As many of you have figured out, I have a love of languages and travel. Growing up a military brat cultivated these passions….my mom being an amazing cook simply added to my love. Along the way she taught me how to indulge my love of Filipino cuisine by teaching me how to make things like Filipino eggrolls, chicken adobo and pancit. (And no, I don’t consider myself a foodie)
After we returned stateside from our 4 year stint in the Philippines we settled in the Chicagoland area where I finished my education. When you mention food to most people from Chicago, the first thing you hear about is pizza…specifically deep dish pizza. Although I’m a pizza snob, that’s not what I crave when I think Chicago. For me, it’s a specific place…Portillo’s.
Now most people want Chicago style hotdogs when they stop in…but for me it’s always been one particular thing… A nice, wet Italian Beef with mozzarella.
After living in the Chicagoland area for nearly 20 years (the longest I’d ever lived anywhere…prior to that the record was 4 years), I moved to Florida. Although most of the people living in Florida are transplants, technically it’s a part of the south. As I was once told by a friend, “the only thing further south than Florida is Mexico”.
For a girl who doesn’t like tea except when she’s ill, moving to the land of Grits and Sweet tea was very different. People were drinking the stuff everywhere…and I learned to adapt, though I’ve never loved the stuff. I’d still much rather have coffee. But one day, sitting in Cracker Barrel I found myself sending a text message to a friend of mine (a good ol’ boy from Louisiana who’d moved to Tennessee).
Me: I’ve got a question for you.
Him: What’s that, darlin’?
Me: Does me liking grits mean I’m turning southern?
In case you’re wondering, I like my grits with butter, salt and pepper….sometimes with a fried egg on top.
Then there was my time in El Paso. Although I like seasoning in my food, I’ve never been a big pepper person. Salsa was something you ate with tortilla chips. As for margaritas? Hate tequila…have never been a fan. So why is it that since I’ve been back I love pretty much anything with jalapenos? Or that when I went to breakfast with a friend at Perkins last week I was completely bummed that although they had salsa, I knew it would not be spicy enough to fit the bill…
As for margaritas…I won’t be having them anywhere but in El Paso, but I actually found one I loved after a little pushing from my friends out there.
What I’ve learned is that I love exploring and experimenting with different, awesome foods (and drinks). Every region of the world has their favorites/specialties… So tell me…if I were to visit you, what foods (or drinks) are a must not miss? Is there a favorite restaurant?
In April I’m headed back to the Bahamas… I can’t wait to visit The Poop Deck…Awesome Conch Fritters!