During my 26 years on this weird old planet we call Earth, I’ve already eaten dinner in the basement of a sex shop, ate cryogenic gin off a silver spoon and ate my way from New Jersey to NYC. However when I compiled my Liverpool Food & Drink festival hit list last week, it got me thinking a bit about the bigger picture.
Most people my age are jotting down must-see backpacking trails across South East Asia or picking out the most obscure music festivals to take their glittered faces and embellished bumbags to. Not me, nope. Here I am chucking pins at a mental map based on what edibles are on offer. Typical, hey? Okay so here’s what I have come up with (so far)…
Sprinkles Cupcake ATM (USA)
After our trip to the US earlier this year, I had planned to have this one well and truly ticked off the bucket list and have put on at least 5lbs in cupcake weight. Alas, my Sprinkles Cupcake ATM dreams weren’t to be fulfilled as the Lexington Avenue machine in New York City was bust. Just like my poor broken heart. Perfect excuse to head back there as soon as possible though, no?
Mörk Hot Chocolate (Melbourne)
Okay so I’m cheating a bit here because there are actually plenty of Mörks my side of the pond (more than 30 in fact) but hopping on a plane to Melbourne to grab one of the finest hot chocolates around would be way more fun, right? I first came across Mörk hot chocolate on one of those Facebook videos that are thrown into the feed to sabotage your healthy eating plan and I’ve been craving that creamy, cocoa concoction ever since.
Breakfast in Bread (London)
Available at The Barge House down in the Big Smoke, about 200 miles South from where I live (boo hoo) is ‘Breakfast in Bread’. Aside from being a genuine stroke of genius, this innovative way to fill up in the A.M. sounds bloody delicious. Phuck yo’ Cheerios ’cause I’m all about tasty breakfast fare served straight up in a bowl made out of bread. Tomatoes, mushrooms, leeks, sausage, bacon, cheese AND eggs are all packed into a hollowed-out loaf and I, for one, am all about that life.
Bunny Chow (South Africa)
I’m probably not making life any easier or more affordable for myself here because I do know that authentic Bunny Chow is on the menu at my favourite Indian eatery, Mowgli street food but no great bucket list didn’t involve a few plane tickets. To tick this baby off, I’ll be jetting off to South Africa for something which, I guess, isn’t to dissimilar from the old Breakfast in Bread up there. Originating in India but fast becoming popular on the fast food scene in South Africa, Bunny Chow is a hollowed-out mini loaf packed to the rafters with fragrant curry. Er, yes please.
I am hoping to sample my first taste of poutine this weekend at the Liverpool Food & Drink festival so watch this space but no matter how tasty it transpires to be, it won’t scratch my itch to chow down in the land where it first originated. Definitely not a gastronomic work of art and not elegant in the slightest, poutine is made up of french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Well, that’s the traditional recipe anyway. Of course there are the pulled pork efforts and the maple syrup-drizzled interpretations but I’d like to go right back to the humble beginnings in its homeland.
You’ve seen the Facebook videos surely? If not, here’s a little GIF to give you an idea of what edible wizardry we’re dealing with here:
That molten, cheesy magic right there is what is known as ‘raclette’ and has become quite the delicacy in France. I remember going on a school trip to Paris about 15 years ago and surviving the three days on a diet of Lays and baguettes when the whole time I was missing this thing of wonder! Forget a light dusting on Parmesan that dissolves into the ether before the waiter has even left your table, THIS is what restaurants are topping your pasta with these days. What a time to be alive.
Rising Bread (Helsinki)
I came across ‘rising bread’ in Wolf & Stag‘s blog post about her ‘5 best bread and butters’. Any gal who can create a whole blog post about bread ‘n’ spread is a friend of mine but when she started talking about brown butter and rising rolls, I was full on hooked. Eire ate this at Ravintola Olo in Helsinki and described it as ‘a bread made for bread worshippers’ – the dough comes to the table in a little cast iron dish which rises as you dine, ready to be baked ready for your next course. I mean, this is what happens to all bread behind the scenes but I always was a sucker for a showcase. Head on over to her blog post for some snaps.
The Cookie Shot (London)
I do love a dessert cocktail from time to time and I am partial to a nice fruity G&T but on a scale of 1 to Lindsay Lohan, I’m not really a big drinker. Sambuca makes me gag and Jäger always makes me rue the day I was ever born but one chaser I definitely can get on board with is the Cookie Shot from the Dominique Ansel bakery in London. A warm cookie dough vessel is filled to the golden brim with vanilla-infused milk and I absolutely need one (or three) right now.