When we arrived at the Karen village today, *Cluck* announced to us excitedly: "tonight BBQ pig for dinner." Most of us accepted the news eagerly — almost everyone loves a good plate of roast pork — and even though I wasn't planning to eat any of it (I've had enough traife lately, thanks), I had no problem with them cooking up some pig on the campfire. But little did we realise just what was involved in "having BBQ pig" — had we comprehended the fact that out here in the jungle, you have to slaughter and butcher a pig before you eat it, perhaps we would have thought differently.
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I've been eating plenty of kebabs here in Europe, and I've been doing so with generally good results. They're cheap, they're filling, they're everywhere, and most of the time they leave you feeling fine. But today, I pushed my luck too far: the kebab platter that I had for lunch clearly contained some questionable meat; because for the rest of the afternoon, I was either asleep in bed or sitting on the toilet. Seems that I've had one kebab too many. Gotta keep a discerning eye on those incredibly dodgy-looking spit-roasts that they use.
Ask any German, and he/she will tell you that food doesn't get more Deutsch than Bratwurst. But ask my uncle Mark, and he'll tell you that the Swiss variety of the famous European sausage is even bigger and even better. I can't yet compare; but so far, the Swiss one has been pretty good. At the famous Berghaus-Keller restaurant in central Zürich, they cook up a mean veal bratwurst, served hot and fresh with a delicious helping of kartoffel-rösti on the side (baked mash potato). Also goes well with a nice big Swiss beer (my first ever).
After three weeks in Italy, I would like to officially announce that — despite its being delicious — I am getting kinda sick of all the pizza and pasta. Tonight, I decided it was time for a break. I walked past a kebab restaurant in town, and I simply couldn't resist a meaty, spicy banquet of doner, bread and salad. As well as serving a delicious plate of kebab, the place I found was also nice and relaxed and informal: take-away-ish, fast-food-ish restaurants seem to be rather hard to find, here in Sicily (it's either pure take-away, or a super-formal super-pricey trattoria). I followed up the kebab by stopping by at a pasticceria, and indulging myself in a truly decadent cream- and strawberry-filled pastry for dessert. Sometimes you just gotta indulge.
This evening at the Hostel Inn, I stuffed myself silly on the delicious all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner, I slurped away on the giant bucket of serve-yourself capirinha (after all, this is almost Brazil here), plus I enjoyed the great Tango show that they put on after the meal. Since I booked a tour to the falls for 9am tomorrow, that should have been all I did for the night. But I was silly enough to convince myself that I was being told the truth, when an Irish guy suggested that we go into town for "a few quick drinks". Hah: Irish — drinks — "a few" — "quick" — who was I kidding?! Anyway, I can't say it wasn't fun, staying out at the pubs of Puerto Iguazú until 4am; but as for tomorrow morning — that was Not Very Fun At All™.
Lunch today was my last meal before the 25-hour fast of Yom Kippur (the holiest day in the Jewish year) — therefore, as far as quantity went, I wasn't playing around. This afternoon, Oly and I went to a great restaurant in San Telmo, called Desnivel, where I ordered a bife de chorizo mariposa (butterfly T-bone steak) that was bigger than me. Had to have been the largest piece of meat I've eaten in my life. Getting through the fast this year is going to be no problem at all :P.
Yesterday, Chris, Oly and myself celebrated our re-uniting, with some burger munching and rugby watching. Today, the reunion party continued, with my first visit to one of the many fine parrillas (you should know this one by now, guys: it's a steak house!) in BA. We had a good 'ol gorge on some juicy, medium-rare dead cows. Need I mention ye obligatory bottle of red? Seeing as I was so deprived of steak in Bariloche, I think that this was massively overdue, and totally well-deserved :P.
There's a great restaurant in Arequipa, called Zig Zag (in Calle Zela, near the monastery), that's famous for doing ostrich steak. It's not cheap, but if you're up for a delicious and carnivorous meal, then it's more than worth it. Beautifully grilled, and served with salad, and chips / baked potato (plus about five different sauces). This was my first time having ostrich: it has quite a strong and tangy taste; but the meat is tender and delicious. Great feed.