One of the best ways to travel is with your stomach as your compass. Around the globe, peoples and their cultures are built on the backbone of what they eat. The ritual of gathering for a meal is strong and who you eat with can be just as important as what you eat.
As you travel the world look for the foods that are different, try and understand how people think about food. What time do they eat? Where do they eat? And of course, what do they like to drink along with their signature dishes. Everyone knows to get pizza and pasta in Italy and wine and pastries in Paris, but there are so many less-known foods that can give real insight into the cultures you are visiting.
Take some time to taste all the wonderful things the world has to offer!
Artichokes in Rome
The ancient Jewish community in Rome had a signature artichoke dish that has been passed down from family to family.
Today you can find it prepared particularly well in the old Jewish quarter of the great Italian city. On your way back from the Pantheon, stop off for a deep fried artichoke that is well worth the calories!
Ice Cream in Majorca
Few will ever make it to this paradise off the coast of Spain, and while it may be officially part of Spain, the Spanish islands are really a world all of their own.
When you are in Majorca there is an ice cream that you never knew you needed all your life and you can only get it at Ca’n Joan De S’aigo. That and their pastries and chocolate are essentially all they serve, so you’ll have no trouble at all finding it on the menu. For those who go big or go home, try both chocolate and strawberry. Chances are, either way, you’ll be heading back for seconds.
Bangers and Mash
British pub food is known worldwide for being, well, bland actually. Though France may have been just a boat ride away, Cuisine in the United Kingdom seemed to falter somewhat while their French counterparts were whipping up the delicacies that would steal our hearts (and stomachs).
Still, when travelling through Britain, heading to the pub for any of their classic dishes is a cultural experience unlike any other. Feel the warmth of that rich comfort food and strike up a conversation with your pub companions. You’ll be glad you did.
Up in Scandinavia, winters are long and cold and food used to be hard to come by. In comes canned food. Canned sardines were a lifesaver for Norwegians looking for protein-rich options that could keep for a while and travel well.
Now their tiny, tinned fish are shipped around the world to be enjoyed by fans across the globe. You’ll probably need a beer to help wash down all the salt, and stay alert for little bones!
Churros con Chocolate
When in Madrid, you must eat churros. For many Madrilenos, churros con chocolate is actually a breakfast treat. Most children will start their day with the fried treat and a cup of chocolate.
Don’t get confused though, the chocolate, with its warm, pudding-like consistency, is hardly meant for drinking. Rather, you’ll be dunking those churros in a pool of warm brown deliciousness.
Moroccan Mint Tea
Whatever tea you have drunk in your life that called itself Moroccan Mint, was lying to you. For the real deal, you’ll need to head to the country where it all started.
Think fresh green mint boiled slowly and mixed with sweeteners like honey, until it is a golden brown glass of gorgeous. You’ll be wanting to tip back more than just one of this vitamin-rich drink when you’re wandering through the hills or Morocco.
It’s not a trip to Dublin if you’re not drinking Guinness. Though the company now has global reach, when you’re sitting at a pub in Dublin, you would guess that Arthur Guinness is just some bloke from around town.
The ritual of pouring a Guinness is a tradition near and dear to the people of Ireland and it will taste like nothing else.