Posted by: travelrat | July 11, 2017

Travel Theme: Flavour

Brazilian BBQ

I particularly like watching reruns of the 1950s comedy film Carry On Cruising. Of particular note was the Chef, baking a cake for the retiring Captain. It contained all kinds of most unlikely ingredients, but the flavour of each reminded the Captain of the many places he’d sailed to.

Now, knowing what went into it, I have no desire to taste such a cake but the principle is good. I only have to take a small morsel of frikadelle or bratwurst to be instantly transported back to Germany … even though I lived there 40 years ago, and have only briefly visited since.

You don’t have to go to Germany; you can buy these products just down the road, at LiDL … but there are some flavours you just can’t reproduce. You really have to go to Amsterdam to taste satay as it should be tasted and, try as I might, I can’t produce chips quite like those I’d get at a Belgian fritkot. (Don’t get me started on the beer and chocolate, or we’ll be here all day)


Harry's 3

I did find a couple of places which produce pies like Aussie pies … close your eyes, take a bite and think of waiting for a boat on the banks of the River Murray, trying not to share your pie with an over-importunate pelican. Or, you could put a few cubes of lamb or chicken on a skewer, hold them over a barbecue and you’re in Greece.

Sometimes, though, you can’t reproduce the flavours elsewhere. For real Chinese food you must go to China; a visit to the ‘Happy Dragon’ or wherever does fall somewhat short. It doesn’t only apply to food, either. The licence-brewed ‘Stella Tortoise’ we get in Britain is miles away from the ‘real thing’, as brewed in Leuven, Belgium. Maybe it’s the water?

Dec 4

For years, I thought that the statement ‘Guinness in England doesn’t taste the same as the stuff you get in Ireland’ was a load of pretentious guff … until I visited the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin!

This week’s contribution to the Travel Theme. More at


  1. I couldn’t agree more about eating the food in the country of origin. You find out how different it is when you entertain visitors and find that they are appalled at the restaurant food served up as their country’s cuisine. The exception seems to be Thai food in London where the Thai chefs can access the food they need. Where I live they have to use locally grown vegetables (brilliant in most cases) but not for Thai cooking.

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