Travel is such an exciting way to broaden your palate! When you travel abroad, you find all kinds of foods that you may not have available to you locally. Most countries have specialty foods or spices or ways of preparing food that are unique to their culture. I always suggest trying to sample the local cuisine and of course you can do that simply by eating in a restaurant that serves regional foods.
However, I take it a step further, at least in Europe. I love nothing better than wandering through a fresh food market and purchasing some of the items to enjoy for a lunch or light dinner. When you start planning your trip, be sure to research what local markets are available in the cities that you’ll visit. Sometimes markets are only open certain days of the week for certain hours, other times, especially in covered markets, you’ll find they are open daily for longer hours.
Finding fresh local produce, meats and cheeses is not only healthy but fun. Next, hit a bakery and buy fresh bread or rolls. Lastly, look for the wine store and see if you can find a bottle of wine produced in the area you are in. Next thing you know, you’re pairing all of these things together for a great local meal!
I also like to bring home some of the products and recipes from the countries I visit. This time we happen to be in Hungary where paprika is in almost every local dish and it’s easily purchased to bring home. You can buy cookbooks with authentic recipes or simply search for recipes online. Take a moment to write down what you’ve eaten and enjoyed in the local restaurants and then try to recreate it at home.
One of my favorites is Csirke Paprikas, or paprika chicken. Serve with homemade dumplings and some root vegetables and you have a great Hungarian meal. It doesn’t matter what you choose, it becomes fun to try to recreate the meal after you’re home. And if it doesn’t taste as good, it’s a great excuse to travel back to the country you first had the dish!
So travel on and expand your palate! Enjoy the experience of shopping the local markets and sampling the local cuisine. You’re sure to find something that you really enjoy!