|The blue plate special: Blanquette de Veau avec Tagliatelle|
When I travel, I'm always drawn to, and amused by, foreign interpretations of another country's cuisine. Take for example, the Hakkaido rice pizzas we ate at Causeway Bay in Hong Kong last year. Where do I begin...
|Hakkaido rice pizza in Hong Kong|
When it's done right, like the heavenly croissants from the depachika at the Takashimaya department store in Tokyo it's quite the treat. But more often than not, it turns out to be a strange cross-cultural head scratcher. Like the culinary equivalent of wearing someone else's old shoes. They're still shoes, but they never feel quite right.
Well, this morning hubby and I wandered into Menton for a bit of shopping and to find a copy of the Financial Times, as we often do, and not far from Les Galeries Lafayette, we spotted an new American themed café called "Vintage."
Normally we would have just passed by a restaurant with a scantily clad, blonde-haired mannequin waitress out front, but in honour of election day taking place in the United States today, we thought it would be a fitting to pop in to have a drink and enjoy an American snack.
Well, I loved the décor, but the food? A bit like flip flops with stiletto heels and shoelaces.
Hubby ordered a milkshake, one of his favourite diner treats. What came was La Frapperia, an Italian version of a milkshake that had a texture like Marshmallow Fluff with chocolate flavouring in a milk base. For some strange reason, it wasn't cold nor icy. Poor hubby.
Well, I didn't fare any better.
I was licking my chops when I saw the photo of a slice of lemon meringue pie on the dessert menu. This would make a great lunch, I thought. American style lemon meringue pie topped with a high, fluffy cloud of meringue was one of my favourite desserts. Well, my dream went "splat" when the pie turned out to be a tarte au citron meringuée, a traditional lemon tart popular in Menton. The meringue topping was a sickly sweet, flat, densely textured Italian meringue. What happened to the pie in the picture?
We left, scratching our heads, but I think we may pop back and try a plate of their spaghetti with tomato sauce, which looked quite good when the chef carried it from the kitchen to the guests at the table next to us.
Well, at least the music was authentic American.
Luckily these experiences never deter me from checking out other strange culinary tangles whenever I see them.
As more of the world's cultures blend, who knows what awaits us?