Jet lag? Pfft! Wait ’til palate lag gets you!

At 3pm on Friday 16 September, Maggie and I boarded a train in the French city of Rouen, to commence our return journey to Melbourne. 32 hours later, at 7am Melbourne-time on Sunday the 18th, we wrangled our luggage and our tired bodies through the front door of our home.

You might think that we had earned the right to dine on take-away for the next day or so but, no, we had already planned a cooking-at-home menu, commencing on the Sunday evening with a reliable standard, veal parmigiana.

Disappointed! It tasted like we’d made the sauce from tomatoes with a high sugar content.

A couple of nights later, we roasted a hand-picked piece of rib-eye beef on the bone. Off the bone and on to our plate, the meat tasted bland, as did our usual choice of roasted potatoes. What a let down!

Next, some pieces of Spring lamb, into the braising pot for a meal of Navarin of lamb, a dish we prepare to celebrate the start of the best season for lamb. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty, apparently; another disappointing result, flavour-wise.

Then I noticed that I wasn’t enjoying the glasses of Australian wine we were drinking at the dinner table; they tasted too fruity. Quel horreur! Perhaps that French wine-wanker we met in Burgundy was right when he pronounced Australian wines to have too much sugar.

Even the daily shot of Nespresso felt washed-out, like that lame liquid you sometimes get in airline economy class. Merde!

By week’s end, I was well enough clear of jet-lag symptoms for me to recognise two phenomena: subsequent servings of the leftovers from each of the dinner disappointments had tasted better, more like what I would have expected; and the only dish that worked first-time was some pot-roasted pieces of chicken which I had finished off with a French style of sauce.

I’ll repeat that: ‘French style of sauce’.

And, so, the penny dropped. We had eaten so many excellent meals of French food during the latter weeks of our trip that our palates had been thoroughly re-calibrated. We were suffering from palate lag! It lasted for a full fortnight, with the pleasure of yesterday morning’s coffee confirming that the food fog had finally cleared.

Here are images of some of the causes of this effect (stories to follow in subsequent posts):

img_1275 img_1276 img_1339 img_1389 img_1466 img_1469img_1470 img_1471 img_1472 img_1524 img_1525 img_1526 img_1527 img_1528 img_1529 img_1544 img_1545  img_1583 img_1584img_1626 img_1629 img_1630 img_1631img_1635 img_1651 img_1652 img_1653 img_1654

About rmgtravelsandfood

Maggie and I are both in our late 60s and live in Melbourne, Australia. This blog is devoted to our shared passions for travel and fine dining at home. As cooks, we are skilful and adventurous within a framework of mainly traditional ingredients and techniques, and we aim to prepare nutritious food that looks good and tastes delicious. Our evolving repertoire is influenced by both our travels and Melbourne's vibrant food culture. From 2008 to early 2020, our priority travel destinations were overseas, although we have always spent a bit of time each year exploring parts of Australia. Our first overseas journey together was to Italy in the northern autumn of 2008. We later travelled in France (2009), Spain (2011), Singapore and Cambodia (2012/13). Most of our international adventures from 2014 to 2020 are covered in this blog. We have now reached a time in our lives when the prospect of long flights to distant places are unappealing, so we will travel mainly within Australia or to countries that are close to home.
This entry was posted in Cooking, Eating out, Travel and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Jet lag? Pfft! Wait ’til palate lag gets you!

  1. wow, what an amazing array of fabulous food shots. Only just emerging from my own jetlag and maybe not palate lag for me; but I will aim for that next holiday. Bon appetite!

    Liked by 1 person

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