I can’t believe this is my 200th post!
Some of the best things I’ve ever eaten have been dished up in pretty surprising places. My two favorite cheese experiences (cheeseperiences?) ever were quite unexpected. One involved eating chunks of soft, gooey gorgonzola straight out of a waxy napkin after buying it from a farmer at his wooden cart beside the road in the Italian alps. On another occasion it was a hard, sharp sheep’s cheese placed on chunks of fresh bread and then drizzled with honey… at a truck stop in a Turkish village called Yeşilüzümlü (not to be confused with the much larger Üzümlü).
One of the absolute best vegan means I’ve ever eaten (if not the best vegan meal I’ve ever eaten) was at an otherwise-empty hotel restaurant in rural Bucovina, Romania. Near the village and monastery of Voronet, this hotel catered to locals on pilgrimages and seemed empty on the day that I visited with a local guide and two other Canadian tourists (imagine my surprise at finding that the only other guests in that Romanian hostel lived a mere four kilometers from my own house!). For Orthodox Romanians who were observing a fast the hotel offered amazing mancare de post every day of the year: lightly-pickled vegetable salad, fresh white bean salad, roasted eggplant puree, roasted red pepper dip, a garden-fresh tomato and a heaping basket of homemade bread on the side. Nobody would miss their meat, or their animal products (mancare de post is vegan), when they’ve got a plate like that in front of them!