Sharmi on the Trot

Travelling, Exploring, Eating…

Archive for the tag “seafood”

In photos: Eating My Way Through Spain

Have I mentioned earlier how much I adore Spanish food? If not, let me clarify — I love food from Spain. The spicy chorizo, the creamy Valencia paella with meat, the gorgeous saffron-flavoured seafood paella from Barcelona, the delicately spiced prawns drenched in olive oil perfect with bread, deep-fried churros dipped in hot chocolate, jugs of sangria to accompany every meal… I can go on and on.

I had the opportunity to visit to Spain in November last year. The week-long work-vacation was a wonderful experience. Though it was my second time visiting the gorgeous sun-kissed country, I can never get bored and will probably end up visiting Spain again in the future.

As in every other country, the cuisine differs from region to region. With such a vast history starting from Roman conquests to introduction of chocolate and paprika during the 15th century, Spanish cuisine is richly diverse and gorgeous in flavour. This time I had the opportunity to visit Valencia and Barcelona. No trip to Spain is ever-complete without learning about Gaudi the genius. But just like his beautiful creations, Spanish cuisine is complex in character, texture and taste. Every bite leaves you wanting more. Here’s my ode to one of my favourite countries…

How can you not have churros when in Spain? The deep-fried delight with oodles of sugar is sinful as it's delectable.

How can you not have churros when in Spain? The deep-fried delight with oodles of sugar is sinful as it’s delectable.

One of the most gorgeous veggie dishes ever. Lettuce drenched in olive oil and tomatoes.

One of the most gorgeous veggie dishes ever. Lettuce drenched in olive oil and tomatoes.

No meal is complete without delicate slices of Jamón...

No meal is complete without delicate slices of Jamón…

Pulpo a la gallega... Boiled octopus with sea salt and paprika

Pulpo a la gallega… Boiled octopus with sea salt and paprika

Piping hot Croquetas!

Piping hot Croquetas!

The icing on the cake: Seafood paella in La Rambla

The icing on the cake: Seafood paella in La Rambla

Over loading on fried prawns, calamari and mussels at La Boqueria

Over loading on fried prawns, calamari and mussels at La Boqueria

The olive love story!

The olive love story!

Seafood salad and lots of it

Seafood salad and lots of it

I love cheese don't I?

I love cheese don’t I?

Hello happiness - Sangria can melt away all your troubles. And the background helps too!

Hello happiness – Sangria can melt away all your troubles. And the background helps too!

And ending on a sweet tooth - colourful and delicious

And ending on a sweet tooth – colourful and delicious

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Australian love: The first edition

It’s been a while I know. But when your heart is set upon new adventures, you have to wait for the perfect moment, when you’re ready to put into words the new experiences.

Why do people travel? To eat? To explore? Seek a new romance? To understand a culture or just to put a check off a country from the bucket list. (Visited Vietnam. Check). Well, it’s difficult to put into words why I travel or love the prospect of visiting a new town, city, country or continent. Maybe it’s the sense of adventure which I look forward to or the fact I will get to meet so many different people. Some will stay friends while others I probably will never get to meet again. Old photographs, maybe a restaurant receipt or just a little bric-a-brac will take me back to those days. A little nostalgia, maybe a summer love? Who knows.

Food becomes a very important aspect in my travels. I crave to experience every sensation my tastebuds can take. That often leads to people around me go ‘yuck.’ And I respond, ‘Why are you travelling if you want to stay within your comfort zone?’

My first tryst with Sydney came last summer. I had a two-hour layover before I flew out to Noumea. As my flight from Singapore flew near the Opera House before heading to the airport, I fell in love. The view, the structure seemed spectacular in the morning sun and I vowed to be back. Luckily, this summer I had the chance to visit Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. Without a second thought I made a quick detour!

Not all fun, work too

It may have been a working holiday but six days in Australia didn’t prove enough. From Brisbane to reach the Sunshine Coast takes little more than an hour by road. (It’s easier and cheaper to drive down rather than fly domestic). David and Pammy were the best hosts one could possibly wish for. If you ever get the chance, go Down Under. The roads are spectacular and the people couldn’t be more lovelier. Eager to know about Indian culture and food, I even came across this young woman who has trekked to Ladakh. “I can’t wait to go back,” she said. That made me plan my next vacation!

The long stretches of white sand, the clear blue waves and the food. Oh how I miss the days. Work took me to the forests of Imbil and quaint little towns I never would have seen otherwise. David and Pammy were eager to share their adventures and soon discovered they loved Indian food! And once we got talking, there was no stopping as empty beer bottles started stacking up!

Staying at Caloundra (once a popular beach town picnic spot), I came cross a gentleman from Chandigarh running an Indian curry place. “They don’t like it hot much,” he rued. But get him started about current affairs back home, and he rambled. I think my beef masala fry got cold before I could leave for my apartment!

My four days in the Sunshine coast had me having my fill of medium rare Eye fillets (Mooo Char and Bar owned by former halfback Allan Langer is a must-visit) , octopus salads with feta, prawns (dipped in a seafood sauce and accompanied by a glass of Merlot) and of course hearty Sunday breakfasts (which will not have you eating another morsel of food for the rest of the day).

As I bid adieu to Queensland before heading to New South Wales, I felt I had made friends whom I want to visit again or host back home. I already miss the adventures on the road and the warmth of friends – I hope to be back soon.

Some sights and tastes of the Sunshine Coast…

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