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How to Be a World Traveler in Your Own City

Updated on November 4, 2016
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Experience Top World Cuisine in Your City

What do most world travellers talk about when they come home? Maybe a beach or a funny looking building but for sure, they'll talk about the top cuisine of that country, the most delicious food they ate and the menus they saw. You don't have to leave Cleveland or Hamilton to have the same stories. And remember, food is a cornerstone of culture.

Somewhere in your city is a Thai restaurant that really wants you to have a great food experience. Not the local rice mill that last week was the Heart of Korea and next week will be the Soul of Harbin but a real Thai restaurant with at least one Thai in the kitchen and a menu that looks at Pad Thai as just a minor dish.

You are what we eat and even more importantly, what you eat tells the world something about who you are. Get up, go out and follow the wafting aroma in the air.


Search for your favourite world cuisine - Go to the best restaurant that serves this cuisine

Best French Crepe
Best French Crepe | Source

Eat food you have not tried before

Twenty years ago, the only Chinese restaurant in town sold greasy chop suey and other definitely not Chinese dishes. Today, you'll find Sichuanese restaurant, certainly one from the south, and if you're lucky a Mongolian restaurant (Inner Mongolia), with someone in the kitchen who really understands local cuisine. Or French or Italian (not a pizza house) or a Greek or Turkish Palace with smells that began in the streets of Athens and Angkora. Part of this is just attitude.

Jump into Wikipedia and spend ten minutes about the cuisine of your chosen country. Whip up Trip Advisor and get a sense of some of the culinary highlights people are enjoying in the country. Get in the mood and then off you go.

If you did this once every two weeks all winter long, you might still live in Destin but your tongue has got more air miles than the bosses' ex wife. Then, let your tongue do the talkin as the true world traveler of your body.

Cuisine and Culture - A Meaningful Relationship

Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People
Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People

This book shows how events in history have influenced the different culinary traditions in the world. Most of the cuisines now are rightly really fusion except for some of the ethnic food that are still made from local ingredients in traditional cooking pots and following the same age old recipes.

Read how food has changed and how events in history brought about the similarity of tastes we now have all over the world.

 

Enhance your world traveler package - Pair your top cuisine with the best wine

Top Cuisine
Top Cuisine

Read on the Top Cuisines of the World

Start reading and go out and sample some of the dishes unfamiliar to you. You will be surprised at how much you learn of other cultures when you do so. Taste the inter cultural nuances in particular cultures. I always enjoy tapas and mezzeh and find out how these two came to be so much alike and yet so uniquely different.

Taste different dishes

Just to help you, here are really good regional dishes to go for so you get a real smell and taste and feel for the country. Please break down and have a bottle of the national wine along with the meal. It's all part of the package.

And for heaven's sake, don't go all pinched lipped when the dessert menu comes around. Some of these are really distinctive from the countries you visit and they're part of the world traveler package. And if you show an interest in what you're eating, you will be amazed at who might pop out in the kitchen for a chat.

French Cuisine

In 2010, French cuisine was included in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage, a recognition of its value to the world's culinary wealth. And guess what's the other one that got such distinction? Mexican Cuisine.

It is said, however, that there are only 3 great cuisines in the world and all the rest are just derivatives of these three. Of these 3, which do you think has contributed the most to the human menu?

Which of the three great cuisines has made the best contribution to our menu today?

See results

Visit Ethnic Stores in your Area

Yes, if restaurants are not your thing, you still can be a world traveler in your own city. Check out ethnic stores, special gastronomic stores, or ethnic aisles in the grocery you shop at. Accept invitations from your immigrant friends. Try foreign dishes served in your Church potluck. There are many ways to enjoy the best of world cuisine.

Exotic spices of the world - Delight your palette with a few

Spices of Korea
Spices of Korea | Source

Use some exotic spices

Try out some exotic spices you have not yet used in your kitchen. See what it does to some of your everyday dishes. We just got some paprika and saffron from Turkey but even there, the merchants claim that the best saffron comes from Iran. Persian cooking at its best. so if you find an Iranian restaurant around, go in and taste some of the best in Persian food.

Spanish Chorizo with Olives

Who wouldn't enjoy chorizo or olives marinated as only the Spaniards know how, little meat balls and Serrano ham?

You can start your Spanish experience with a sip of one of the best Tio Pepes or a Rioja.

Parmigiano in Fresh Italian Pasta

With Parmigiano in fresh Italian pasta, Parma ham is so distinctively the best especially when sliced paper thin that you can read the newspaper through it will blow you to an explosion of flavours that only only the people of Parma can explain.

Artisanal Cheese Made in French Villages

For me, the cheeses of France have no equal in the culinary world. The variety give you so many to choose from, mostly the best you have ever eaten. If you have a chance, go for the local markets in French villages and sample their best artisanal cheeses.

You can also get a few of these in some specialty stores in your city. So, don't despair and head to these places. Some of the French hotels may have a small store where they sell some of these cheeses, foie gras, and baguettes.

More on Cheeses - Try a different one each week

Cheese Store
Cheese Store | Source

Soba Noodles and Tempura that Melts in your Mouth

Made from really fresh ingredients so typical of the Japanese and the best Japanese sushi rice, these tiny delights. For tempura, this is often my measure of a good Japanese chef when they can make a very good tempura it melts in your mouth.

Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One-Pot Meals
Japanese Hot Pots: Comforting One-Pot Meals

Have a taste of food from Japan. This is one hot pot you can easily make in your own kitchen.

 

North Indian Thali Meal

Learn to prepare Indian dishes

Indian spices are not hard to find as there are many Indian stores all over the world that carry them. Many standard groceries also stock them so learning how to cook Indian food is not a big challenge.

Try this Turkish Dessert - Kunefe

Turk Ikmegi and beautifully spiced kebobs

Not Donaire definitely. Eat this with Turkish bread, Turk Ikmegi, and your mouth will water at the kebob spices. Try the mezzeh, too. Often, we just choose the mezzeh they have in the menu and we can't anymore eat after tasting all these.

Eat these in the heady atmosphere of Turkish coffee and you'll transport yourself to the ancient palaces smelling of myrrh and frankincense.

How to Prepare Tom Yam and other Thai Dishes - From the best Thai cooks

Thai Tom Yum

Am coughing or choking perhaps from the hot spicy soup made from tamarind base. After a cough or two, you get into this soup and just delight in its exotic flavour. Just so exotic with its blend of lemon grass, galanga leaves and other spices. I love this with shrimp that makes me taste a bit of the ocean.

The latest kitchen must have kitchen gadget - Get one of these

Pineapple is often good not just as a garnish but as a tasty compliment to the food. Peeling it, however, is a challenge. I find myself wasting much of the pineapple when I peel it. If I want to save most, I end up spending so much time and energy that I think twice before using one again. If you're in some cities in Asia like Phnom Penh and Hanoi, the sellers will still gladly peel your pineapple for you.


A Bowl of Pho

Pho Ga (chicken) or Pho Bo (beef) is great in the morning as it warms your stomach with its hot not so spicy soup and noodles. It's best eaten sitting on a small stool in the sidewalk of Hanoi but you can enjoy it in one of the Vietnamese restaurants in your city.

Norpro Grip-EZ Scraper/Chopper
Norpro Grip-EZ Scraper/Chopper

This scraper will help you handle all your chopped items. Am sure you will find that you'll be able to use this for many other things in the kitchen.

 

Another must have gadget for your kitchen - To help you deal with the tiny bits in some of these cuisines

With Asian cooking, often you need to deal with tiny chopped bits and to make your cooking more efficient and enjoyable, here's a gadget for you.





Look at these top dim sum choices - Get some background before you go

Try Dimsum

Tiny dishes made for a long, lazy breakfast. Tasty dumplings filled with pork or shrimp are great choices. Best eaten with hot jasmine tea.

So, what is the top world cuisine for you? - Vote for your favourite

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Which is your top world cuisine?

See results

What are your thoughts on the best world cuisine? - Tell us your favourite cuisine

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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 months ago from The Caribbean

      I love the spirit of this article and intend to put your suggestions into practice. Then I would be able to vote on my favorite cuisine, which I cannot do now because I have not tried enough foreign foods. Excellent read!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 16 months ago from New York

      If I ever get the chance to try Cambodian I have a feeling I will love it!

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 16 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Cambodian is sort of a fusion between Vietnamese and Thai although unique on its own.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 16 months ago from New York

      I have never had Cambodian, but love the Vietnamese I have tried!

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 16 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      For me, it is seafood and Italian...also Cambodian and Vietnamese.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 16 months ago from New York

      Seafood is my favorite too. Next is authentic Chinese (not western) and then Mexican. Of course, Italian is an old standby that almost everybody in the US makes at home.

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Seafood is not everyone's favourite. It takes some courage to eat some of the weird looking ones.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      A lot of cool ideas on how to get some culture in your mouth.

      I need to try more cheeses for sure.

      Chinese and Korean grocery stores are like going to a different country. You will smell things you never smelled and see some vegetables you've never seen.

      I am not a seafood person so the emphasis on fresh seafood can be challenging.

      Voted up.

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes, that would be great. Malaysian food is really good.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      I should try ypur tips recommending our malaysia food tour

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We now have many international options where we live and it is a bonus really to try out new things. Thanks Au Fait.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      I love to try new things so long as they don't include the sweet meats and their neighbors. Mexican is prevalent here and there's a lot of various Asian restaurants too. I happen to like Greek and there's only 1 of those in this town. No Greeks work there. :(

      A lovely article. It's good for people to try new things, food, adventures, etc.

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Love this quote of one of my favourite authors.

    • David Paul Wagner profile image

      David Paul Wagner 2 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      An enjoyable hub! Your hub title, "Be a World Traveler in Your Own City", reminds me of the following quote: “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one's own country as a foreign land” (G. K. Chesterton, "The Riddle of the Ivy").

    • Phillyfreeze profile image

      Ronald Tucker 4 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

      I found a wonderful Abyssinia restaurant serving authenic Ethiopian cuisine just a few blocks from my home. One of my favorite dishes is "Tebsy" ( Pan roasted strips of of beef, simmered ith onio, butter, and spices. Absolutely delicious with the berbere sauce the adds an infusion of flavors that ignites the taste buds!

    • Spirality profile image

      Spirality 4 years ago

      Spanish and Italian cuisine are my favorites. I love your lens. It made me hungry!

    • Jogalog profile image

      Jogalog 4 years ago

      I love trying differerent cuisines and it's a great idea that you can travel without leaving your city, just by trying out different cuisines. Blessed.

    • KateAdamsUSA profile image

      KateAdamsUSA 4 years ago

      you are turning me into a foodie with this lens. love the variety, especially the dim sum and the tom yum. seeing the world really does open up your mind. tasting it in your own backyard is the next best thing!

    • butternyk profile image

      butternyk 4 years ago

      Great lens mate

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @sukkran trichy: Lucky you. My Mom cooked well but hardly so it was always a treat during special occasions.

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