The Pleasures Of Travel – Eating Local Foods

Photo source: Jenni Proctor

I confess that meandering slowly through local markets, eating traditional local food, is one of my greatest joys when I am travelling. It is wonderful to eat where the locals eat, to be part of their lives for a short while.

Cast iron stomach!

I’m an adventurous eater and enjoy sampling the local food of an area I am visiting.  I learnt on my first adventuous trip out of Australia that I had a cast iron stomach. Therefore eating local foods or purchasing from street vendors holds no fear for me.

Best food cities rated

The food and travel website Thrillist has released its guide to The World’s 18 Best Food cities. Their top cities were chosen according to a trend of improvement and innovation. They were also judged on the diversity and uniqueness of traditional local food and the quality of the venues.

Coming in at number 17 was Melbourne Australia. I enjoyed their comparative description of Sydney vs Melbourne. I’ve never really understood why people are so passionate about Melbourne. Obviously I haven’t eaten at the right places.

If Sydney is the New York City of Australia, Melbourne is basically a less hilly San Francisco: smaller, a little more Victorian in its stylings, with an impressive food scene to match. 

Local foods were also highly rated

Bordeaux and Bologna are rated as first and second in the world, with London listed in fourth place for the big name restaurants in that city. But I was delighted to see the street food in quite a few cities was mentioned as being an important part of the culinary experience of cities such as Mumbai, Marakesh and even New York.

I have special memories of meals in interesting places around the world, perhaps the most amusing being beside the sea in Da Nang, Vietnam, where we ordered two spring rolls and ended up with two serves of 20!

Photo source: Jenni Proctor

Eating local Royal food recipes

More recently we stayed at a hotel in Bangkok, booked online for no reason other than it was the right price in the area we wanted to be in, where the chef had been part of the royal family’s staff and cooked many of the traditional Thai food.  With no idea of the reputation of chef or restaurant we ate at the hotel just because we were too tired to go anywhere else, and had the most superb Thai meal.

Such are the things that make a holiday very special.

What is your most precious memory of a foodie experience during your travels?

[Updated July 2020]

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Jenni Proctor