Travel and food are two of my very favorite things in this life. While I wouldn’t ever consider myself a foodie, I am an avid lover of food. I’m actually quite picky, but I try to push myself outside of my culinary boundaries. (Lookin’ at you snails). As I started becoming more interested in traveling the world, I realized that often the best way to immerse yourself in a culture is through gastronomy. There is a rise in culinary travel because of this common realization. Food and travel go hand in hand.
Regardless of where you go or how you go, you will eat. You will eat the local food because you have no other option. And by doing this, you will learn. You will learn that salads are a rarity in Spain, that hot dogs are a staple in Vienna, and that salmon tastes better in Alaska. By simply taking part in a meal, you are immersing yourself in a new culture.
When I spent time in Italy, I took a cooking class at a local woman’s home. I learned to make a few types of pasta, along with the sauce and Italian limoncello. It blew me away to see what is involved in making authentic pasta. From carefully measuring the flour, to patiently rolling the dough many times over, I realized that pasta is an Italian art form. Each family has their uniquely curated sauces with recipes that have been passed down for generations. Pasta is an important part of Italian culture.
Learning about culture through food doesn’t always have to look like a meal. There are so many cool experiences in a destination that involve food. Here are a few on my bucket list:
Be intentional with food while you travel and trust in the positive impact it will have on your experience.