5 Reasons to Try New Food While Traveling

Thursday, February 22, 2018

As if you needed a reason to try new foods. You know that saying “You either live to eat or eat to live.” I’m going to let you guess which category I fall into.  One of the great joys of traveling is the opportunity to try new things, and if you are not sampling the local cuisine of the country that you are visiting, you are missing out on a huge part of their culture. You’re also really disappointing any foodie out there. Even if you are a picky eater you need to at least sample dishes that you’re unfamiliar with. You cant go on eating chicken and French fries your whole life. I mean you can, but you shouldn’t.  If you needed any more convincing, I have a small but might list of reasons why you need to culture your taste buds.

You Will Discover New Food You Never Knew Existed 

Every country in the world has at least a few national dishes, and many of them you will have never heard of before. So CULTURE YOURSELF and give ‘em a try. Once again, if you are particular about your food try to go for a few dishes, which are a little more unusual. Chefs are experimenting all the time – take these Fireball bagels for example. Once you get back home, you may well find yourself searching for a local restaurant that prepared some of the delicious food you have sampled or if your daring enough (I’m not) you might prepare it yourself.

You Experience Food in a Different Way

Perhaps you have only ever eaten Chinese food in your home country before, but try it in China and you will gain an alternative perspective on the dishes that you thought that you already knew. Yes, we all love our Americanized fried rice but, in China, they flavor it with table salt over soy sauce. I’m not saying one is better than the other, but it is a new way to experience such a standard meal. Both the taste and texture can end up being so different that it is like trying these meals for the first time all over again.

Food = Culture

You can tell a lot more about a country by the food that they eat. For example, head to Germany and you will see that they are all about hearty, simple meals that are designed to fill you up. There are not a lot of sides paired with meals in Germany. Schnitzel is breaded veal, and when you order It, all you receive is schnitzel. I don’t even recall seeing a “sides” section on the menus. Spain is famous for their tapas - food that is designed to be enjoyed slowly and in the most social way possible.  SOCIAL EATING. What a revolutionary concept. Travel to India, and you will experience an explosion of spice and flavor. Proceed with caution though; their spice levels are probably not the same as back home.

Food Unites People

Speaking of social eating, if you have the opportunity to eat with some locals, you will experience first-hand the level of passion that they have for their national dishes. They also won't stray you from some decent eateries. I just recently noticed how proud Americans are of their buffalo chicken wings. Who would’ve thought? Ask an American foodie, and I guarantee they will know a spot to get the best chicken wings. Food provides a bonding experience, and local people tend to appreciate foreigners who embrace their culture. I LOVE talking to travelers about ranch dressing. Something as simple as that united me and a whole group of Germans.

You Gain New Recipes to Try at Home

Once you get back home again, you might be slightly nostalgic and miss that frittata you sampled at the market or kick yourself over the fact you already ate the last chocolate from Sweden! I would be inspired to replicate some of the dishes that I enjoyed while traveling. Of course, it may not taste the same as it did when you were out there, but it is always nice to add some new skills to your cooking repertoire.

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