One of the things about travel, whether living somewhere else or as a tourist, is learning about new food. As I’ve mentioned before, I grew up in small towns in North Louisiana and we didn’t travel far for vacations. Our cooking was basic and we certainly didn’t have access to different cuisines, although there was Mexican due to agriculture, and some Cajun. When we went to the big city, we were far more likely to go to the Picadilly Cafeteria than any thought of say one of the few Italian restaurants. I’m sure there probably was a Chinese restaurant somewhere, but again, not anything we would have known about.
My first airplane ride and foreign encounter was the summer session in Canada followed closely by the year I spent in France. I detailed the French part in previous posts. While I was wasn’t overly adventuresome in what I was willingly to try, there was a definite expansion of my tastes and I did become accustomed to more seasonings/herbs, and cooking techniques. Later, my initial Army training was at Fort McCellan, AL, so no great culinary changes there from where I grew up. Going to Maryland though included lots of fresh seafood. (Being in North Louisiana with limited truck transportation back then meant mostly freshwater fish and little shellfish).
My assignment after training to Germany is where I broaden my preferences in both food and wine – well, beer, too. German food has quite a range and Italian, Chinese, and other cuisines were commonplace, although I didn’t venture into the Middle Eastern ones. Anyone who has lived in Germany is aware of how many ways schnitzel is prepared. The basic meat is pork or veal and one of those is Rahm which is similar to country fried steak. In fact, the large German population in Texas introduced the meal with it changing from pork to cubed steak due to that cut of beef being more available. Our Publix doesn’t always have cubed pork and I noticed it the other day. I picked some up and that’s why Rahm Schnitzel is what we’re having for dinner. I admit I’m not making the sausage gravy from scratch and am using the prepared version instead.