After an extended trip abroad, often, the only thing that will refresh and rejuvenate me is beans on toast on generously-buttered granary bread, along with a rather large mug of English Breakfast tea. On those occasions, absolutely nothing else will do! And the beans have to be Heinz. The tea has to be Twinings. All cooked up and consumed in the comfort of my own home!
Don’t get me wrong! I love travelling and I love sampling international cuisine on the road.
I have a real passion for food and drink and have been closely associated with businesses in that arena for most of my career. During my travels, I have experienced many different renderings of international cuisine.
One ambition not ticked off my rather long list yet is to drive along Route 66. I have got as far as reading Jack Kerouac’s book “On The Road” but haven’t actually made it to that particular road yet http://www.historic66.com/.
There could very well be some fine examples of international cuisine along Route 66. For now, I am concentrating on international cuisine in places like airports, railway and coach stations and yes, the dreaded motorway service stations.
Motorway Service Stations – still the Stuff of Nightmares?
In the UK where I currently live, it doesn’t seem that long ago when motorway service stations were the places of nightmares for anyone who wanted any kind of balanced, nutritious meal to break their journey. And that doesn’t even take into account that they might have wanted their taste buds titillated with un soupçon or deux of international cuisine.
Railway Stations – Bring your Own Sandwiches:
In the UK, Railway and coach stations were for people who didn’t mind bringing their own home-made sandwiches and flasks with them. Coach stations are still a bit like that but railway stations have come on leaps and bounds in, actually, what is a very short space of time. Just look at what’s on offer these days at St Pancras station!
International Cuisine in Airports:
It’s much more interesting to talk about international cuisine in airports – and that’s where I have a lot of experience. For the past 30+ years, I’ve spent a lot of time in and out of airports all over Europe, the USA, Mexico, Channel Islands, Australia, Japan and the UK. During that time I have had some great, terrible and, worst of all – boring - airport food experiences during that time.
Which is your favourite?
Certainly, airport food offerings have improved immensely since I took my first ever international flight to Mexico back in 1982. It’s a lot easier to sample good quality, tasty and, even healthy, international cuisine from your host country – or perhaps a representative dish from any given country in the World – from curry to sushi to Mexican and Spanish and beyond. The list is endless and varies enormously depending on which airport and even, which terminal, you are in.
Let’s talk in more detail next time. In the meantime, please feel free to add your own thoughts and comments based on your own experiences of international cuisine on the road – the good, the bad and the ugly!
Until next time, happy travels and, bon appetit!