Love food? LOVE travel? The best places to combine the two
Love food? LOVE travel? The best places to combine the two
Many of us decide to go travel new places because of the weather, the culture or the fact it can be a whole lot cheaper. But have you ever decided to take a trip purely because of the different foods? Nowadays, food has become a hobby. With many perfect looking photos of food being fed through to our social media accounts, coupled with hashtags such as #travelfood or #foodie, it’s difficult to never NOT be hungry. Today, we are blessed to be able to eat a variety of international cuisines right here on our doorstep. It's becoming a rare event that we solely limit ourselves to eating only traditional Australian cuisine. But what if you could have the opportunity to visit a variety of countries, both far and wide, and get the lowdown on some of the most delicious authentic dishes they have to offer?
Well let us tell you about the places that you can go travel and allow your tastebuds to go into complete meltdown. When you’re reading this it may be best for it not to be on your lunch break or just before you do your weekly shopping. You WILL be hungry we assure you!
If a country like Spain introduced you to paella and the tapas style of eating you know it probably has more foodie secrets up its sleeve. In particular if you head to the North, San Sebastian is a place not to be missed. In the mountainous areas of Basque Country, you’ll come across small quirky tapas bars to Michelin star restaurants. If a place was ever meant for your taste buds and instagram shots, San Sebastian is that place. Oh and forget bar crawls, Tapas crawls are the thing that exists in Northern Spain - we are excited as much as you are!
Basque Country food & drink
Arguably boasting some of the best produce in central Europe, you won’t pass through San Sebastian and the Basque country without trying a smoked local Basque cheese called ‘idiazabal’. Why not then sip on some ‘txacoli’ (fizzy white) wine or local cider. If you just want to snack your way around there are tons of ‘pixto’ bars waiting for you to nibble on and if you head to some of the more fancy restaurants, presentation and creativity is some of the best in the world.
Deli’s, Seafood and more
Lograno has a Bar Soriano, which is famous for its ‘setas’ or wild mushrooms buttered then skewed with shrimp. We are in heaven! If you like seafood go opposite to Sorianos to La Aldea with has a variety of clams cooked to perfection.
When a place like Morocco exists with a combined influence of Arab-Portuguese-Spanish-French elements, you know it’s bound to be full of flavour. The red-earthed environs coupled with the refreshing palm trees might be contrasting but they are no illusion, and when you reach the dozens of food markets you’ll then realise this is no mirage - but a foodie’s paradise.
Tajine & Cous Cous
A popular dish in Morocco and something you’re bound to try. There are variations for both meat eaters and vegetarians however typically the ingredients are chicken, olives and citrus. Cous Cous isn’t exactly an unknown entity to many of us, but Morocco is home to the real authentic kind that is seen as more than just a side dish. Add in some spicy harissa and smoky almonds, along with traditional vegetables and slow cooked Moroccan meat and you'll be eating what the locals eat.
Italian food is no stranger to any of us, its influence so strong in most countries in the world; you can always find pasta and pizza. That’s just it though, what about the real authentic cuisine and the secrets to Italian food? Pizza and pasta are only the beginning of what masterpieces you can experience here. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but when it was built it sure was beautiful!
Gods of Italian Food
If you want to head to the biggest and best spots then Lazio, Tuscany, Bologna and Venice should be on your list. Bologna for example, is the home to Bolognese and tagliatelle pasta. Here it is seen as a fine art of hand making the pasta from scratch. The Bologna surroundings will have you fall in love with its vibrant streets and artistic buildings. In areas like Venice you’ll come across a different variety of Italian foods such as salted cod, rich risotto’s, creamy polenta and small bites before meals called ‘cicchetti’. There is too much to add in about Italy but there are so many local delicious foods and wines that wherever you go, it’ll be worth it!
Indian food is popular in a lot of places in the world with its distinctive curries, large vegetarian options and always-want-more appeal. Forget ‘Delhi-belly’ - India has some wonders for everyone. With its bustling streets, incredible heritage and different environments from the deserts to beaches to villages to cities to rural towns, India has plenty to offer adventurers and keep you on a food trip of a lifetime.
Curries, vegetarians, street snacks and food rituals
If you go to popular Goa, you’ll find an influx of Portuguese-Indian cuisine with favourites such as fish curry laced with coconut and rice. ‘Parsi’ cuisine is unique to communities in and around Mumbai so be on the lookout for their local delights, Delhi has Asia’s largest spice market called ‘Khari Baoli’ and on-foot tea makers known as ‘chaiwala’ so stop them in their path for some milky local tea. As you come out star struck from India’s most famous spot, the Taj Mahal, Agra has ‘Chaat’, savoury snacks similar to samosa’s with chutney in them, deliciously ideal for the journey back to your hotel.
A country known for its thousands of bikes, windy alleyways, street food culture but refreshing approach, Vietnam is one of the most sought for countries within South East Asia. The country itself is one big strip, from the vibrant old yet dynamic charm of Hanoi, the precious Halong Bay to the romantic Hoi An down to the noisy Hoi Chi Minh. Vietnam has deliciously yet sometimes-odd cuisine that is unique to the rest of its Asian neighbours and with Pho being a local and visitor favourite, you won’t go wrong here at chomping your way around.
Drink, eat and eat again
There are such things as ‘brew halls’ in Vietnam, with the contents of light foamy beer called ‘be bia hoi’. You can go from local dishes like ‘gu nuong’ (bbq chicken) or nom ‘hou choi’ (banana salad) both with incredible unique flavours. Whilst you’re touring around Halong Bay by boat, fresh seafood and vegetables will be the food on offer as you have the best backdrops you can imagine. With the ever charming Hoi An a must visit, you’ll come close to some of the more central Vietnamese local dishes including a whole range of spices and ingredients. Don’t forget to try Pho traditionally here though; it’s some of the best in Vietnam!
A country that is forward thinking but with an unforgettable heritage, Japan certainly is a place to visit if want to mix it up a little. Japan is becoming more attractive to visitors due to its fascinating culture a little distant away from its neighbours like China and Korea. If sushi is on your mind like it is with us, then Japan is a place you have to visit to try even more wacky foods that we just seem to always go back to. Although, sushi is the tip of the iceberg.
In Japan you’ll rarely hear of a bad meal, that’s because the locals are so intricate and passionate about their cuisine. You’ll find the best sushi in the world here, as you’d imagine but with dishes such as mouth-watering Hida beef you may have other priorities. Japan is full of authentic cuisines internal to the country, as vegetarian Buddhist food called ‘shojin ryori’ is almost seen as a ritual in some areas.
South Korea is a popular place for both visitors and expats in today’s day and age. Back on the map and going in the opposite direction of North Korea, this country is on the up. Bound with historical towns, mesmerizing temples, pagodas, national parks and divine markets, Korea is one of our secret favourites. We also have to admit, Korea has many dishes that you’ll find interest in so we’ll have to make this short and sweet (no pun intended).
Many to choose from
You might have been thinking western favourite ‘Beef bulgogi’ was going to be the first thing we’d write about, well no, sorry. ‘Bibimbap’ is a creation that has meat, rice, vegetables and egg. Add in some soy sauce, chilli paste, sesame oil and garlic and you’ve got yourself one of the most popular Korean dishes. If you like dumplings then traditionally coming from Mongolia are a budgeters favourite ‘mandu’. Boiled or pan fried these are carefully filled up with beef, tofu or vegetables, perfect as you roaming the streets of Korea wanting a snack.
We run various food adventures with Intrepid Travel throughout the world to the above destinations - and more! You'll experience the main highlights of the destination, plus be totally immeresed in the country's cuisine. Why not combine your passion for food AND travel?
Check some of the trips out here or call 1300 018 390 to speak to an adventure expert today!