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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

what’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

stjohnbacon

As we (in the northern hemisphere, anyway) hunker down for the worst, most miserable part of winter, thoughts turn to comfort and nesting as a way to get through the weeks until it starts getting lighter and warmer again. And so, this weekend’s Question:

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? In a restaurant, at home (or someone else’s home), whatever.

My friends and I keep a running tally of Top 10 Meals. It’s not written down or official or anything, but every once in a rare while, after a meal, we’ll look at each other and nod. “Top 10,” we’ll agree. Some of them on my list:

• the first time I had dim sum, in a restaurant in Chinatown where we were the only white people there (our guide was Chinese-American), and the waitstaff gathered to laugh at how much we ate

• the first time I ate at St. John Bread and Wine in Spitalfieds (and every time after, including the incredible takeaway bacon sandwich I just had this past Christmas Eve morning; that’s what’s pictured above, photo from DollyBakes)

• the greasy late-night fish and chips in Stratford-upon-Avon after seeing David Tennant in Hamlet at the RSC

• you won’t believe this, but the meal on a Midwest Express flight from New York to Milwaukee in 1996; the food was divine, but the topper was the fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies for desert: the smell of them baking at 30,000 feet, suffusing the smallish plane with cookie goodness, is one of the most memorable aromas of my life (the cookies were famous)

Your turn…

(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)


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