I had some awesome food experiences last year, both dining out and cooking at home. I had amazing Chili in Seattle, which I then recreated at home. I also bought lovely cherries covered in chocolate - truly sensual. Later this year, in Minneapolis, I had Zuni stew at the Spoon River Cafe, which I will blog about at some point, and also the most flavourful beans dish at one of Minneapolis' heritage restaurants, Szechuan green beans, which I plan to try and recreate tomorrow.
The Olive restaurant in Delhi moved back to its original, wonderful location in Hauz Khas,and A and I had a romantic dinner there on his birthday. One of the best things about that meal was when they brought a mortar and pestle filled with roasted garlic, extra virgin olive oil and herbs and we got to make our own dip to go with freshly baked bread hot from the oven.
Cibo was a lovely experience on our anniversary in terms of ambience and service, though I thought the food was nothing extraordinary. I wish I had known it was open-air so I would have dressed more warmly, but otherwise it was a great evening.
I discovered three tastes last year which I found delectable and hope to keep enjoying. The first was raspberries. In India, people often confuse ras-bhari ( physalis) for raspberry, which are very different fruit. I had tried rasps on occasion but probably never knew how to select them so hadn't quite cottoned onto their taste. But frozen raspberries gifted by a family friend made their way into A's birthday dessert and I was hooked on to everything about them. Their tart yet sweet taste. The aroma, reminiscent of the best summer roses. The texture, with the grainy seeds and the smooth puree...I even had the raspberry puree by itself as dessert for days after, and it was heavenly.
Peanut butter was something else I discovered after years and relished for the first time. With chocolate, with gongura pickle, on toast or by itself.
One more taste explosion that I have been gluttonously relishing is that of kino or Malta as it is commonly known here. This was a fruit we never enjoyed growing up, because peeling it like an orange just takes too much time and effort. But while at an otherwise dull Romanian food special, I came across Maltas cut into sections, and found their taste almost intoxicating - the sweet-sour juiciness, the fresh, clean feel of the little niblets of fruit...So ever since then they have become staples in our fruit basket, and the kids, A and I can happily tuck into some Maltas anytime.
I hope 2010 brings more such culinary adventures my way. I'm waiting with a clean and eager palate...!