So I love food. This is well established. Although heading to America for 3 weeks may not be everyone’s idea of a good time food wise, I discovered some truly tasty treats and tasty inspiration on my Californian road trip. California is known as the land of beautiful people and for good reason. Nourished by a Mediterranean climate and licked by the blue curls of the Pacific Ocean, Californians get it good. As a result, many a golden goddess of guru is based in the state and can often be found raving about almonds, raisins and avos. I couldn’t wait to join them and discover my own foodie Golden state. I had three ambitions:
- My first cheeseburger in over a year. The plan : In ‘n’ out burger.
- A real Californian Sushi roll
- Mexican, Mexican, Mexican!
Astoundingly, in 10 days I failed at consuming ANY of the above. I know. I’m a mess but salvation comes in the form of the culinary delights of the stumbled upon. Here are my top three meals from my time in Cali.
1.The Green Store, Hermosa Beach – Turkey and Dark Greens Wrap
I met my first Californian sunset at Hermosa beach accompanied by the biggest turkey wrap I have ever encountered. Freshly made in the tiny beachside store, this wrap satisfied my flight exhausted body and soul and introduced me to California’s marvellous obsession with cranberries and walnuts. Layers of lean turkey, forests of dark leafy greens and a smear of fresh avocado ensured that this wrap was a clean feast. Coming in at the equivalent of £5 I was pretty ecstatic to be filling my face with all the goodness the future promised.
Where: The Green Store, Hermosa
What: Turkey Wrap
- Crush & Brew, Temecula - Pear and Gorgonzola Salad with Chicken
The last time I had pear and gorgonzola together was on a pizza in Rome. As I tucked into this huge salad in Old Town Temecula I made a promise myself to devour this classic combo more often.
The portion sizes at Crush & Brew were huge to my European standards but I loved it. A bowl overflowing with fresh leafy greens, crumbly cheese, onion, carrot, cucumber and a side of fresh crostini is enough to make anyone thankful for the US’s perception of proportions. This salad also featured the combination of walnuts and cranberries again, albeit both were candied which made for a sweet kick. Not something I’d do myself, I enjoyed the crunch of sugar coated salad ingredients nevertheless! I also chose to top my salad with grilled chicken as I was fast developing a taste for lean treats in the warm SoCal climate.
Where: Crush & Brew, Temecula
What: Pear and Gorgonzola Salad
- Campfire corn on the cob- somewhere on a beach near Santa Cruz
I was incredibly blessed to spend the evening of my 26th birthday in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. Manresa state beach campsite was the perfect combination of woodland and beach with the sound of the ever persistent Pacific Ocean providing a soundtrack wherever you camped.
Our spot in Lupine woods placed us median to a cliffside view of endless horizons and the still peace of a woodland camping. After spotting the splash of unidentified fins whilst watching the sun set into the ocean, we returned to our tents for root beer and a campfire.
I’m quickly learning that the best things in life are the simplest and as we threw our aluminium foil wrapped corn onto the file I knew this was about to be proven again.
We pulled the silver parcels out of the fire clumsily with sticks in the absence of cooking utensils, making for a comical if not slightly singed 15 minutes. As we unwrapped our prizes for playing with fire my smile couldn’t have been wider. Juicy, golden and just sweet enough, the simple pleasure of freshly barbecued (or campfire-d) corn after a day of sunshine, sea and Santa Cruz meant more to me than any banquet.
Where: A campfire near you
Price: Not even worth mentioning. Just go out there and enjoy something so simply good.