I am a very lucky girl... and I think my stomach agrees!
These past few months on board CroisiEurope cruises, I have been spoiled with plate after plate of delicious meals, expertly prepared with a French touch that turns every meal to magic. If there is anything I can say with absolute certainty, it's that I have been well-fed this summer. Sadly, with one cruise left to go on the Mekong (where I’ll be served Asian specialties), I realize now that my love affair with CroisiEurope’s delicious French cuisine has come to an end. In honour of this, I’d like to take a tasty walk down memory lane and nostalgically share with you some of my favourite dishes throughout the past two and a half months:
Creamy Cod and Potatoes in Anis Sauce with Ratatouille
It’s only fitting to begin with the first main course I ever had with CroisiEurope: cod and potatoes in anis sauce with ratatouille. This is the dish that turned me into a full-fledged fish lover, and I jump for joy anytime I see it on the menu. Picture a thick cut of fresh cod in a light cream sauce, paired with a tender and juicy ratatouille. Mm, with a spritz of fresh squeezed lemon juice, this dish is absolute perfection.
Sweet and Sour Pork Filet with Crispy Potatoes
Next up is another CroisiEurope classic: sweet and sour pork filet with crispy potatoes. Here, tender slices of pork are drizzled with a tangy sauce that coats a bed of snow peas and carrots, while delightful bites of fried potato line the plate as a pretty (and delicious) garnish. The potatoes are elegantly piped, dipped in batter and fried, producing a crispy outer shell that offers the most satisfying “crunch” imaginable.
I love CroisiEurope’s French menu, but when regional specialties are involved, my heart flutters. Happily for me, seafood paella was served on both my Douro and Guadalquivir cruises, so I got to enjoy this dish not just once, but twice. Served steaming hot in a family-style platter, CroisiEurope paella is filled to the brim with succulent prawns, mussels, clams and fish, with a large bed of rice soaking up all these spectacular flavours of the sea. As a bonus, if you’re hoping for seconds (which is inevitable), the serving staff are always happy to oblige!
Smoked Salmon and Cheese Roll
Hands down, this is one of my favourite appetizers from the Photo Tour. Take thinly sliced, perfectly seasoned salmon, roll it with a creamy cheese blend and the result is pure joy. What I love as well is that each kitchen team puts their own spin on it – sometimes adding a drizzle of sweet sauce or diced carrots for crunch. This is a dish I could eat every day, for the rest of my life.
Who would have thought that the creamiest tiramisu of my life would be found on-board a CroisiEurope cruise? This beautiful dessert is made up of fluffy ladyfingers soaked in flavourful espresso, layered with dreamy mascarpone cheese and a fine dusting of cocoa on top. Mmm, there’s simply nothing better.
The Gala Dinner
I’ve saved the best for last. There are no words to describe how much I look forward to CroisiEurope’s gala dinners… Drinking bubbly Champagne, seeing everyone dressed up, and of course, indulging in the incredible food – it’s all an absolute dream. Though of course, the menu varies, it usually unfolds in the following way:
We begin with a block of decadent duck foie gras with sweetly spiced caramel drizzle, followed by a main course of tender veal with shallots and tarragon. We then proceed to a flavourful goat cheese baked onto crispy toast and finally, an ever-impressive Baked Alaska flambée in Grand Marnier. All this, coupled with specially-chosen wines, it’s enough to make anyone ooh and ahh. I’ll probably be dreaming about this meal for years to come.
As one guest told me last night: “The food on-board is what makes CroisiEurope special.” I think there’s a lot of qualities that make this company special, but I must admit: one of my favourite moments of each cruise is the first meal, because there, I get to watch passengers’ eyes light up at their first bite. It’s a surprisingly consistent phenomenon – their eyes get wide with excitement, their mouths curl into a smile, and they spend the rest of the night scraping their plates clean as they lap up every bite. The inevitable chorus of “mmms” fills my heart with happiness!
CroisiEurope, truly, my stomach thanks you.