I like food. That’s easy, everyone likes it. Not everyone, though, is willing to try something different from what he’s used to eat or what his region has as a “cooking tradition.” I’m from Italy, and as you can imagine, we believe our food and our diet is the best in the world. I found this a while ago and yes, we think this way:
Our leitmotif is: «Yes, they call it [name a food], but it’s not the true one. Only we in [name an Italian region/city] have the real one, and my (grand)mother is the best in the world cooking it!», so it’s always hard to make Italian people understand that there’s a lot to learn and to try in other cultures when speaking about food.
Luckily, I’m not that stubborn. In Italy, we’d say I’m a “buona forchetta” (literally, good fork) since I eat almost everything, but also like to try everything I don’t know. When I’m not on the road, I like to go to ethnic restaurants and order things I’d never heard about or just go in some grocery store run by foreign people and buy import products with labels sometimes I can’t absolutely read (and nothing happened to me, so far…).
Every country has his own specialty and it would be a pity not to try them! Sure, sometimes flavors are much different to the ones we are used to, like piquancy in Thailand or spiciness in India, but behind every cooking around the world, there are historical and traditional events that blended together to create what we can eat now.
We can understand a lot of the country we are visiting just by eating their food and well, if you don’t really care about that, we still need to eat, isn’t it?!
Personally, considering what I tried and ate during my trips, there are several food I found very interesting (because of the ingredients) or really good, no matter what’s inside: okonomiyaki in Japan (a sort of pancake with several mixed ingredients. Oh damn, how I miss it!), the various dishes dressed with maple syrup in Canada’s sugar shacks, nopales in Mexico (basically, you’re eating a cactus) or for example francesinha, a super mesmerizing sandwich flooded with gravy, typical of Porto, in Portugal.
So, to recap, everywhere you go, there will be for sure exciting things to do, but to eat too. Don’t be too choosy, remember your origins but broaden your mind and try new food! Speaking of which, are there any recipes you remember particularly for your travels?
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