Do you keep a food journal when you travel? I'm not talking about food journal in the way it's often used, i.e. a place to write down the caloric value of everything you put into your mouth. No, I'm talking about a journal where you jot down notes about the experience of the food you ate while on vacation — the restaurant dish you tried to decipher so you could recreate it at home, the totally off-the-cuff seaside meal you made after getting inspired at a local fish market, your memories of the particular flavor and feel of the region you visited. Do you do this?
I've never made an official habit of this, but I wish I'd had a travel journal for a few particularly memorable trips. At the time I always think, oh man, I'm never going to forget this. But the truth is that I have a lousy memory, and moments and meals that I'm sure will be forever etched into my memory inevitably fade with time, and I'm left squinting at a vacation photo months later thinking, wait, what did we eat again?
This is especially frustrating when you try to recreate a meal you've had on the road back home. While visiting Israel last summer, I had a salad, the salad, perhaps the best salad I've ever had, and I remember thinking — Yes, this is it. This is going to be my salad. I will recreate this salad at home and it will be magnificent. And yet, for the life of me, I cannot remember the ingredients in that salad. At the time a friend and I made a mental list of what we were tasting, and I think we probably got pretty close, but alas. No one wrote it down, and so the best salad I've ever had remains a one-time experience.
Don't let the same thing happen to you, friends. Take it from me and my sad salad story. Do you keep a journal to record your food experiences when you're traveling?
(Image: Blue Sky Papers)