It is undeniable that one of the best things to do while travelling is to feast on food. You can’t visit a place without trying or enjoying the local delicacies, and it would be a crime of the highest order to resort to familiar fast-food joints (gasp!) when there are dishes of exciting flavours and fascinating origins at your fingertips.
There are a plethora of amazing eats wherever you go in the world. You don’t want to miss out on what could be the best culinary experiences of your life if you hold back on an adventurous feast.
When you’re travelling, you need to learn to be curious and eat adventurously. After all, isn’t the goal of travelling to see, experience, do and taste things as different from your own as possible?
If you’re afraid, don’t worry because exciting, strange and exotic food can be a little intimidating. But we’ve got some tips for you that will help you step out of your comfort zone and make the most of your culinary experience while you see the world.
The DO’s of eating adventurously:
- Read up on the cuisine of the country you are travelling to in advance. You will have a better eating experience if you’ve done your research—know what to look and ask for!
- If you have food allergies, research ahead of time so you know which foods to avoid. Also, bring a good supply of allergy medicine (and epinephrine pens, if you need them).
- Go to local markets and food halls. Follow the local people, because they know where the best food is.
- Be prepared for places where English isn’t their first language. Save a list of food-and ordering-related words on your phone so you can communicate easier when you’re on the ground.
- Listen to your gut (pun intended!). If you want to eat something but it doesn’t taste or feel right, it’s probably not worth the risk. If you have any food or stomach issues, take those into consideration before diving in headfirst into the local delicacies.
- Take a chance, even if the food looks “weird”. Some of the tastiest dishes in the world don’t look that great, but you’d never know unless you try them. Be brave and give it a go! You just might find your favourite dish. And remember—if you don’t like it, no biggie, you don’t have to eat it again.
- Bring medication for bad tummies with you, just in case. Anti-diarrhoea medication and antibiotics should have staples in your travel medicine kit.
The DONT’s of eating adventurously:
- Don’t automatically assume that you’ll get sick. Leave your prejudices at home. Most street food is made on the spot, cooked fresh and has a quick pan-to-mouth rate (they sell quickly!). Local favourites are usually gobbled up by locals and in-demand, so you know they haven’t been sitting there for hours.
- Don’t consume drinks or food made with unsafe water. Do your research in advance regarding the drinking water and tap water of the country you are visiting.
- Don’t be afraid to step outside your culinary comfort zone. Just because you don’t know what it is doesn’t mean it will not be delicious. Ask, try to learn!
- Don’t ignore obvious health and sanitary issues. Be adventurous, but don’t leave your brain at home.
Feasting on delicacies from different parts of the world is one of the best experiences you can give yourself while you travel. How people eat, the ingredients they use and their methods of cooking are all indicative of their unique and amazing culture. /TISG