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Apr 30, 2009 07:55 AM

To migrants, ex-pats, aliens and transplants, what do you miss?

In the UK I spent many hours travelling to and from customers. I knew every breakfast and chip truck around. One particular one on the A30 stands out. Two hunking pieces of buttered bread carved off a proper loaf, filled with back bacon and a fried egg, condimented to my particular taste .Al fresco delight. A nightmare to eat in a suit if you forgot your apron.

I will now wipe the saliva from my keyboard.

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  1. I've never spent enough time out of the US to start longing for, say, a decent hamburger; we visited my sister's family in Italy once, where USAF bro-in-law was stationed, and he and most of his cohort hated Italian food and longed for hot dogs and stuff, but we could not sympathize (UK sympathise). I do tend to miss regional specialties when I move from one to another; after 20-some years in Nashville we moved to Southern California, where Mrs. O is from, and we both miss grits and reliably good fried chicken and biscuits and cornbread. Luckily I can cook those... but then when we go back for a visit we miss good Chinese food!

    8 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      You broke my brain "He and most of his cohort hated Italian food".

      How is that even possible? :)

      1. re: Morganna

        Try this, then: when we went on a military-plus-dependents' bus trip to Rome, we were booked for dinner at a famous convent where the nuns cooked fabulous gourmet meals. I'd read an article about this place and was beside myself at the prospect. Early that afternoon, though, one of the couples in our party found a Chinese restaurant a few blocks from the hotel. They communicated this to the main group, who to a man/woman burst into happy cheers and cancelled the convent reservation.

        The next afternoon we had lunch with the group at a wine cave in Frascati. Everyone ordered sandwiches, prosciutto e formaggio, but the bus driver and our guide both came to the table with amazing-looking antipasto platters. Mom, my sister and I asked Marcella, the guide, if she could convey an order for a couple more of those, and a liter pitcher of wine while she was at it. We happily consumed every oily, garlicky morsel (and another pitcher) while my brother-in-law chewed his sandwich and drank his Coca-Cola, scowling at our unAmerican (and therefore to his mind ANTI-American) indulgence.

        1. re: Will Owen

          Stooooop you're making me CRY! :) We -so- want to go to Italy. It's right at the top of the list. If it weren't for a wedding we have to attend next year in the UK, Italy'd be the first place we visited overseas. There's so much diversity to Italian food, I just can't believe there are people who won't even -try- it. Sheesh!

          (sorry for the thread-jack)

          1. re: Morganna

            Morganna, I WEEP along with Have never been to Italy (I aspire to someday go!) but know a number of professional associates who go back to Italy JUST TO EAT THERE!!!

          2. re: Will Owen

            my parents are going to Italy this summer for the first time together to celebrate my stepdad's 60th. Any chance you have a website or info on the convent in Rome that has these fabulous gourmet meals? - it's make a great birthday present dinner.

            1. re: Will Owen

              Have you ever HAD Chinese food in Italy? I have. It's "watered down" for Italian tastes. Blech. Italians are not adventurous eaters when it comes to foreign food. I wonder if the military group even enjoyed the Chinese food? Probably, if they hated Italian food so much.

              1. re: pdxgastro

                I suppose if you're living somewhere like Italy, you could end up craving Chinese food on occasion.

          3. re: Will Owen

            OMG...I cannot wrap my brain around hating Italian food. It is physically impossible for me to do so.

          4. Bratwurst in Frankfurt. Ach mein gott -- sehr gut!

            1. As an ex-NYer now living in FL, I really miss the NYC Hard Roll!

              2 Replies
              1. re: cavandre

                Yes! Even as close as I am in NJ, a NYC hard roll is impossible to get here, and as I don't commute to work in NYC any longer, I'm bereft. :(

                1. re: mcsheridan

                  It's getting harder and harder to find decent ones even in NY/NJ. So many of the older family European bakeries are closing.

              2. Paul this kind of crosses over to the UK/US thread.
                yes I miss proper bread, a caff that serves a good fry up, British doughnuts and buns, corner shops, crumpets, beef sausages, and a good Indian.

                2 Replies
                1. re: smartie

                  Move to Toronto - You can get a bunch of those here. Not the doughnuts, though.

                  Fry ups - many, many places, but you need to go with the pea-meal bacon. The sausages will disappoint though.
                  Corner shops - all over the place in the older parts of town such as East York.
                  Beef Sausages - can be had
                  Indian - stacks of them. Probably 100 of them within 5 miles.
                  Bread - all sorts here, but tends to be expensive. Some supermarkets bake their own, but few use the UK trick of exhausting the bakery fumes by the entrance so you smell fresh bread as you walk in.

                  Sorry if this is too similar to a previous thread - that was not my intention.

                  1. re: Paulustrious

                    A Belfast fry...decent fish and chips...and Montreal smoked meat...

                2. When I'm stateside I miss lechon and whole fried boquinette in the Yucatan. While in the Yucatan, I miss rack of lamb and blue cheese. I can get a caldo or consomme of borrego, but sheep are not an emphasis there.