Foods most evocative of a location

Emma - 10 May 2015

When travelling, it’s not just about seeing the country. It’s also about experiencing it though other senses. Touching the warm rocks or the cold metal. Smelling the salty sea or the dusty harvest. Taste is certainly important to me when exploring a new culture, and some countries have become inextricably linked in my memory with something I ate. Be it a quick morsel guzzled on the roadside, or an entire feast, sometimes this leaves more of an impression of the country than it’s most impressive monument.

  • Pad Thai, eaten while walking through a chaotic, tourist-soaked Bangkok street.
  • Papaya Salad, eaten at sundown on a Thai beach.
  • Cheese fondue, eaten at high altitude, with a log fire close beside you.
  • Sichuan hotpot, eaten in a tiny restaurant filled with billowing steam and sweaty heat.
  • Fish taco, bayside in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Shepherds Pie, eaten in a low-ceilinged Cotswolds pub in wintertime
  • Slippery hotdogs, eaten guiltily with ketchup and onions in Oslo
  • Pancake breakfast, eaten in a ‘diner style’ restaurant in small-town America
  • Koshury, eaten at speed in a hectic Cairo restaurant
  • Dates, eaten fireside in the Omani desert
  • Open sandwiches, eaten while your gloves dry on the radiator in Stockholm
  • Eel tagine, eaten in a bring-your-own Moroccan restaurant
  • Pasta, eaten roadside in balmy Rome, while batting away rose-bearing touts
  • Grilled fish, eaten at the Athens docks
  • Turkish delight, eaten eagerly while strolling the Bosphorus in Istanbul
  • Key Lime Pie, eaten at midday on a shady Florida Keys waterfront
  • BBQ, eaten in Nashville with a game on in the background
  • Crisp schnitzel with potatoes and a cold beer, eaten in Berlin
  • Smoked sausage from the deli, eaten with fresh bakers bread in the Czech Republic 

Remnants of a Thai papaya saladRemnants of a Thai papaya salad

 

Tibetan butter tea in TagongTibetan butter tea in Tagong

 

American pancakesAmerican pancakes

 

Hotdogs are ubiquitous and cheap everywhere in Scandinavia!Hotdogs are ubiquitous and cheap everywhere in Scandinavia!

 

View from our table in Athens docksView from our table in Athens docks

 

Balmy Rome is perfect for al fresco dining / pasta overindulgenceBalmy Rome is perfect for al fresco dining / pasta overindulgence

 

Schnitzel in Berlin was the perfect comfort food on a rainy daySchnitzel in Berlin was the perfect comfort food on a rainy day

 

GROM is one of the best Italian gelato chainsGROM is one of the best Italian gelato chains

 

Every menu in Morocco seemed to offer tagineEvery menu in Morocco seemed to offer tagine

 

Heavy meats and cheeses were our staple diet in PragueHeavy meats and cheeses were our staple diet in Prague

 

German bread is always incredibleGerman bread is always incredible

 

Thick cold noodles and sizzling kebabs in Xinjiang, Northern ChinaThick cold noodles and sizzling kebabs in Xinjiang, Northern China

 

A fiery Sichuan hotpot is a messy and social experience. You will need to have practised using your chopsticks!A fiery Sichuan hotpot is a messy and social experience. You will need to have practised using your chopsticks!

 

Egyptian koshary crams in all the carbs you can think of: rice, lentils, macaroni…Egyptian koshary crams in all the carbs you can think of: rice, lentils, macaroni…

 

Czech dumplings were something between potatoes and heavy breadCzech dumplings were something between potatoes and heavy bread

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