Four months. Four Countries. November 2011 through February 2012. Extended till May 2012. Vietnam. Thailand . Bhutan. Spain. Each country a delight to visit. Each country with its own distinct, unique cuisine. The languages compete with the culinary delights to render you “tongue-twisted”.






It lasted about a week each in Vietnam and Bhutan. And some 4 nights in Bangkok, Thailand. Then all of 10 weeks in Spain. My taste buds were never as confused as they were in the last 4-6 months. But if this is what confusion means, I wouldn’t mind being in that state for a prolonged period. 😊😍😘






Vietnamese cuisine tastes “clean” and subtle. Happily combining Asian flavors with French mastery of the kitchen, the dishes are beautifully plated even if purchased off a corner stall in the market. Besides, Vietnamese dishes are more veggies than meats which lessen one’s guilt but not the pleasure. The same aesthetic value can be said of Thai dishes. The vibrant colors combine so well in every single plate or tray whether they are vegetables, fruits or meats. And the sauces! Each single dish presents a variety of options by way of sauces. Major decisions!






The food in Bhutan is an altogether different story. There isn’t much by way of meat choices unless you are craving for yak burgers. Vegetarians would have a field day here in this Himalayan kingdom but the spices are just too much for my liking. But I like their mountain rice and the simplicity of their vegetable dumplings and soups.






Aroused by the flavors of the Orient , my taste buds were ready to be assaulted by the varied, meaty, cheesy, olive-oily dishes of Spain. From the very beginning, I knew 10 weeks won’t be long enough to try all 500 or so bacalao dishes. But really, I can’t complain.






We tried and compared the churros con chocolate from Chocolateria De San Gines and Valor, we sampled the croquetas and quezos in Mercado de San Miguel, we dined in 101 Tapas in Andalucia, traveled to Valencia for their authentic and original paella, ate not once but twice in Segovia for that cochinillo we’ve dreamed about, relished the morcilla from Burgos and the Leche flan and crema de Catalan of Barcelona.



So, after 4-6 months….. What do you think am I craving for? Sure I miss those Vietnamese rolls, the pad Thai, momos, Jamon y Quezos . But nothing beats food from home. I shamelessly requested a good friend to cook my favorite pancit, ordered halo-halo in the middle of a board meeting, drove all the way to Binondo for my lumpia and quikiam fix, waited mornings for the taho vendor, emptied my dish of dinuguan and puto in record time, and to this day, still dreaming of bibingka with kesong Puti and my favorite seagrapes (Lato) salad. Pinoy food rocks! 😝