When I find myself hungry while at work I’m consequently, more often than not, disappointed by the limited food options on hand. It happens that I simply can’t figure out what I feel like eating anyway. Desperately enough, I’m drawn to reminisce about the outstanding dishes that would’ve been just the thing at that very moment save for the fact they’re unavailable completely.

Tuscan trippa


Say a simple plate of trippa alla fiorentina. It’s considered a redneck dish where I come from and I’ve loved it ever since I was a little girl. My mom prepares it, as she declares, alla triestina, which I think is more or less the same thing (please forgive me if you disagree, I’m not splitting atoms here). It’s basically about offal, onion, garlic, tomatoes, parsley and parmiggiano. I’ve had many in different places. The one that stood out was served in a tiny restaurant just outside the town walls in Magliano in Toscana.

The very busy but friendly waitress explained she cooked it herself (she runs the place with some help from her mother). It was the first time we noticed orange peel was added to trippa which in itself wins all points with me (remember my little obsession?).

Another dish I could help myself to continually, after I’ve learnt about it in Apulia last summer, is fave e cicoria. I have yet to try to make it myself and when I do I’ll trust Rachel Roddy.

Fave e cicoria in Lecce, Puglia
Dinner in Lecce, Apulia

I start drooling when I think about the bakala, a dish of cod, we had in restaurant Libertas in Sarajevo. I could have loads of it, it was delicious.


Best ever bacala in Libertas, Sarajevo

I could also be fed on this one pot wonder: goulash. A simple and very satisfying dish depends heavily, needless to say, on the quality of its ingredients just like everything simple and tasty.

Goulash served with bread dumpling
Excellent goulash at Gostilna Krištof in Predoslje, Slovenia

Last but not least: give me a plate of decent clear beef soup and I’m as happy as can be. Austrians tend to do it right.

Austrian beef soup
Rindsuppe at Loy in Bad Kleinkirchheim

If only my lunch time choices were so versatile and colourful.