Traveling is a wonderful way to experience the world. Want an even better way? EATING. Eating like a local in whatever country you find yourself in allows you to dive deeper into that culture. You learn more, you meet more interesting people, and you take away a fuller appreciation of your destination. Oh...it's also fun and tastes GREAT. There's that too.
Karen Gershowitz, author of Travel Mania: Stories of Wanderlust, is a firm believer that adding culinary activities to your vacation itinerary is one of the best ways to experience the culture of the destination you’re in. Here are some of her favorite tips for eating like a local wherever your travels take you.
Buy spices and foods when you are traveling in the country where they are grown. Go to the local spice markets which are a feast for all your senses. The spices will be extremely fresh and cost significantly less than at home. For example, the best cinnamon is in Vietnam, paprika in Hungary, saffron in Morocco and chocolate in Mexico.
Yes, even if you are traveling internationally (especially if you are traveling internationally). Many classes will take you on a tour of local markets and explain unfamiliar foods. You’ll then have a chance to prepare new foods, have a great meal and go home with recipes.
There are several websites that will connect you with people around the world who are willing to host you for a meal or even take you out and about to the local hot spots. You’ll taste local specialties, see their home and have an interesting evening.