a slightly heinous sight as we gorged ourselves, but it was also beautiful. Other notable eats: A delicious Eggs Benedict for breakfast.
EDINBURGH: Finally, my lovely Edinburgh. At first glance, Scotland may not be known for its unique cuisine other than its Haggis and Irn Bru (Haggis, I enjoyed but Irn Bru is not my favorite), however, the places I have eaten here have been some of my favorite parts about exploring this city. From meat pies to cheese scones to bacon rolls, there are so many things that I will miss when I go home! My favorite meals here have all included people that I love. Friends and I have had afternoon teas together, before noon teas together, Italian feasts together, late-night dominos-indulgences together, and food has been such an important connection while far away from home. Other notable eats: Try Haggis, it’s actually pretty good; Tuk Tuk Indian Street Food = top notch; El Cartel = the best Mexican food in the city; the cheese scones at Little Mimi’s Bakehouse.
All in all, food has been such an important part of my study abroad journey. Friends and I have explored new countries through the foods we have eaten and the restaurants we have stumbled upon. Yes, there are foods from home that I miss dearly and I have already requested from my mom for when I return, but food will always make up a crucial piece of my memories from abroad. So here’s to eating whatever we wanted and the food memories we made.