Playing Favorites

If someone asks you what your absolute favorite meal in the world is, would you know how to respond? Most people catch on quickly that I'm a food lover but I have a feeling if I'm ever faced with that question, much to people's surprise, I would hem and haw over it, make my quizzical "thinking face" and say something like pb&j, making it sound more like a question to see if I'm right rather than a definitive answer. It's certainly the food I eat the most of, but is it really my favorite? Is it the meal I'd want to make my last?

In order to narrow down to a list of my favorite foods (in the hopes of choosing my ultimate indulgence), I thought long and hard about what makes food good. Is it a comfort dish that has sweet memories attached to it? Is it the ambience of your dining experience? Or maybe the composition of the ingredients was so impeccably balanced that upon the first bite you smiled, closed your eyes and just enjoyed. Why that would be a big fat Yes, Yes and Yes. Crap, this is hard.

In no particular order, here is a stream of consciousness smattering of my favorites. For my own clarification, these are foods I think about often enough so as to distinguish from other dishes that I simply just like a lot. There's a fine line.

Homey & Comforting
  • Pancakes -- plain, unadulterated fluffy flapjacks with frizzled ham on the side -- my Dad's sticky sweet breakfast creation involving thinly sliced strips of deli ham, sauteed up with maple syrup & brown sugar. Oh yes. 
  • Patties -- credit goes to my Mom on this one, she had three hungry children fighting over them. Leftover Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs and egg from making chicken strips bound together to form patties. Fry right along with the chicken.
  • Freshly baked soft pretzel with grainy mustard for dipping
Good Ambiance and In Good Company
  • Icelandic Snúður - the lovechild of a chocolate frosted yeast donut and a cinnamon roll
  • Reindeer carpaccio over arugula and shaved parmesan from The Hotel Framnes
  • House charcuterie plate from Dano's
Feeds My Soul
  • Buckwheat crepes with a lemony herbed goat cheese and sauteed mushroom filling
  • Clam chowder 
  • Nutella panini on sourdough bread, served warm

Well that was a fun exercise.

If I had to pick the most interesting dish I've ever eaten, hands down it would be the reindeer carpaccio from our first night in Iceland. It was beautifully composed and the flavors complimented each other perfectly. The meat was light and succulent and melted in my mouth. However, I don't think it would be my last meal. I hate to be ambiguous, but I would have to see if I was in a sweet or savory mood! Knowing me, though, I would probably humbly ask for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on soft whole wheat bread, with a heart drawn through the peanut butter for good measure, and be completely satisfied. 

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