10 "Thanksgiving" Dinners

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Lists! > Ten Surrogate Thanksgiving Dinners

10 Surrogate Thanksgiving Dinners

Not going to be in America for Thanksgiving, you say?  That's ok!  There are lots and lots of great options in Europe and Asia if you are a gourmet or gourmand!  In some cases, I went regional because this is more about the cuisine than the city.  Some of you will find it weird that I actually do take pictures of some of the meals I consume where I travel -- but to me, it's important to document such things or I'll forget!!!  I unfortunately don't have a pic of all these cuisines.

Here's my list of Top Ten Surrogate Thanksgiving Dinners:

#10.  The Traditional Irish Breakfast

Tell me that the sight of this photo doesn't make your arteries clog straight away!  The traditional Irish breakfast may be a breakfast, but many restaurants on continental Europe serve it all day!  Various types of sausage, eggs, hardtack (but tasty) breads, plus other accompaniments like fried potatoes and baked beans.  This'll give you enough calories to put in a few games of Hurling!

#9. Japanese Teppanyaki, available almost anywhere 

This shot was taken from Bern, Switzerland, and is titled "Oh, no!  My dinner!"

Teppanyakis are great, classy dinner settings.  I love being able to watch the talents of a chef preparing a wonderful meal right in front of you.  And these style restaurants always have great food.  It's a good community-type activity, too as you often get to sit and chat with perfect strangers.

#8.  Danish Cheese Plates

This is your classic stuffy-nosed option.  "Oh, Buffy, I do desire some wine, and would you be zo kind to pass the cheese?  ... Ah, I see I may be a bit confused, dahling, do you consume the apples with the tilsit and the olives with the muenster or is it the other way around?  I do wish to proper, don't you know?"

Of course, a real Viking man from Denmark has the right answer -- OPEN MOUTH, INSERT CHEESE!

By the way, I have no clue which of the above is what type of cheese.  I just know I liked all of it -- not leaving even a smidgen for the Danish mice.

#7.  Swiss Fondue

I know what you are thinking -- "Fondue is not much of a meal".

In Switzerland, it most certainly is.  And it is far more than just a pot of melted spiced cheese with bread and one of those tiny, funny looking forks.  Fondues are as varied as pizza, with all sorts of different ingredients in the sauce.  Fondues can be an appetizer, a main meal, a dessert!  Few foods can be so versatile!

#6.  Meditteranean, Cote d'Azur, France

A shame this picture didn't come out better.  This was taken in Marseille, but I didn't quite have the courage to try bouillabaisse.  But man, what great seafood, all up and down the coast from Marseille to Nice!

#5.  One Word ... Amsterdam

I have encountered cities that exuded world-wide cuisine, but none hold a candle to the Dutch capital.  You name it, they've got it!  Nearly every cuisine the world over is represented in spades, and the Dutch maritime cuisine is also worth mentioning.  Just look at this plate -- and it came with dozens of "tools" to use.

It's a very classy city, definitely would be a dress-up affair.

#4. Italian Brick Oven Pizzas

Brick over pizzas are a wonderful invention!  And of course you can get just about anything you want on a pizza (not just California, but in France and Italy, too!)

This pizzeria, in Nice, put its brick oven at the front of the restaurant, allowing passers-by to be lured in by the sight and smell of the pies being made.  Aaaahhhhh!

#3.  Bavarian Cuisine, Germany

Bavarian cuisine is that perfect ruin-your-diet mix of schnitzels or other forms of fatty pork, slathered with starch-filled offerings like spätzle (above) or semmelknödel (a wheat dumpling) and sauerkraut or rotkraut (soured red-cabbage).  Often downed with mass (or Maß) quantities of beer!

What makes Bavarian so much fun are the festival places you can eat it, too!  Like the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, or smaller locales like in Neu-Ulm where I took this shot.

#2.  Seaside Seafood Feast, Bali

Certainly those of you who've read my Jimbaran travelogue knew that this was going to appear high on my list.  Just look at that spread!  Clams, squid, fish, prawns, all caught locally and grilled with a nice hot sauce.  The setting is great, too -- a sunset and a warm day.  Aaaaahhhh!

#1.  Belgian Mussel Pots

So, Belgium gets honors two lists in a row!  Hey, it's MY list!

I don't think there's anything more fun and messy then dealing with a pot of mussels, stewed in any number of tasty sauces (usually either wine or tomato based), served with a whopping plate of pomme frites with mayonnaise, and downed with a glass of Belgium's finest trappist or abbey ales!  And if you still have room, do a small plate of abbey cheese afterwards!  Yummmmmmmmmm!

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(c) 2002 Tom Galvin


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