Finally spring has come to London and has delighted us with lovely sunny days, clear blue sky and blossoming flowers everywhere. And I just wanted to share with you this picture below, which I took around my neighborhood. It looks so much like Japan, doesn’t it?
Anyway, over the past weeks I was barely at home and by the time I was actually at home and wanted to cook / take pics / post new recipes, it was already dark and late in the evening. First World problem, I know. Now that days are longer and I have more free time, I will definitely get back to post more food pics, but for the time being I wanted to fill this post with a list (who doesn’t like lists? I love lists! I make them all the time, my entire life is based on making endless and worthless lists :D) of my 10 first times! No big deal, I’ve read about it in this post written by one my favourite food / travel bloggers and I was so inspired to do my own version of it. And this time it will be, of course, FOOD related!
TEN FIRST TIME – FOOD EDIT
1. The first time I ate spicy food, a.k.a. extraordinary spicy food!
I was in San Diego on a one month English summer course in California and along with a group of friends we ended up in a small Mexican bar. I was 17 and I was just used to the minimum amount of spiciness of the local Chinese restaurant in Italy. Needless to say, I didn’t really know the different types of chilli or the fact that curry can be indeed extremely hot! Anyway, I ordered a burrito (I think it was a burrito, can’t remember) and when I was asked which level of spiciness I wanted, I just said ‘the hottest’. That was it. The beginning of the end. I honestly think that my taste got so traumatized that I can’t really taste spicy food anymore.
2. The first time I ate sushi
Sushi started to be cool in Italy in my late teens and my interest in Japan started around the same time, when I was 18. To be completely honest, at first I was madly in love in China and wanted to study Chinese, but then I read Memoirs of a Geisha and it all changed. You can read more about it here. My first experience with sushi was at the end of my first year of university, when I went with a bunch of people from my Japanese language class along with my Japanese professor. I was quite skeptical and wasn’t really fond of the idea of eating raw fish. But I was wrong, so wrong. It was love at first time to the extent that sushi is my absolute favourite dish in the world. Yes, even more than pasta or pizza.
3. The first time I attempted to cook something and failed completely
I was at home and my mum was making a soup for herself and I couldn’t stand soups! It got better in time, but they are still listed under the food-that-I-can-easily-live-without. So, instead of eating just a simple sandwich for lunch, I decided to make myself pasta with tuna and melted mozzarella. What on earth I was thinking no one knows, however I know that it was disgusting (I will spare the description of the dish itself, please thank me for that) and I ended up throwing everything. FAIL!
4. The first time I attempted to cook something and I actually made a pretty good job
I must have been in my early teens and I wanted to make a surprise dinner for my parents, but was a little bit afraid of using the gas hob on my own, so I decided to go on a safe side and to make a dessert. It was the first time I was making tiramisù on my own following my dad’s recipe, which I knew by heart. I forgot to use the Amaretto, but aside from that, it was delicious and it has become my go-to dessert ever since.
5. The first time I tried a non European cuisine
I remember this as if it was yesterday. It was Saturday, I was 13 years old and my parents and I were supposed to go home for lunch, but there was nothing in the fridge and none of them was in the mood for cooking. We decided to go to a Chinese restaurant, which was 5 minutes’ walk from home. I loved it. I loved the interior decor, the fact that the restaurant itself had a lot of Chinese vases and posters. I went for Cantonese rice and chicken with almonds and I still remember that intense soy flavour that it was salty, but not that kind of saltiness that I was used to. That Chinese restaurant has become one of my absolute favourite restaurants and every time I go back to Turin I make sure to go there for lunch.
6. The first time I dined alone in a restaurant
Due to the nature of my work, every time I am away on a business trip, I am alone so it means that I am also eating alone, which seems to be totally normal to me. I know, however, that to most people it might seem odd to go to a restaurant and ask a table for one. The first time I did it, I was in Dubai and I really wanted to go out for dinner, but none of my friends were free and I was single at that time … well, who cares! I dressed up, put on my favourite perfume and heels, grabbed a taxi and went to Madinat Jumeirah to have my very first dining experience on my own and I liked it! It might feel weird at first, but once you get used to it, it comes natural.
7. The first time I ate something which I hated and left everything on my plate
Over the past ten years or so, I have been experimenting with food a lot, both in dining out options and in cooking. I would really like to be the kind of person who eats everything and who is keen on trying everything, even the weirdest thing, however I have my limits and as much as I don’t really like to leave food on a plate in restaurants, if I don’t like something, I can’t really force myself to eat it. It happened in Poland last year. I was out for lunch in a very fancy French style restaurant and nothing on the menu was inspiring, aside from a dish with boar meat. I gave it a try and I regretted it. I left everything on the plate and felt extremely embarrassed when the waiter came and took it away.
8. The first time I dined at a restaurant of a three star Michelin chef
I was in Dubai (what a surprise) and I got the chance to dine with the Italian consul at Social by Heinz Beck, the main restaurant of the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah. The food was exceptional, but what was truly exceptional was the service and the dish presentation. We started off with a cocktail made on the spot, a first round of appetizers and the main dish (that was before taking pics of food was cool and even though I am pretty sure it was Instagram material, I was too busy enjoying the moment! Bottom line: I can’t remember what I had, haha). Heinz is renowned for having reinvented some dishes of the Italian cuisine and his signature raspberry rhapsody (a name totally invented by me!) is a must. Is it really worth it, you might ask? I think yes! At least once in your life, if you have the chance and can afford it, I would totally recommend it.
9. The first time I made something home made
And when I say home made, I don’t mean pizza or biscuits, nope. I am referring to that kind of food that we feel quite comfortable in buying at supermarkets, like bread, mayonnaise, nut butter, tomato sauce, and we don’t feel the need of trying to make it at home. That all changed thanks to Sarah Britton’s My New Roots, which I am totally obsessed about and ALL her recipes are simply mouth watering (if you haven’t done it yet, go to her website immediately!!). My first attempt in home made food was ketchup. which is not really a food, but still, you know what I mean. I was browsing through her blog and bumped into this recipe for parsley root fried with home made ketchup and I have to admit that it was a massive success. My fiancé loved it and finished it all within a week.
10. The first time I fell in love with food
I should have put this at the very beginning to be honest, but I feel that talking about my love for food and how it all started makes a pretty good ending for a post. Where to start? I don’t really know! I think I have always loved food, but then again I was born in Italy, my mum is Polish, which means that 95% of the time I was eating food cooked at home, so I simply have the love and appreciation for food in my DNA. I think that I first started into dealing with the real thing of cooking when I was an Erasmus student in Poland. After that I moved to Japan and there were a lot of international parties and home parties where every one was bringing their typical dish. Once my student life was officially over, I moved to Dubai and I discovered a whole universe of fine dining and high end cuisine. However, the real moment when I got myself into proper cooking was when I moved to London and to make it even funnier, that’s when I started being more interested about the food itself as the magic source of a healthy life style. London is an amazing city for foodies, because you can find everything you need. You want it, you name it, you have it. Easy as that. Couldn’t have settled in a better city!
Me doing what I love the most – enjoying life at its fullest with a huge ice cream and a lovely green tea 😉