Subject: Re: best meal - long
Hi Everyone,

I suppose, in retrospect, that I should have seen it coming. I had done a great job of keeping it a secret, kind of like when you have a crush on your best friends older brother and you just can't share that with anybody. But no, try as I may to keep my secret, some well-meaning blabby Ziner comes along and opens up a whole Pandoras box.

OK - I ADMIT IT - I'M A TRAVELLING FOODIE

I manage to keep a fairly sane facade while in Toronto, but get me 50 KM away from home and my alter ego appears - THE HAPPY FRESSER

So what follows is a tiny (amuse bouche-sized) sampler or as they say, here are a few of my favourite things.

- Potatoes fried in goose fat all through the Dordogne region of France;

- Authentic Bouillabaisse at Chez Michel in Marseille, France;

- Steamed lamb at the El Minzah hotel in Tangier, Morocco;

- Home-made tagliatelle with meat sauce (carne) at La Torre in Siena, Italy;

- Fresh sea bass served at La Bussola, just purchased at Da Roberto fish market in Porto Santo Stefano, Monte Argentario, Southern Tuscany;

- The entire menu at Caino in Montemerano, Tuscany;

- The tasting menu at Ristorante Poggio Antico, outside Montalcino, complete with their wonderful Brunello wines;

- Pecorino cheese in Pienza, Tuscany especially during the cheese festival on the first weekend in September;

- The sausages at Antica Macelleria Falorni in Greve in Chianti, Tuscany;

- The pork sandwiches at the Porchetta festival in Monte San Savino, Tuscany if you are lucky enough to ever figure out what day it takes place (took us 5 attempts);

- The pasta with Scampi at Da Vincenzo in Positano on the Amalfi coast;

- Caramelized lattice dome over fresh fruit as the 6th course of our Le Menu de Plusier Bouchees at La Pergolese in Paris;

- Locally grown coarse Pate de fois gras sculpted in the shape of a butterfly complete with chive antennae at Le Pre Bossu in Moudeyre, France;

- The ravioli with sage & butter sauce at Omeros, outside Florence;

- The Bistecca alla Florentina at Albergo Ristorante Portole, outside Cortona in Tuscany;

- Fresh, in season, porcini mushrooms in ANYTHING, in Italy, in September;

- The pasta with Cinghale sauce at Antica Trattoria La Torre in Castellina in Chianti;

- Gazpacho - just about anywhere in Spain;

- Fried artichokes at Ristorante Piperno in Rome;

- The antipasti selection at Sant Ana in Rome or Colombe D'Or in St Paul de Vence outside Nice;

- Millefeuille cake made by Henri Tomas, Master Baker in Bonnieux, France;

- Taglierino al Tartufo Nero at Villa Montegranelli outside Gubbio in Umbria;

- Piti with garlic & pesto at Ristorante Il Pozzo in Monteriggioni, Tuscany;

- Shrimp at El Abuelo in Madrid - just throw the shells on the floor;

- Anything they suggest at Albergo Osteria da Toto in Lucignano, Tuscany;

- Grilled meats in an open fireplace at Ristorante Umbria in Todi, Umbria;

- Liver and onions at Trattoria alla Madonna in Venice;

- Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta in a light tomato sauce at La Chiusa in Montefollonico, Tuscany;

- Tapas at Cal Pep in Barcelona;

- Roast suckling pig at Hostel del Cardenal in Toledo, Spain;

- Mozzarella di Bufala eaten at Nuova Perla in Battipaglia, the Bufala capital of Italy (so they say);

- Tea at Mariage Freres in Paris;

- And the best food of all - picnics with roasted chickens, prosciutto, cheese, tomatoes, white peaches, fresh figs, local pastries & wine.

I am starving.

Felice Toronto, Ontario