I’m not sure why it is, but the most memorable super-sized meals have been during our cycling trips. Why does this happen out of town? Maybe I don’t eat out often enough in local restaurants in my home city. I spend more restaurant dollars and sample more culinary variety when we’re travelling and touring.
After a 100 km. or only a 40 km. cycle to a strange place, somehow it’s easier to justify eating a super-sized meal. It must the tourist idiot-factor. We may sometimes do crazier things, away from home.
At times, what dumbfounded us was the size of food portions in various U.S. restaurants
that we dropped by. A common experience across the international border. While in the U.S., Stone Creamery, the ice cream chain, there were noticeably larger ice cream sizes for the same price in Vancouver. It’s more of a novelty for us to dig into huge ice cream globes each time we visit Seattle. It’s a supersize snack fun time. Stone Creamery’s ice cream flavours and bland smoothness appeals to mainstream taste: nothing too wierd nor strong. Prime for eating lots of nice, safe ice cream. We’re more accustomed to playful, stronger flavours of gelatos from various gelatari in Vancouver which range from soy,
with flavours more Italian, Asian or tropical —smaller portions but same price.
I have had some eye-popping sized meals in some Mexican restaurants –on the U.S. northwest coast area, an area supposedly where the general population may be more physically active in various activities than other parts of America. Or maybe I only know northwest coasters who like their cycling, jogging, hiking or skiing.
Hefty Portions in Some European Eateries
What was amazing to us, when we travelled in Europe last year, were supersized meals at some restaurants in touristy areas in large and small European cities. Maybe serving larger meals of any common local food, kept the North American tourists happy.
For instance, earlier I wrote a blog post about Czech dumplings which I sampled several times in different places. In one of the photos, the dumplings were mini cake-like, carbohydrate towers. Well, they really were hulking but fluffy and airy dumplings to soak up the dark brown beef gravy puddle.
In Strasbourg, France, our first dinner was the traditional baekoff which appeared to be a duo of dumplings or potatoes with a meat dish served in a baking dish. Each of us ordered a different dinner combination a la carte. The duck meat portions were generous: was it because we were in a touristy area or was duck more common in France?
Of course, at times we’re surprised by a local restaurant. Recently we shared a huge appetizer that was deemed a polenta base with an enjoyable tomato-basil sauce, a prelude to our 10” thin pizzas that we each had later on. The polenta was surprisingly light which led Jack to believe there was some tapioca used to lighten the polenta volume.
And do I need to say anything further on the traditional Ukranian local fare of a large cabbage roll, 6 cheese-potato perogies, sauerkraut and sausage?
My apologies for not including any photos of an Asian banquet array of dishes: I’m used this –but only for special occasions. Maybe I indulge in supersized meals off-side because it’s memory of those rare Chinese banquets of 8, 10 or 12 courses with friends or for special meals. Meals to remember.