I don’t travel internationally for the gastronomic delights. As a matter of fact, I’m a very picky eater. If it doesn’t look good, I won’t eat it.
Before traveling to Europe for the first time, I crossed my fingers hoping that I wouldn’t starve. I was pleasantly surprised. The sauerkraut in Vienna was delicious, as was the Hungarian goulash in Budapest and the kolache in Prague.
The thought of blood sausages and beans for breakfast while on vacay in the U.K. and Ireland, however, didn’t sit well with me. A light bulb flickered to life over my head. Why not take my own snacks with me? I wouldn’t starve and it would be nice to bring along a taste of home. Snacks could also serve as an ad hoc meal while on the go.
I packed a variety pack of Frito Lay chips, along with animal crackers and granola bars, in my suitcase. Not the healthiest, I know. Despite a few crushed chips and crackers, the snacks lasted for many days on the trip. One afternoon in London, having skipped lunch in a rush to see the sights, my daughter and I took a “picnic” break on a platform bench in a Tube station and recharged ourselves.
Not all the food in the U.K. and Ireland was objectionable. When in doubt, I always chose seafood. Salmon was a favorite choice. The pizza that the restaurant staff added chicken to in Stratford-Upon-Avon was very good. Croissants and a meatier version of bacon were always on the breakfast menu. I found a chicken pot pie in Edinburgh that was pretty good. Even stumbled upon a jacket potato (baked potato) and salad in Grasmere. Otherwise, I was pretty hungry.
My new travel accoutrement on any upcoming trips abroad? Flavored, powdered creamer. Wouldn’t ordinarily put the stuff in my coffee at home, but would do it in other countries in a heartbeat. It’s not as richly satisfying as the real thing, but it beats milk in my coffee. Or whipped cream. Or anything else I’ve been given.