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Epicurean Adventures: Five Food around the World Worth Traveling For

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“Cooking and eating in a foreign country may be the surest, truest way to its soul.” –Author Unknown

 

It has been said that there are little things in the world that are far more enjoyable than travel and food.

In fact, it has been widely believed that the best way to get to know a country is to eat your way through it. In this regard, it would be very much understandable why food is such a pertinent aspect in one’s foreign excursions insomuch that there are some travelers who would be willing to make the travel just to sample any foreign cuisine. After all, a single plate would already tell you a story– a single meal a myriad of tales. Eating food in foreign places tends to give us a brief insight into the city’s history and culture and in this regard, it has been said that there are some foreign food items that are not only good for nourishing the body but for the soul as well.

However, while there is much to be said about trying an array of food items in a foreign place, it is also true that there are foreign dishes worth the expense of an airplane ticket. These are the definitive dishes that most tourists would always include in their travel bucket list as these food items do not only give your palate a flavorful adventure but a memorable epicurean experience as well. And although it has always been argued that there is nothing better than the food cooked at home, these are the very dishes that would make your feet itch and leave home for. After all, people do not simply go on food tours such as a food trip in Pampanga if the food was not all that exceptional.

In any case, here are some of the best food offers around the world that would make for an excellent and compelling reason for travel:

 

Kaya Toast (Singapore)

Singapore is known to be a goldmine of scrumptious food and delectable dishes insomuch that it might just be included in every food enthusiast’s food bucket list. After all, the city of Singapore is known to be a food carnival of all sorts that even the food stalls lining their streets get so much traffic from both locals and travelers. Indeed, food in Singapore runs the gamut from the ever famous Singaporean chili crab to their tasty dim sum staple. However, before you feats yourself on an array of Singaporean food, you might want to start with a lesser known Singaporean food item that is definitely worth coming back for. Before you queue up for Singapore’s more popular food offers, look for the nearest coffee house and try their Kaya toast. You might ask what is so special about this bread that it would merit the first mention on this list. Well, this egg is anything but ordinary as it is essentially bread slathered generously with coconut jam and served with soft-boiled white-peppered eggs that were bathed in soy sauce—all of which are perfect elements to start your day.

Tacos El Pastor (Mexico)

While a serving of tacos is pretty much available in most shopping malls, you would be missing out a lot if you have never tried the authentic ones made from the originators themselves, the Mexicans. This is especially true if you are a big fan of Mexican food and if you are, you should never miss out on the opportunity to eat tacos the way they should be prepared. The streets of Mexico are ubiquitously lined with vendor after vendor selling these definitive Mexican Tacos. What makes them special? Probably because it is nothing like your local Mexican food joint can ever emulate. After all, corn tortillas filled with pork marinated in pineapple juice which is then roasted kebab-style rotisserie is probably nothing like what you had in your local Mexican food joint.

High tea (London)

Although a little bit pricier than what your local Starbucks can offer, having tea and scone in London is very much worth the extra expense. If you can do it at least once, you probably should. There is nothing like sipping on expensive tea with your pinkies up and pairing it with a combination of flour and butter baked to perfection topped with a dollop of the freshest berry jam and the sweetest, richest cream.

Warm Crepes (Paris)

When one thinks of Paris, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind would be baguettes. After all, it seems like this rendition of bread is king when it comes to the city of love. However, do not let baguettes be the sole reason why you would see the beautiful skies of Paris. Traipse down any streets of the city and you would find arrays of food carts selling you crepe with generous spoonsful of Nutella—a must try, definitely and certainly worth booking a plane ticket for.

Pho (Vietnam)

Hailed as one of the world’s best dishes, Pho is that one dish best tasted when prepared by their masters and creators, the Vietnamese. Although pho is typically a soup enjoyed either for lunch and dinner, they are best consumed in the early morning in Hanoi, where it originates from. Eating pho for breakfast means that you can guarantee the freshness of your herbs and the suppleness of your noodles which would emit a mouthwatering aroma. As a result, Pho would not be a gustatory experience, but an olfactory one as well.

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Travel EATineary: Five Excellent Reasons You Should Go on a Food Tour

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“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” –James Michener

 

One of the best ways to truly get to know a foreign city is to eat your way through it.

After all, eating itself is already a visceral and immersive experience. Consequently, indulging yourself in the foreign flavors a city can be a wonderful experience that is certainly nothing short of delightful. Seeing as the consumption food is known to be one of the best ways to explore and discover more about a city, the concept of food tours was then introduced and since then, it spread like wildfire. For this reason, localized food tours such as the one we have in the Philippines like the Pampanga food trip have been rather popular insomuch that it attracts tourists by the droves. So, if you wish to put a fresh new spin on your travel ventures and go on an epicurean journey.

After all, it has been said that food prepared on the other side of the world is all the more tasteful. In any case, here are some of the compelling reasons that should convince you to go on a food tour on your next trip:

It is an amazing introduction to the city

Of course, there are other ways you can learn about a country which is mainly done through research and reading articles and books. However, there is no better way to explore a country or city than to eat your way through it. In fact, one might even go as far as to suggest that each plate you consume and whatever meal you might eat in a foreign city will likely tell you a story. Similarly, it might even give you a glimpse into the city’s culture. After all, the harmony of flavors has subtle hints about the locality it is offered in. Plus, food tours also allow you to see the city in a different light than you would have had you been part of a food tour.

You visit the places locals love and take the road less traveled

Sure, while guidebooks and travel articles would proclaim where the best places and tourist spots to visit in the city are, there is a likely chance that they would miss all the spots which locals have developed a fondness for. However, as food tours are primarily organized by the city itself, you would then have the chance to get up close and personal to the locals as well as try out the food they know to be the best. Furthermore, you cannot always rely on reviews to point you towards the best restaurants in town. If you wish to get the best recommendation, there is no better person to ask than the locals themselves.

You can see and sample a lot

Walking in on a restaurant and asking to try everything they have to offer in their menu is not only unorthodox but rather impractical. In this regard, you can only rely on what you think you might fancy or from review recommendations. However, food tours are not so limiting. In fact, food tours would often encourage participants to try all of the dishes showcased and select the best one after their initial tasting. Of course, the most difficult part would be selecting one that you like as you are guaranteed to like quite a lot of dishes.

You meet other food enthusiasts

Of course, food tours will likely attract like-minded individuals who have developed a unique affinity for food and they come in all shapes and sizes (and ages too!). Some of these foodies would even be chefs and would love to share and swap recipes with you. Participating in a food tour means you would also get to know people who share the same passion for food as you do and if you are lucky, they might just recommend the next food tour you should join. Plus, who knows if you might end up forming friendships with them? You might not know it but they might just invite you to explore the city with them as well.

It is always a delightful experience

Regardless of what food tour you join, it would always be a delightful experience and one that is worth reminiscing over and over. In fact, it can be said that a food tour might just be one of the best experiences you will ever have while out of town. Take note: No two food tours are the same just as no two cities are entirely alike. Even the food tours within the city are not entirely alike so you might want to go on and try as many tours as you possibly can.

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Travel EATinerary: Five Excellent Tips for Staying Healthy While Eating on the Road

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“I am kind of obsessed with food. I like to eat. When I tour, it is like, well, life a food tour as much as a comedy tour.”-Aziz Ansari

 

It has been said that the best way to know more about a country is to eat your way through it. Resultantly, the concept of food tours was introduced. After all, according to Paul Prudhomme, one does not require a silver fork to eat good food. This sentiment alone tells us that excellent food can be found and enjoyed almost anywhere in a foreign city, from luxurious and sophisticated restaurants to obscure and relatively unknown eateries.

In fact, the very idea of food tourism capitalizes on showcasing tourists and locals the best of what the city can offer in terms of culinary treats while simultaneously exploring the locale. After all, food tourism is about the adventure as much as it is about the food. Unfortunately, while you are guaranteed to a smorgasbord of scrumptious treats at every stop, no one can vouch for the quality of food you are going to ingest—regardless of whether you are dining at a restaurant or in a food tour. The consumption of food may be a visceral experience, albeit enjoyable on a whole but that does not excuse our blithe attitude in terms of checking its quality before consumption. Getting sick in the middle of a trip can truly put a damper on your plans and deter you from trying out more local foods which is why we need to be a little more vigilant about the food we are about to ingest—most especially when we are on the road and in areas where comfort rooms are rather scarce. However, this article is not meant to deprive you of enjoyment associated with trying out new hole-in-the-wall restaurants and street food fares.

It does, however, caution you to be a little mindful of the basic sanitary practices that went into the preparation of your food. You can still approach eating with reckless abandon, but at the very least try to follow basic sanitary guidelines regardless of whether you are eating at a five-star restaurant or with some food buddies in a food trip in Pampanga. In any case, here are some of the ways you can have an authentic dining experience while you mitigate the risks of getting ill:

 

Wash your hands often

There is no substitute for washing your hands with soap and water. Alternatives such as hand sanitizers, alcohol, and hand creams just do not cut it. Before partaking in a meal, always ALWAYS wash your hands. In fact, wash them whenever you can and then, wash them again. Not to promote obsessive-compulsiveness but washing your hands is a good habit to develop. In this regard, wash your hands before and after a meal and anytime you can think of it.

Beware of fruit shakes in drink stands with no access to purified water

Sure, they look tempting enough on the stands and what’s more is that they are reasonably priced as well. However, before you try every flavor available and go on a fruit shake bingefest, be a hundred percent sure that the water they have been using (and the ice for that matter) has been purified. Of course, this is not to say you should deprive yourself of the inexpensive pleasure of drinking beverages made from a drink stand. But, if it does not have access to potable water and has questionable sanitary practices, you might want to skip this treat.

Choose cooked over fresh food

While food freshness is key, if you are uncertain about the hygiene and sanitary practices of a particular restaurant or eatery, it would make more sense to opt for food that is properly cooked. Anything that has been cooked in high temperature will kill residual germs and bacteria that might have been sitting on the food. Keep in mind that though a food might be fresh, if it was improperly handled, there is still a likely chance it would give you the stomach flu. So, when you are in doubt, go for anything that is fried, boiled or baked instead.

Take it easy on the meat

Meat can turn potentially rancid in a significantly shorter time that vegetables ever will. More importantly, it is a lot meaner on your body when ingested. If you are unsure about how your meat is handled (or how long it stood), go easy on it and choose vegetables instead. As much as possible, reserve your meat-eating exploits within the confines of formal restaurants and eateries where it is guaranteed to have refrigeration.

Look for high turnover and low fly-count

If you are feeling a bit adventurous and would want to try the flavors of the street, look for stalls that have a high turnover of food. More importantly, scout for food stalls that do not have flies atop their food. Flies are vectors of disease and if they have sitting atop food for a while, there is a likely chance that the food would already be contaminated with bacteria and germs.

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Food Tourism: Three Questions to Ask in Picking the Perfect Food Tour in

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“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote time to eating.” –Luciano Pavarotti

It has been said that to get to know a foreign country truly, one must eat their way through it.

Sightseeing tours can only get you so far, but to consume ethnic cuisine is to partake and immerse yourself in a new culture and custom. Eating has been known to be a very personal and visceral experience insomuch that sampling a foreign country’s epicurean offerings can be synonymous with experiencing it as a whole. After all, much of what is to be discovered about a foreign place can be found in their food. So, in this regard, going on a gastronomic journey in a new place should be one of the primary things included in one’s travel itinerary.

As much of a city’s culture is reflected on its cuisine and seeing as food is one of the main highlights of a trip (not to mention one of the most important considerations in a vacation), tours dedicated to food and its consumption have been conducted all over the world. In this regard, food connoisseurs and food enthusiasts from all over the world can converge and share their unique passion and love for the consumption of food. Going on a food tour is an excellent way to explore a city. Furthermore, these tours are also known to be incredibly diverse, and you are guaranteed to find something to suit your discriminating palate and food preferences. However, how do you pick the perfect food tour for you? After all, a food tour is so much more different than an ordinary food trip in Pampanga or elsewhere. It is immersive with food curated only from the best restaurateurs. Moreover, the various selections of food included in these tours have been deemed to be absolute “must-trys” not only by the organizers but the locals themselves. At times, the food included in the food tour menu would only be available in that place alone or is a definitive food staple in the country. So, if you are preparing for your next overseas food trip, here are the ways to choose the appropriate food tour:

 

1.) What neighborhood is the food tour in?

More often than not, a food tour is more than just a simple sampling of various local food offerings; it can be an avenue to explore the city as well. For this reason, many food tours would be on foot and conducted in a particular neighborhood so as to prevent tourists from getting worn down by all the eating and walking. In this regard, consider going on food tours as hitting two birds with one stone wherein you would not only get to eat a variety of local food but go sightseeing as well. With this in mind, choose a neighborhood that sounds interesting to you. Check the description and see where the food tour would be held which can either be in the center of town or a less frequented place. Both have their respective benefits with the former providing you quick access to famous landmarks and monuments while the latter would give you an insider’s look at the place’s particular lifestyle. Select whichever appeals to you best.

2.) What are the food offerings included in the tour?

Before going on a food tour, it is always a good idea to do your research first. Read up on the tour description to have an overview of the kind of food included in the tour. Undoubtedly, this would be of paramount consideration to you seeing as you are mainly participating in this tour for the food. Unfortunately, making a judgment can be quite the challenge seeing as there might be food items you are not familiar with. If you are an adventurous eater, go for the exotic and unusual food offerings. However, if you do not wish to venture out of your traditional tastes, be sure to ask the organizer what the food offerings will be and try to see if the majority of what is offered would sit well with you and your palate.

3.) How many tastings are on the food tour?

To ensure you are getting the most out of your buck, go for the tour that includes the most stops or the best restaurants. On the surface, it might look like you are getting a better deal on a tour that has ten stops than one that has five. However, remember that both are equally enjoyable and you would be getting roughly the same quantity of food. A food tour with more stops usually serves smaller portions than tours with fewer stops. Regardless of these, your criteria for choosing a food tour should primarily be based on what food you would like to try and what city you would like to city rather than solely the number of stops alone.

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Five Things You Need to Know Before Dating a Food Lover

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“Cooking is a lot like love: it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”-Harriet van Horne

Foodie (noun) – An aficionado of food and drink; A person who loves to study prepare, and eat amazing food.

 

George Bernard Shaw was once quoted to say that there is no sincerer love than the love for food. With this sentiment in mind, we could then infer that there is no love more profound and intense as the love and affection coming from a foodie. So, if you have ever found yourself fortunate to be dating one, consider yourself incredibly lucky.

However, know that dating a foodie is unlike any other. Their love for food and proclivity for anything that relates to it transcends their inclination or love for any (and perhaps every) aspect of their lives. So, do not take it too personally when you only come second to their devotion to food. After all, no one knows truer passion for eating than they do (and hey, at least you come very close). To foodies, food is so much more than just a staple supplement we eat three times daily and it is definitely more than a source of nourishment. To them, food is all about the journey and the intertwining of flavors inside your tongue and playing in your palate. Food is about an adventure that means so much more than just going on random food trips in Palawan or elsewhere, it is about the experience. So, if you have found yourself a lover who just happens to have an immense enthusiasm for food or anything related to it, here are some of the tips you can bear in mind whenever you are dating them:

 

Try to broaden your horizons

Foodies and food lovers are natural-born explorers—of food that is. In this regard, you can expect every meal to be somewhat of an adventure with them. With this in mind, you can expect to try a whole range of food preparations—from the usual to the downright exotic. Considering all these, you need to broaden your horizons and at least try some dishes you never had in your life before. You do not have to like them (and you cannot expect them to like it all the time either) but at least give it a try before rejecting it. To a foodie, a meal does not always have to taste good in order to be enjoyed. Part of what makes it fun is trying new things and dishes that were once foreign and alien to them and to you. So, if you are a fussy or picky eater, you might want to reconsider dating someone with an active enthusiasm for food.

Dates are not only about fancy restaurants

One misconception people have about foodies is that they will pick fancy restaurants over unassuming and humble eateries. However, this is just like saying that all foodies have expensive taste or are at least pretentious about their food. No doubt, food lovers would appreciate fancy meals but true foodies care less about where the food is prepared and served and more about the food itself. Genuine foodies can appreciate undiscovered gems such as a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that would have no menu apart from what the chef wishes to serve you. In fact, you can expect to actively seek out this kind of restaurant just to satisfy her curiosity and palate that it would not even matter how long it takes him or her to that part of your city.

 

They do not see anything wrong with traveling for a dish

It might have been that your foodie lover saw something out of the myriad of food blog posts she or he follows and has long been itching to try it. With this in mind, no city or town is too far just for them to try out a particular food. Similarly, if a city boasts that they are the best at preparing your foodie’s favorite dish, expect that city to appear in your travel bucket list anytime soon. To you, a trip to Palawan might mean seeing the beautiful beaches or at least visiting the Underground River and in a way, you are right. However, to your foodie, the highlight of the trip would be to try the world-famous woodworm online blog posts have been raving about.

They will want to have a taste of whatever you order

When you are out dining, a foodie would always try to order something different than the food you requested so that they will not end up having two of the same dish. To them, meals are a communal thing so expect to be sharing your food quite a lot. They always want to try something new from the menu and would expect you to allow them to eat off of your plate (Do not worry; they expect you to do the same!)

Deciding what to eat can be time-consuming

It is not that she does not know what she wants to eat (Trust us, she does!). It is just that their incessant penchant for trying new food would always outweigh their want for eating they know to be tasty. They might have already tried all (if not, most) of the restaurants in your particular area and are desirous of something new to tease their taste buds with. Be patient, they will eventually come up with a decision. It would not hurt for you to pitch in some suggestions as well.

 

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World EATinerary: Three Excellent Reasons to Travel for Food

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“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” –Thomas Keller

It has been said that food is the ingredient that binds us together. And according to James Beard, it is a common ground and a universal experience. From this standpoint alone, we can see how food plays a significant and even pivotal aspect in our lives. After all, we consume it on a daily basis and at times, food has been considered to be an indulgent experience that although banal, can be quite extraordinary. Today, with the culinary atmosphere reaching new heights, food preparation has evolved. In fact, with aspects in food preparation that has never been explored before (and with advancements and innovations in gastronomy), we can safely say that the way we dine today is so much different than we did decades ago. With food being a ubiquitous experience that every single one of us happens to enjoy, the concept of food traveling was engendered. And for years now, individuals do not only travel for the place but for the foreign food as well.

It has been said that to truly get to know a foreign place, one must discover it through their senses—with taste playing a fundamental role. In this regard, we do not only immerse ourselves in a country through our sights, but explore it with the sense of taste as well. After all, a little known thing about our palate is the fact that not only would it heighten an experience, but it would make it memorable as well. So, go ahead and indulge yourself and gorge yourself with all the glorious food offered in a food trip to Pampanga or elsewhere. In any case, if you have wondered why people travel for food, take a gander at the list below:

1.) Inspiration for culinary endeavors

Sure, you can easily get information from a foreign recipe books but information and inspiration are two very different things. The former simply tells you to do while the latter encourages you to actually do it. Food is visceral experience that how a particular dish should taste cannot be accurately translated through the pages of a cookbook. You need to savor the dish yourself in order to fully appreciate it. Taking in the aroma of fresh ramen or hearing other diners slurp it are both things a foreign cookbook can never capture. And if you have this budding desire to pursue a culinary endeavor yourself, seeing the action for yourself would be enough to motivate you to actually push through it.

2.) It takes you out of your comfort zone

Being in a foreign place means exposing yourself to a whole new array of food—some of which are unavailable at home and some you would have thought of trying. When you are in a foreign place, you tend to be a little less guarded about your food choices and would be willing to sample things you might not have tried back at home. In this regard, the dining experience takes you out of your comfort zone and you might be surprised how well you would actually like it. Traveling opens your palate to a myriad of authentic flavor profiles and notes that you would have missed out on had you not given it a try.

3.) You will meet people who love to eat as much as you do

While some people have little to no regard for food, there are also some who would say they have a passion for it—a food enthusiast if you may. Traveling to foreign countries for the food gives you an opportunity to meet and connect with them. More often than not, these people would convene and would plan where their next group dinner would be. Furthermore, these groups tend to have cooking classes that would suit their preferences and tastes. However, if your schedule does not allow you to participate in these culinary and food excursions, go for the alternative of taking part in culinary tours instead.

 

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