I’m back now from my jaunt in Ukraine, and a very pleasant jaunt it was too. I can highly recommend Ukrainian borscht so give the recipe a whizz which I posted in my previous update Kicking Kiev! I can also proudly say that I was one of several thousand English supporters cheering on the team inside the Olimpiyskiy Stadium as they overcame the Swedes in their Euro 2012 group match – it’s just a shame the England team are now back home!
I have to say that the food in both Kiev and Lviv was usually an indulgent affair with plenty of succulent meat and, washed down with a Chernihivske beer, I never went hungry (or thirsty!). In fact the local food was so scrumptious that I went the whole week without a pizza. This is rare for me as I’ve been known to roam the streets of many an international city for several hours in search of my pizza fix. Luckily for me then that I can usually find an Italian restaurant wherever I am, be it in the Russian Arctic Circle or the innermost reaches of central Africa. In fact, I’d say it’s the most universal fare of the…er…universe.
Below I’ve picked a few of the pizza memories I have from my various travels.
Most expensive: Sofitel Hotel restaurant in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
Cheapest: a roadside shack in Vientiane, Laos
Tastiest: Anywhere in Italy – they really do make the best in the world!
Least appetising: a Roquefort cheese laden pizza in Avignon, France
Most surprisingly good: Tropicana restaurant in Bangui, Central African Republic
Most unusual topping: minced beef and French fries, Georgetown, Guyana
Most exotic location: half way up Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines
Ideal toppings: mozarella, roma tomatoes, basil and ham (I’m not too adventurous with my toppings!)
Most abhorrent toppings: capers, pineapple, anchovies, Roquefort and olives
I’ve not managed to make it to Afghanistan yet but if I ever do find myself in the capital, Kabul, at least I know I’ll be able to get a pizza from this entrepreneurial pioneer who set up the country’s first pizza delivery company (www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18417767). For now, though, I’ll have to make do with calorific deep-pan pizzas as I embark tomorrow on a three week drive across the USA following Route 66. On my return I’ll be back on the data collection trail with my first visit to Gabon in West Africa – and I’m already looking forward to sampling their take on the Italian classic.