Subject: Re: Torture me!
Hi, Ziners:

Foodies fondly recall flavors, presentations & ambience for memorable meals.

As a vegetarian, my perspective on the food issue revolves around finding restaurants which will serve something other than a pile of limp steamed veggies. Vegetarians still want protein, but we just prefer the kind of protein that didn't have a face (jack-o-lanterns notwithstanding). I would actually prefer to be vegan, but that's an even more difficult traveling choice. Vegans eschew dairy products & eggs, which often are my best protein source in strange places. If I were a passive traveler, maybe I could get by with fewer protein grams, but I hike, bike, swim, walk, race- walk, climb, & dive with gusto at home or abroad.

Most often while on my low-budget ramblings, this means I'll be scouring whole-food stores for packable victuals which I'll eat out of my backpack or prepare in the hostel kitchen.

Scariest place for a vegetarian or vegan: southern Chile. All parts of an animal are served in various guises. Villarica was the exception; since it's a college town there were, when I was there, TWO cafes which offered vegetarian fare.

Nightmare window displays: Germany. What vegetarian can ever forget the extensive display of sausages in shop windows. And the variety! Ugh.

Most entertaining for a vegetarian: any simple restaurant in Hong Kong (it's got to be one where you're seated with 11 other diners at a table, haphazardly), serving dim sum. Playing charades to indicate no meat usually has everyone joining in the fun to pick appropriate little bamboo-steamed delectables from the carts.

Most mouth-watering market: The Otovalo market, in Ecuador, after you get past the animal area. The piles of vegetables artistically arranged on bright cloths, especially the potatoes, are performance art at its best. After my first visit there years ago, I vowed to produce as many kinds of potatoes as I could find in my own garden; even in our heavy, wet clay soils to this day I manage 8-10 varieties. As I dig them, I always flash back to the Otovalo market.

I think I'll get out to the greenhouse & get some basil starts going. All this talk about food has me yearning for garden produce.

Gail Thawed out finally in Eugene