It's not because I'm a "food porn" advocate; that phrase weirds me out. It's due to the fact that in Europe, meals are like a parade - a delicious, fattening parade - of carefully planned exhibitions. Each plate contains its own unique components and manner of presentation.
First, there was Belgium. Belgian chocolate, Belgian waffles, Belgian beer: The three food groups! Needless to say, I felt a bit ill after my three-day trip.
The colors, all of the visuals and the mouthwatering smells piqued my interest each time they passed me by. I had at least seven pieces of chocolate per day (you know how doctors say dark chocolate is heart-healthy!), and I actually got sick of eating chocolate. Chocolate! A strange occurrence that has never happened before.
My friend Eliza and I created our own food tour, wandering from shop to shop, seeking the most interesting-looking chocolate we could find. Then, there was the beer. Oh, the beer got me. All the colors and flavors - I was in hops heaven. You could make a modern art masterpiece with all the shades of beer there were in Delirium, a famous bar that contains over 2,000 types. I ordered a dark, Guiness-like beer while Eliza chose a rose-colored fruit-based one.
Though I was not a huge fan of Belgium as a tourist, I was as a food fan. While I'm not a "foodie" or a gastronomical expert in the least, I know what tastes good. If you're hungry and don't mind gaining a few kilos, take a trip to Belgium.
Right after my Belgium culinary adventure came my stay at my friend Adri's family beach house in Torredembarra, a sweet little pueblo near Tarragona and Barcelona. The constant stream of food made it very difficult to button my pants. The procession began with some Iberian ham and bread and a smattering of vegetables. Already full, the process continues with salad, a meaty/starchy delicious thing, wine, wine, wine, cheese, wine, coffee, chocolate, chocolate and pineapple tart. The grand finale is a hardcore siesta resulting in discomfort and bloating.
I've realized that when I go back to the United States, the parade will not be the same level of spectacularity to which I've become accustomed. I'll stand over my stovet, peering bleakly into my pan of brown mush that was supposed to be some sort of chicken dish, wishing myself back to the fiesta of food. However, I will always have the memories of a grand parade of colors and flavors that I've experienced while wandering the corners of Europe.
As they say in Spain before you eat anything: "que aproveche", translating to, "Enjoy your meal," but literally meaning "I hope you make the most of it." I only have a few months left in Spain, and I plan to aprovechar every minute. Let the feasting continue! Here, here!