Does Food Just Taste Better on the Road, or Is It Actually Better? Yes.
  • Image about Shahin Takes Off 07-01-2006

This is the best pizza I have ever eaten. The best gelato too. The best Parmesan cheese. Maybe even the best pasta. Probably not the best pasta. Definitely not, come to think of it. The homemade tagliatelle with white truffles at the little no-frills trattoria in the countryside of Emilia-Romagna, Italy - that was the best pasta.

That this plate, though, is even being considered as the best tells you something.

Now, here's the thing:

All of those items - the pizza, the gelato, the Parmesan, the pasta - were experienced not throughout the whole of Italy but in one town in South America. Granted, it was a big town. Still, just one town: Buenos Aires.

While that may recommend Argentina's European-esque seaside city to gourmands and/or Italophiles, the thing it really does is call into question my judgment.

"Dad," my teenage son, Sam, began. "Do you think this really is the best, or do you think food just tastes better when you are traveling?"

"Yes," I said.

"Yes?" he responded. "What kind of answer is that?"

"The only answer," I said. "Food does taste better when you are traveling. But this really is the best pizza I've ever had. And the best gelato. And the best Parmesan cheese."

It's true that maybe I was getting carried away with the moment. Here we were, my son, my wife, and I, traveling together in one of the world's great cities. The temperature could not have been better if we had set the thermostat ourselves. The serendipity of coming across a street fair here and an outdoor flea market there seduced us into believing that life would always be like this if only we could afford the hotel bill to remain here forever.