Un­ex­pected Plea­sures

Robb Report (USA) - - Editor’s Notebook -

on a sea voy­age, the ex­pected, rather than the un­ex­pected, can pre­oc­cupy the trav­eler. In “Tus­cany to the Sea” (page 128), Sa­man­tha Brooks ex­plores some of Italy’s qui­eter stretches of coast­line aboard the just-launched 135-foot sail­ing yacht Sa­tori. “I took small-boat sail­ing classes in col­lege and got some other cer­ti­fi­ca­tions just af­ter, but I would al­ways get sea­sick on any­thing over about 40 feet, so I was a bit leery,” Sa­man­tha says. Luck­ily for her, the ship cruised like a dream. “But,” she adds, “if I had got­ten sick, the on­board masseuse and 250-bot­tle wine cel­lar would have pro­vided ex­cel­lent reme­dies.”

noth­ing could be more un­ex­pected than Rwanda’s rapid emer­gence as Africa’s most in­trigu­ing set­ting for sa­faris, as edi­tor Jackie Caradonio ob­serves in “High in the Green Hills” (page 92). Yet the as­ton­ish­ing land­scapes proved less sur­pris­ing than some of the coun­try’s sim­ple plea­sures, such as the local ba­nana wine Jackie sa­vored on her drive from Ki­gali to the Virunga Moun­tains. “My driver Em­manuel had been singing the al­co­holic bev­er­age’s praises to me dur­ing our drive,” she re­calls. “A sim­ple fer­mented blend com­posed of only ba­nanas and white sugar, the con­coc­tion was def­i­nitely a sur­prise to my taste buds—noth­ing like grape wine, a bit hoppy like beer, and over­whelm­ingly sweet and syrupy to the last drop. I wouldn’t make it my drink of choice, but it was in­deed the per­fect tip­ple for a long drive through the Rwan­dan coun­try­side.”

some of the more mem­o­rable sights the so­journer sees are at the ta­ble, and nowhere is the ta­ble more lav­ishly equipped than in Shang­hai, the sub­ject of this month’s “Time Well Spent” (page 161). One of the top culi­nary des­ti­na­tions in Shang­hai is DADONG, renowned for its suc­cu­lent, crispy, and cre­atively pre­pared Pek­ing duck, which edi­tor Jill New­man sought out on a re­cent visit. “With­out ad­vance plan­ning, I couldn’t even get a reser­va­tion,” she says. The nu­mer­ous re­buffs, how­ever, were soft­ened by the an­nounce­ment that Chef Dong is opening a restau­rant in Jill’s home­town of New York. “Clearly the Chi­nese were ex­tremely proud of their fa­mous chef now be­ing ex­ported to Amer­ica to in­tro­duce the tra­di­tional Pek­ing duck with a twist,” Jill ob­serves. “On my re­turn, I was sur­prised to learn that many New York­ers were also anx­iously await­ing the opening of DADONG in Mid­town. When the reser­va­tion line opened in the fall, more than 2,000 peo­ple called, and the restau­rant is booked un­til mid-Fe­bru­ary. I fi­nally got the chance to taste the Pek­ing duck at a press pre­view night, and it was worth the wait. As Chef Dong says, ‘It’s the only duck with skin so crispy that is shat­ters like glass.’ ”

Some­times, the trav­eler must re­turn home to see—as well as to taste.

“The trav­eler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”


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