We had a unique perspective on the food in Georgia. We were staying with a family in the mountains outside of Kobuleti. Only the father, Gela, was working. Hatuna, the mother was taking care of the house and cooking all the time. Grandma and grandpa were tending to their land – they had three cows, about 10-12 chickens, and loads of fruit trees. They also grow their own veggies and even tea!
Eastern European foods we sampled during our trip through Poland, Russia and Ukraine had similar staples: potatoes, bread, butter, mayonnaise, snacks specifically made to go with beer and of course vodka chasers. Poles claim to have invented vodka or wodka (in Polish) as do Russians but Ukrainians have perfected the vodka experience with their best tasting pickles and variety of vodka flavors such as honey with pepper (yikes!). Many sources state that it was my people who produced vodka first in the area of today’s Russia in the late 9th century. However, in accordance with the allegations of many scholars, it had been distilled even earlier in the 8th century in Poland. Whatever
Overall, the food in the UK has a bit of a bad reputation. Don’t let that reputation stop you from trying some of these great dishes.
Scotland’s signature dish: haggis, neeps, and tatties. Haggis is a pudding made from the heart, lungs, and liver of a sheep. Traditionally, haggis is seasoned with onions, salt, and spices before being cooked in the sheep’s stomach. Today, it’s often prepared in a sausage casing rather than being simmered in the stomach. Neeps are mashed rutabagas and the tatties are standard mashed potatoes. Contrary to what many of you might think, it’s quite tasty. It is very similar in taste and texture to blood sausage. We had it several times while in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
We had skyr for a couple of our breakfasts – once (seemingly) homemade and the other store-bought. The homemade version was topped with milk, very tasty, and a great deal at around 800 ISK (around $6.50). The store-bought version was much like the yogurt you’re familiar with in the US.
Everyone will tell you how expensive Iceland can be. However, it is possible to eat here relatively cheaply. Here are a few great options we found.
Stop in at the grocery – even if you aren’t able to cook where you are staying. The city is fairly small and there are an abundance of grocers. One that we found to be a great deal is Bonus. For around $25 we were able to grab a few sandwiches, drinks, and snacks for the day. For breakfast, check out skyr or kleinur. Dried fish makes a great, carry-along snack. Their pre-packaged sandwiches were a tasty, cheap lunch. If the weather is a bit dreary, take your food inside at the local hostel.