It’s Friday! That means it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!
While I drank my share of white wine spritzers in Europe, the beverage that has been the most constant throughout Europe and Asia is of course… beer.
Mid-afternoon pint in London: the best time for beer
Good ol’ beer. Fitting, considering I spent 7 years working at a brewpub. I drank Amstel in Holland, cider in London, Tiger beer in Vietnam and Lao Beer in Laos. Beer is typically the cheapest adult beverage (in some countries even more affordable than water), and readily available almost everywhere.
I think my favorite beer drinking happened in The Netherlands, where pubs offer two sizes and offer complimentary nuts and snacky treats with every pint. Or else in Laos (where I currently am), because Beer Lao is everywhere and better than I thought it might be. Or else London, because I love cider probably a little bit more than beer. Or, well, okay. I’ve loved them all.
You know it was bound it happen. I cannot go a whole month writing about food and not include popcorn. So here it is, just in time for Thursday Mofo: Popcorn ‘round the world.
popcorn ’round the world
Luckily I discovered pretty quickly that popcorn is popular everywhere. Everywhere. I have yet to be in a country where I haven’t found popcorn for sale. From Belgium to Budapest to Bangkok, I’ve been able to indulge in my—what do you call a minor obsession? Passion? Affinity? Extreme fondess?– good old fashioned love for popcorn.
From wasabi popcorn (totally decent and slightly addictive) to sweet and salty popcorn in-a-cup in Vietnam (perfect overnight train snack), I have been eating popcorn several times a month. Nowhere near my average of 3-4 times a week back in Portland, but not too shabby.
I am actually on a nutritional yeast detox (this is the longest I’ve gone not eating nutritional yeast since eating solid foods), so even though all this popcorn has soothed my inner popcorn beast, I’m tremendously looking forward to getting home and enjoying a classic bowl of plain popcorn with coconut spray oil, nutritional yeast, and sea salt. Until then, though, I’ll continue happily munching on street ‘corn.
When one is in Belgium, there are three things one must sample:
1. Belgian Beer. (Check)
2. SPECULOOS COOKIE BUTTER. (Check)
3. Belgian Chocolate. (Check)
Belgian fries are up there, too, but I heard too many warnings that the majority of stands use horse or cow fat to fry their specialty potatoes. No thanks. And 2 out of the 3 vegetarian fry places I tried were closed. Nuts.
I did have Belgian beer (heavenly) and massive spoonfuls of Speculoos and OF COURSE I tracked down a bar of vegan Belgian Chocolate.
This chocolate was the last thing I bought before I left Belgium, and it was devoured in the two hours it took my friend Mireilla and I to reach the border of the Netherlands. It is quite close to the perfect chocolate bar–it’s pure and creamy with crunchy little bits of cocoa nibs throughout.
If I’m ever in Belgium again, I will drink even more beer, eat my weight in Speculoos, find those elusive vegan Belgian fries, and buy truckloads of this chocolate. (I’ll be a millionaire of course next time I’m there.)