By Michelle Dennison (awa Julianne Alcott)
I first heard about the concept of food writer (or ‘foodie’) in a National Geographic series on food around the world.
I was fascinated.
It sounded like the perfect thing for me. After all, I love writing, I love food and I love to explore new things. There was a snag to my food writing future though. I have never travelled outside South Africa, and don’t do much travelling inside it either.
But I decided that I shouldn’t let a tiny, insignificant detail like that stop my food exploration. To help me on this journey, I decided to start a food blog. By writing down my experiences with food, I was hoping to make them more enjoyable and tangible.
But, time proved to be my usual enemy of anything creative. My food blog lurked in the back of my mind, making me feel horribly guilty that I wasn’t writing it. Eventually, I had to admit defeat. My foodie career would have to wait.
That didn’t mean the end of my food exploration though. I made a promise to myself that I was going to try at least one new thing every month.
My daughter and I went on our first camping trip together. Nearby was a crocodile farm, and I decided that I really should give my little girl the full crocodile farm experience, and ordered crocodile kebabs at the restaurant.
They came on a pristine white plate, nestled in a pool of basil pesto and sweet chilli sauce. I took a bite. The basil pesto and sweet chilli sauce was very tasty. The crocodile kebabs were…
Words fail to describe their exact taste. A very gamy chicken-fish combination, that made my stomach start to churn. I found the nearest chocolate bar, and downed it in an effort to rid my mouth of crocodile.
My daughter, however, wolfed down all of the kebabs with great relish, and now lists crocodile as one of her favourite foods.
The following month, things improved drastically. We meandered up Florida Road in Durban, on a lovely winter holiday afternoon, and did some frozen yoghurt experimenting at Wakaberry. I don’t need to describe the taste … I think the photo says it all.
About 2 weeks ago, I crossed piña colada off my bucket list.
It didn’t taste too bad, although I would have liked to know beforehand that it came with crushed ice in it. Then I wouldn’t have ordered it at 10pm, outdoors, on a freezing winter night. The best part about the drink was the making of it. The barman could obviously see that I was interested, so he did the full show for me. He described every new ingredient … Pineapple juice, coconut milk. Then he poured it in the glass, and ended it with a flourish and a cherry on a toothpick.
And an interesting fact that I learned while Googling the correct spelling for piña colada: It was created on August 16th 1954 in Puerto Rico.
So far, August has not been a very experimental month, unless you count trying the new Milky bar with Jelly Tots. (BTW, the one with Smarties in is better) But I will journey on, knowing that my next culinary adventure awaits!