Museums, art galleries and walking tours all have their place on any of my travel itineraries, but not before I’ve made a dent in a city’s key foodie hubs. And if I’m fortunate to have time up my sleeve then these are the places I will revisit again and again. They are also the best way to fast track your way into the culinary heartland of a new culture.
1. Food Markets
There are not many cities and towns without a food market of some sort. After all, this was how people shopped before supermarkets came along (not that I’m dissing supermarkets as you’ll see in the next point). Countries like France, Finland and Hong Kong are experts at food markets and even have themed markets for your every gastronomic desire.
This is where you will see first-hand what produce and ingredients are in season and sourced locally. You’ll find gems that you won’t find anywhere else. And those gems will likely be cheaper than anywhere else too.
Fave pick: the plethora of wet and dry markets in Hong Kong are an exotic adventure in the making. Wander through produce in a myriad of vivid colours and relish random finds like dried seahorse and starfish.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that supermarkets are purely the domain of locals and backpackers looking for cans of tuna. I can (and do) spend HOURS in foreign supermarkets; just ask any of my patient travelling buddies.
I love to see what’s stocked on the shelves, the more random the items the better. If I come across something I’ve never seen, that’s grounds enough for me to buy it. I also get a kick out of quirky packaging, unusual names (crap anyone?) and in-store advertising (must be my inner marketing nerd). Read More