It's time for a little looking back here at Food Lover's Odyssey. The special occasion? Well, Corinne from Gourmantic and Nicole from Immersed in the World nominated me to join Tripbase's My 7 Links project.
The goal of the project is "to unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again." Each of us who have been nominated picks 7 posts from our archives that fit into 7 specified categories, a greatest hits so to speak.
It was a lot of fun looking back over my posts for the last 2+ years and seeing how things have evolved here on the blog and with me. For some of the categories, it was almost impossible for me to choose just one, and for others it was easy. Below are my 7 links, or My Greatest Hits in Food and Travel, after the first 2 years:
1. Most Beautiful: Favorite Scenes from Carnival in Venice 2011
For a blog that's foodcentric, surprisingly, this was the hardest category for me to choose one post. With it being summer now and with my love for the sea, I was looking for a beach post. I pondered those on Camogli, My Happy Place, and posts on Sicily. I even thought about my recent photo essay in blue before getting to this one. After looking back at this post, I wondered how I didn't think about it first! I know I'm a little biased because I love Venice any day of the week, but Carnival in Venice is pure magic. The entire city is dressed for the occasion and in a festive mood. Lights line streets and porticoes, almost everyone is masked and in some type of costume and ready for fun. I believe this photo essay of my favorite scenes, captures the feeling and festivities well.
2. Most Popular: Roman Pasta Dishes and Ten Places to Eat Them in Rome
This post started out as one that didn't get the attention it deserved. Then, Anthony Bourdain did a show on Rome, went to Rome Sparita and ate the Cacio e Pepe Pasta in a Parmigiano Bowl. The first week the show aired, hits on this post went through the trattoria roof. It still continues to be my most popular post. A big thank you, Mr. Bourdain. Besides the hits it received due to the No Reservations show, the post breaks down what the Roman pasta dishes are and gives an explanation of each, along with a trattorie dining guide for those traveling to Rome.
3. Most Controversial: Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream and Berthillon in Paris
I know. How can ice cream be controversial? Well, looking back, I realized that I haven't really written controversial pieces. Maybe I should start. What do you think? The only tiny controversy I've ever stirred up here is when I get myself into trouble making comparisons with French and Italian food. This post does just that, comparing French balls to Italian balls...of ice cream, that is! Yes, it's a stretch, but for now, it is my most controversial piece.
4. Most Helpful: French Pastries and Ten Top Patisseries in Paris
This post and Cooking Classes in Paris were the two contenders in this category. This post won out for two reasons. One reason is close to my heart. For me pastries are as much, or more, a part of Paris than the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. For those other pastry lovers traveling to Paris, this guide goes beyond the obvious of La Duree and Pierre Herme and gives a fabulous list of ten other patisseries where I am certain other pastry lovers will be happy they indulged. The photos are sweet-tooth inducing, too.
5. Surprisingly Successful: A Drive Along The Amalfi Coast
This post is one of my top five all-time posts, and it surprised me as much as my love for this stomach-turning drive. Last summer I was in the Amalfi Coast and used the bus daily to get around. One day while looking down and out from the bus window, I realized that if it weren't for needing to take the bus that first time, because I overslept after a night of too much limoncello, I might never have experienced this amazing ride and would have continued to only take the ferry. I wanted to share the ride, the story, and the photos with readers, never thinking that others would enjoy the winding road and views as much as you have.
6. One That Didn't Get the Attention it Deserved:
This post is a lot like the city of Naples itself, often ignored and looked down upon, where one must look beneath the surface to find its beauty - both in the city and in its people. This post speaks of the kindness of two strangers, bus drivers in Napoli, during my first visit. The thing is that EVERY Neapolitan I've met on every visit, whether it be cab drivers (yes, cab drivers), restauranteurs, guys on the street, or nonnas on the bus and in the courtyards, every experience I've had with the people of Naples has been just as positive. I wish more people would not only read this post, but also give Naples a chance.
7. One I'm Most Proud Of:
Again, I had a hard time choosing between this post and the one where I won my first blogging award, Coda alla Vaccinara. Both pieces speak to the reason I write about food and travel. Through the food of a place, you learn about the people, their traditions, how they live(d), and the land itself. By sharing a meal with someone, especially one that you've cooked together, a little of each other is put into the meal and you are forever bound, even if only in the memory of the dish. I'm most proud of this piece because it best conveys these senitments and the reason why I write about food. My time in Puglia, was also a rebirth of sorts for me. The entire trip reminded me why I write this blog and how I want to share my travels with you.
My nominations for the My 7 Links Project:
I would love to hear from you! What are some of your favorite posts from Food Lover's Odyssey?