Hi from Rick: Carp Per Diem
|They talked me into taking a bite I'll never forget.|
To get the most out of traveling, I always preach the gospel of adventure: look for experiences and tastes you'd never consider trying at home. And to be credible, I need to practice what I preach...even if it means holding my nose.
Just last month I was at a café in Trebon, a small Czech town famous for its medieval fish farming reservoirs. Cutting into my fresh carp, I noticed my beer glass said "Bohemia Regent anno 1379." I thought, "I'm consuming exactly what people have been eating and drinking in Trebon for over 600 years: fish from the reservoir just outside the gate, and washing it down with the local brew."
For maximum experience, my friends and I ordered every appetizer on the menu, tapas style (a good trick when trying to eat your way through another culture): "soused" herring; fried Loach; carp stuffed "willet sailor fashion;" cod liver; pike caviar; and something my Czech friend and guide Honza translated as "fried carp sperm."
I thought he was pulling my leg. I said, "You can't fry sperm." And everyone at my table insisted that while female fish have a whole trough full of eggs (caviar), the males have a trough full of the male counterpart — and it's cookable. Sure enough. Fried carp sperm tasted like fried oyster...same texture too.
Because of that dish, I'll remember our small town Czech dinner for the rest of my life (which is good, because I'll never order it again). Good travel is all about saying "why not?" — and raising your expectations of what life has to offer. Do this, and your most memorable moments will come from the unlikeliest places...like a plate of carp parts.
In this spirit of adventure, join us in this month's Travel News as we bike in Denmark, hike in Switzerland, wander in Istria — and pause to peek at a video clip of what it's like to update a guidebook in Italy. And while you're there, see what's on sale in our Travel Store this week. Go ahead, and raise your expectations.