Everyone knows that travel broadens the mind but just imagine how it can broaden your taste buds too and if you’re a fan of food or you just love to try new things then learning how to cook whilst travelling abroad can be a sure fire way to add to your culinary and cultural repertoire.
In today’s fast-paced consumer-driven world it’s often difficult to take the time to buy, prepare and cook our daily dishes which is why being away from home is the ideal place to discover the benefits of getting back to basics when it comes to nourishing our mind, body and soul.
If the way to man’s heart is through his stomach then this is equally true about unlocking a country’s culture and no sooner than you’ve stepped foot into a bustling and colourful market place then you’ll be experiencing life through new and excited eyes.
Below are some of the best ways to find out more about how to experience food in a new country and if you’re in the mood for a spicy hot pot in southern China or a seafood stew in Rio de Janeiro then make sure you save some room as second helpings are always on the menu.
Eat with the locals
Street food stalls always provide a quintessential image of local life away from home and if the smells aren’t enough to get your taste buds tingling then wait until you bite into what’s on offer as a simple approach to cooking is often all that’s needed to keep you coming back for more. Of course, making friends whilst travelling is always a brilliant way to immerse yourself within a local culture and if you’re lucky enough to be invited to a family home for dinner then get involved and help out before tucking into a truly authentic local feast.
Go on a cooking course
If eating with the locals is a great way to savour the simplicity of cultural cooking then learning from a master chef is a whole new experience entirely. There are numerous restaurants, gourmet experience gifts and culinary adventures just waiting to be undertaken on the road and from market visits to hands on demonstrations, this is an ideal means of educating your palette as you try new dishes under the watchful tutelage of an experienced gourmet guru.
Try somewhere new
Although when travelling abroad the chance to dive into a plate of familiar food can be really tempting there’s never a better moment to try something new and if you’re willing to take a chance then why not visit a local kitchen or restaurant and order something recommended by the chef. Trying different dishes in out of the way locations is part and parcel of immersing yourself in a country’s culture with a variety of results and experiences never failing to stick in your mind.
Ask questions and take notes
If you want to really devote some time to learning about the techniques, ingredients and recipes of the country that you’re travelling in then don’t be scared to ask questions and take notes to refer to once you return home. Learning a bit of the language never hurts either and although you might not know exactly what goes into a certain dish, asking a few questions will go some way to starting up a conversation as well as showing that you respect what you’re eating and whoever did the cooking.