I love food and one of my favourite things about travel is sampling the local cuisine. There’s no better place to get a crash course in Filipino cuisine than in the Philippines, no better place to sample hummus than in the Middle East – and sushi in Japan? At its most divine. But here’s a tip for the traveler who wants an interesting food experience: try to seek out a different cuisine than the place you’re in.
Think about it: people always talk about some ethnic restaurants as being more “authentic” than others because these cuisines are often adjusted to better suit the local tastes, a kind of fusion without being intentionally so. The less the food has been adapted, the closer it is to the real thing and so Indian food will taste different in the United States than it will in Mexico or Italy or Korea. Turkish food in Stockholm is wonderful, but distinct from what you will find in Istanbul. Greek food in Hong Kong is not exactly what it is in Athens. And so on.
If anything, these meals shed a little light on local tastes and preferences. For example, you’ll quickly realize that the French are not all that accustomed to spice when you try the Thai food there – and that their take on tacos is unusual. It might also be nice to have a little break from the local cuisine as well. If you’re not accustomed to eating rice all the time where rice is the main staple, then a break to have a meal from elsewhere might be exactly what you crave. What you’ll also gain is an interesting experience which, after all, is part of what travel is all about.
Also by Natasha: