Contrary to popular belief food travel isn’t just about the food. Travelling for food is more about the authentic experience that comes with the people you meet and the culture you experience. Food tourism is on the rise, and food tourism doesn’t mean you have to eat in a five-star restaurant. Just find something authentic.
Food is a big part of any culture, and it is one of the defining factors of a country. Which is why travelling for food is special. There are lots of reasons why people travel for food, and if you are not sold on the trend yet, here’s why you should give this form of tourism it a try at least once in your lifetime.
Unlike other forms of travel, food tourism is a rapidly growing industry especially if you seek out food and wine trails.
Here’s why you should give this type of travel experience a go, plus some tips to make your journey as smooth as possible.
More authentic than other forms of food tour
You go on a food tour for a day or a week on a cruise, but it is not as authentic. When you go a food cruise you pay hundreds of pounds or dollars to eat food made by professional chefs which is enjoyable, but when you visit a country, and you try food from different regions made by street vendors or local restaurants you feel a different kind of connection.
Yes, it may not be in a fancy place with top-notch surroundings, but regional food tasting is far more authentic – and memorable. You may find a food vendor using a recipe which is thousands of years old and which has been passed down from generation to generation. Perhaps the current chef adds their own unique touch to a dish or has created a speciality which hasn’t yet found its way into the mainstream cuisine of that place.
Connect with the locals
Travel and food are all about connecting with locals that is how you learn about their culture. Food is a great way to bond and believe it or not locals love when you are willing to try out their food. Some are so kind that they offer you free food just because you are here to try the food.
Most of all locals can give you great recommendations as to where you can and where you should eat. It’s a great way to test your language skills too – if you don’t like too much spice, they will be only too happy to recommend something with less of a kick.
You don’t need a ton of cash to eat
If you think travelling to enjoy food is an expensive activity, this is not necessarily the case. Five-star restaurants are not necessarily the ultimate destination to find excellent regional cuisine. You are more likely to find it with from local food vendors at the side of a road or in tiny restaurants you discover by talking to the locals.
Street food can be inexpensive, depending on where you are. Why not try some regional food instead of seeking out the local branch of an international restaurant chain. It is fun and a new experience for your taste buds.
A different dining experience from the one back home
You may have tried Turkish and Arabic Cuisines at home, but you may still have tasted the authentic food of the region. To do that, you need to go to that country and try it for yourself.
You may be surprised how different the food tastes from the cuisine you have experienced at home. While dining abroad, you may be able to glean some tips on the spices that are unique to that region and be able to bring some back with you to give your home cooking a truly authentic taste.
Moreover, you will find tons of different dishes that you can never find in your home country, meals that are only found one small city of that region. Culinary travel is a surreal experience that people should not miss. So, the next time you are on holiday why not seek out authentic local food?
You may even be able to make a living from it
Travel blogging and vlogging is on the rise and, if you can make a go of it, are a good way of earning cash to fund your future travelling adventures.
You could start a travel blog or a YouTube channel where you talk about the food culture and history of that country.
Food blogging is also a growing trend and food blogs have some of the highest numbers of views on social media. Food video makers have millions of people watching them as people are naturally curious about other cuisines or a just looking for a recommendation when they go there.
Now that I’ve covered just some of the reasons you should travel for food, here’s how to become a pro at it.
Research is key
If you are going to India, for example, research watch videos read blogs and find specialities in each region. This will help you to compile a sensible itinerary, together with a plan for your accommodation and travel. This will help you to budget too.
Connect with the locals online
Apart from food blogs, the people living there are a great source of information they can give you recommendations better than anyone else and you tell them about your general taste.
Be an adventurous eater and don’t be afraid to try new things. You may be surprised how much you like something you’ve never tried before.
Explore on foot
Taking a local walking tour is a great way to sample lots of different dishes from the street vendors. All that walking will help your digestion too!
In conclusion, you should really give food tourism a go. Who knows, it may become a way of life!