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Jan 12, 2007 09:23 PM

Amazing (even exotic) home-cooked meal while travelling?

There are plenty of places in the world with no restaurants.
If you are lucky, you are invited to a home-cooked meal.

It could be food you are craving.
It could be a good sampling of local delicacies.
It could be something totally different - your kind host family is not local, not from your hometown either. They introduce you to the taste of a cuisine from faraway lands.

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  1. The mother of a Bhutanese friend lives up in the mountains way above Thimpu. She invited a couple of us for lunch: emadashi (very hot, large chilis cooked with cheese), which she was convinced outsiders wouldn't be able to handle, and sun dried pig fat, which she was convinced would be a hit. The lunch itself was great, except the yak butter tea. I love the emadashi, am a bit ambivalent about sun dried pig fat, but loved the meal because it was truly from the heart and was timeless in setting.

    3 Replies
      1. re: kare_raisu

        Yes, but moved relative to the sun. To others: not sacks of globulous fat, but slabs, of course.

        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          How did it compare to salo or speck? (Emadashi and pork fat sound delish.)

    1. Four meals come to mind of which I felt honoured to be a guest:

      Homemade mole was prepared by my landlord's housekeeper in Mexico City. They lived in the flat above me, and invited me for dinner. What a lovely treat, prepared in the traditional fashion, using ages old cookery. It was fabulous!

      Pot au feu - prepared in a classic pressure cooker by a friend I was visiting in Burgundy. To celebrate American Thanksgiving, he prepared a very classic homecooked French meal. Since he works for a negociant, we enjoyed fantastic wines with each course, finishing with a wonderful selection of cheeses from Normandy (his home) and Burgundy. For my first Thanksgiving away from the US, it was memorable.

      Sunday Lunch (British) - on my first visit to the UK I was whisked from the airport by my friends to the home of their friends to enjoy Sunday lunch. This, of course, was a joint of meat, with all the trimmings, and finished with treacle tart, and apple pie with custard. It was an amazing meal, considering it was all prepared on a coal-fired cooker. The hosts were coal merchants and the heat for the Hobb was generated by coal. The temperature for roasting and baking was "regulated" by moving things around to the area of the oven most appropriate for cooking. It was fascinating, and a very memorable meal.

      Roast turkey for Thanksgiving - okay, it wasn't the turkey, but how it had to be prepared for the 30 guests to enjoy it in a timely manner that was memorable. A colleague had invited fellow expats and locals to her spacious London flat for American Thanksgiving dinner. While her kitchen was large, her oven was a typical British thing - small by American standards. Needless to say, when I saw the turkey arrive the day before, I asked her if she had checked to see if it would fit. She said "no problem". That morning she called the Langham Hotel and asked them if they would do her a favour and pop something in their oven for her. Thirty minutes before dinner was to be served the hotel's chef rang to announce the turkey was done and could be picked up. I believe it was the most expensive "homemade" turkey that year! We still laugh about it.