The secret of Vietnam’s amazing cuisine is now becoming more well known around the world. Crispy spring rolls like these in Hanoi make eating out in the city a wonderful experience.
CRISPY COCKROACHES ANYONE? | Darrin Henry
I always wondered whether I could eat cockroaches and maggots and in 2015 I had my chance in Bangkok – and failed! As a big Bear Grylls fan I know all the spiel about the “high protein” content, “nourishment” and whatnot, but even having the insects expertly fried and sprinkled with spices and sauces I just couldn’t!
Sharon on the other hand would clearly survive being stuck in the jungle. It seems crunching on these creepy crawlies was actually enjoyable for her!
Apart from chickening out (excuse the pun) from eating cockroaches, it’s been a good year trying different kinds of food. And sometimes, when we weren’t too hungry, we even stopped to take a picture first!
Here in photographs are 12 of our best food memories from the last 12 months for What The Saints Did Next.
12 Mustard Fried Catfish at Taste of Chicago
Mustard Fried Catfish. Being a seafood lover I tried this at Taste of Chicago food festival, in the US. Note the concentration! The catfish was excellent. We asked local people what was so great about Chicago, Click Here to see what they said.
11 Thailand – Watermelon and mangoes
Fresh fruit is sold everywhere in Bangkok, Thailand, and we loved it. Watermelon and mango are served as take-a-ways from street food stalls either with a plastic fork or a wooden skewer. This picture with the tasty watermelon comes from Chatuchak Weekend Market, but really this can be bought almost anywhere.
10 Sandwiches! Picnic lunches on US Road Trip
Ok, so sandwiches as part of our best food memories? This is us having our packed lunch at a rest stop picnic area along a highway in the state of Pensylvannia, USA, during our road trip. This was one of the many ways we kept to budget while travelling, and with the huge choice in the supermarkets we always looked forward to our tasty sandwiches at lunchtime!
9 Aeroplane Food – In-flight dining with Gulf Air
Ok, so in-flight meals on a tray may not make most people’s memorable food list, but when you come from St Helena like us which is only just getting an airport in 2016 (not operational yet) then flying is still quite a novelty, and the meal is all part of the experience! This is dinner onboard our Gulf Air flight to Bangkok and I have to say, I quite enjoyed it!
8 Thailand – Street food, fried insects
Fried insects and grubs on sale from a street vendor in Bangkok. Sharon was quick to give these a try!
Sharon eating fried insects in Bangkok, Thailand, which we bought from a street food vendor. Just the thought still makes me shudder!
7 Vietnam – Hanoi night market kebabs
Fast food with a difference in Hanoi, Vietnam – this is healthy, fresh and very, very tasty. This street food stand was part of the night market in Hàng Đào street, Hanoi. Customers can choose their own skewer selection then hand over their tray for it to be cooked. Fantastic experience all round.
6 New Orleans, Louisiana – Gumbo. Not so great.
The famous New Orleans’ gumbo, which we had to try but it really wasn’t so great. Weeks later we found out from a few other people that they had also not enjoyed the gumbo. Oh well, nothing wrong with trying something once.
5 Canada – Toronto hot dogs
Toronto hot dogs – we never knew hot dogs could be so amazing! After trying these out from a street food stand we were hooked. The secret seemed to be the superb range of relishes and toppings as well as the freshly and ever so lightly toasted roll. If you ever visit Canada make sure to try their hot dogs.
4 South Africa – Seafood
One of my favourite things about Cape Town, South Africa, is the fantastic seafood restaurants. This was lunch in the Ocean Basket restaurant in the V&A Waterfront.
3 St Helena – Fishcakes, best in the world
St Helena fishcakes. This isn’t a patriotic selection – during our travels in 2015 we tried different types of fishcakes on a number of occasions, however, none compared to the superb taste of St Helena’s signature dish. If you’ve never tried St Helena fishcakes you’re missing out!
2 Breakfast at Mountain Float
On the face of it this traditional, English style breakfast might seem normal, but apart from it being very well made, it was the setting itself that made this meal so special. This was breakfast, served in the floating restaurant of Thailand’s Mountain Float resort. Just one hour earlier we had been out on the lake on a kayak photographing a glorious sunrise. So this will be on breakfast that will be very hard to beat.
1 Vietnam – Hanoi Spring Rolls
The real deal; Hanoi spring rolls in Hanoi, Vietnam. After ordering this I struggled to begin with until the waiter gave me a demonstration on how I needed to roll each one first before eating. From then on this became my favourite meal in Vietnam.
Our waiter demonstrating how to prepare Hanoi Spring Rolls. From this moment on in Vietnam, spring rolls were my thing!