Expanding your world and your pallet.
I haven’t gotten the chance to travel recently, but I have been cooking which has led me to think a whole lot about eating while traveling.
In a lot of place you can visit, you can easily make it so that your food doesn’t vary much – you can always get french fries/chips and a burger no matter where you go with little variation.But I don’t see the fun in that – I don’t go to McDonald’s when I’m state side let alone when I’m traveling the world.
I feel like if you are spending the time and money to expand you horizons through travel, why limit yourself in what experiences you are willing to delve into? Food is one of those great experience centered items that immerses you in feeling and memory – there are smells and tastes and textures as well as the visual aspect. A single dish can make you feel at home or immerse you in your surrounding so why not jump in?
I love that individual locations can have specific specialties that can make traveling an adventure for your taste buds just as much as the rest of you and that will make you remember a specific day or location forever.
In the summer of 2004, I got to travel to Australia and visited a crocodile farm which served the group of us crocodile chowder. It was so good – it turns out crocodile is a lot like chewier chicken, at least when cooked in a chowder!
In the summer of 2002, we were in a tiny town in Italy where a family restaurant made us their special holiday lasagna chicken stock soup for being such regular and great customers.
I’ve had steak tart-tar in Paris (it tasted like blood to me and not to my taste), homemade sushi in Japan (which was fantastic), just to name a couple. I never ate escargot in all the times I was in France – I never felt like spending the money – but my sister said that it’s a lot like shrimp in texture and – similarly – tastes like whatever you cook it in.
Some of the food you will love while others you’ll never order again, but the experience is always worth it.
What I love about food travel is that the food you are trying doesn’t have to be related to the place you are stay in. Rather, expanding what you eat because you are traveling and you may as well, can do just as much to expand your horizons.
My sister – recently back from her travels – went to the largest restaurant in Amsterdam (Sea Palace, a Chinese restaurant) and her picky husband has now claimed to be addicted to mini fried squid.
Traveling somewhere between Waterford, Ireland and Liverpool, England, I fell in love with mushrooms because in the strange times we were eating, small authentic Italian restaurants serving mushroom risotto were all we could find open. We were in Ireland but my palate has been forever changed.
So, when you travel – especially you Americans because we are known for sticking to our fast food basics – avoid those fast food chains you can go to at home and really look to push your comfort zone! I’m not saying go out and eat bugs if it turns your stomach, but if you think it’ll go down, why the hell shouldn’t you!
You only have to try something once to tick it off you bucket list – even if it wasn’t originally on it – so go out, eat, and enjoy.
This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.