The Gastronomer's Guide
5 Reasons Gastronomers Travel Best
While it’s said the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the same might be even more true of the gastronomer’s heart. For us foodie-adventurers, our love of food far exceeds the confines of the plate — it’s a gateway to another culture, giving us a chance not only to taste a new cuisine, but to learn about the people, history, and traditions that created these mouth-watering recipes. Here’s five reasons why gastronomers travel best!
1. Food as Academics
There’s a good chance your average gastronomer has done their homework before hoping on a flight. Because food isn’t just a matter of sustenance but a matter of culture, foodies pick their destination and then get to work. We’re not talking Yelp reviews either. We’re talking food as academics, voraciously reading up on all the local favourites and their nuanced histories.
Once a foodie arrives, it’s time for them to intimately get to know a culture through trial and error; discovering local and national dishes at every turn, street-stall, and highly recommended hole-in-the-wall. Pro tip: research the region’s flora and fauna to give yourself an idea of what you may discover on your plate!
2. Sense of Adventure
You’ve come all this way and chances are you’re not going to stop at the local McDonald’s to find out if the Big Macs taste different (though, admittedly, that does sound fun). No. You’re going to summon your sense of adventure and uncover the exotic flavours — even if the main course is still moving only a moment before it reaches your plate. And that mushy looking thing that smells sort of weird? Sign you up. What about forks and knives and spoons? If the custom doesn’t call for utensils, rinse your hands and remind yourself that “when in Rome!”
3. The Road Less Travelled
We’re not talking about stepping off the hiking trail. We’re talking about weaving our way through the city, away from the tourist quarters, to where the real locals dine. What we said about Yelp reviews also applies here — they just don’t matter when it comes to forging your own culinary path. The faint smell of a warm meal or the distinct sound of a simmering stew is usually enough to get us through the door of a literal hole-in-the-wall. We’ll even venture to the far reaches of a city, just to taste some of the grub our taxi driver raved about the day before. No one else inside? How romantic. Are we sure they’re open? Let’s find out. Is this cooked? Take a bite and find out.
4. Making Friends with the Locals
There’s no better way to get to know a culture than by breaking bread with the locals. Our fascination with food leads us to strike up a conversation with the bartender, the shopkeeper, the pickpocket. In times like these, Google Translate or an excellent pocket dictionary is your best-friend. It gives us the chance to pick up a bit of the language, all while catching a glimpse of a-day-in-the-life.
Don’t get us wrong, four-course meals are great (and a must at some point during the trip), but gastronomical travel gets to the bottom of a culture by way of the greasy spoons, the colourful street vendors, and the dizzying night markets.
5. Culinary Souvenirs
You’ll probably want to take some time to visit museums, do a bit of shopping, maybe even bring back a few decorative trinkets because, let’s face it, even the gastronomer’s stomach is only so big. But there’s no way you’re leaving without grabbing a cookbook or a tin of local spices.
As your trip nears its end, you’ll be both sad to leave and eager to get home to try out the recipes you learnt along the way. Now, admittedly, the ingredients back home probably aren’t as fresh as the local produce, but it’ll make do until your next trip. If you have a gastronomer in your life recently back from a trip, invite them over and be their guinea pig. The food may not come out as planned, but you’ll get the chance to hear a few stories and share some laughs that will more than make up for it. Like that one about eating caribou meat and almost getting sick, or the one about the waiter who couldn’t stop laughing as they cried their way through the spiciest meal of their life, or the moment they realized what they thought was the word for chicken actually meant cow’s butt…
If you’re going to travel on a full stomach, you’ll need to find yourself the perfect landing pad where you can unwind and digest in peace. Choose from among our unique selection of Mediterranean vacation rentals today!