The biggest surprise of my first cruise was how extraordinary the food was. Being a total foodie, having high standards for freshness, striving to use the highest quality ingredients and favoring whole foods, you could say I am “picky.” I expected cheap cafeteria and diner type food that was soggy, greasy and, uber-processed. I expected the apples to be mealy and the green beans frozen and microwaved. I admit to bringing my own homemade granola, a bag of AZ oranges and organic apples for survival.
I was skeptical when I read the first dinner menu; they made it all sound so excellent. But excellent it was!
Giant Perch with Green Asparagus, Brown Butter, Lemon and Rice Pilaf
Cajun Spiced Crawfish Crockpot with Black Mussels and Tomatoes
Moroccan Vegetable Ragout with Pita Bread and Read Oak Leaf Salad
Cauliflower, Carrots, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, Pea Pods and Potatoes in Tomato-Yogurt Sauce.
How on earth was I going to choose? Oh, how I wished my stomach was stretched out more that night because I could have had all three, if I had room. Each night they had a completely different selection of about 4 appetizers, 4 soups and salads and 6 main courses. They also offered 2 pastas (one that was the same every night) and 7 alternative choices that were the same every night.
Yes, my stomach stretched and accumulated some extra “padding”, but a week of culinary adventure drove me to set good judgment aside and enjoy the ride.
Breakfast was the trickiest. I started off having a lot of poached eggs. Scrambled eggs are often made with powdered eggs, so I stuck with what I could see was real. I don’t do homogenized dairy, non fat yogurt, cold cereal or sugary pastries. A couple mornings at the buffet I stacked an egg on a small waffle with a slice of smoked salmon. By the last few days I was eating my (dry) granola and a couple oranges. I was fine with eating light in the morning, because dinner was always over the top.
Doesn’t that salad look amazing? It was! I also tried borscht for the first time, which was not bad and had a very tasty blueberry roulade (yes, dessert at every lunch, shame.)
Finally, here is what I learned at the dinner table;
- I don’t like pate of any kind (seafood, meat or vegetable.)
- Frog legs have the texture of chicken and the flavor of crab legs
- Escargots is delicious (but likely anything doused with lots of garlic butter would be.)
- Caviar is worth eating again if I get the chance, but not worth the hefty price tag.
- Soufflé’s make great desserts after a hefty meal, they are light and not too sweet.
- It only takes sharing three meals with someone before I feel comfortable asking them for the vegetables off their plate.
- Thankfully, the bread was awful.
- Jarom can eat a lot of meat L
- Spending 2 hours at the dinner table never tired.
- Six days of stomach stretching allowed me to enjoy a soup, salad, pasta, entrée and 2 plates of lobster in one sitting.
- Although I was over eating every day, I felt good and never had digestive problems.
- I love seafood.