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  • Food Tourism Stories & Aspirations

    Originally posted by Owly View Post
    Our most recent major overseas trip was to India in 2010, and I think I was saved by all the walking, both with my backpack when we were travelling and then walking through archaeological sites and other historic stuff. Oh, and some hiking in the western Himalaya region.

    Last year, my international trips were to Tulum and Merida (Mexico) and NYC. In Mexico I spent so much time in the water and exploring Mayan ruins that I burned off pretty much everything I ate, and then in NY I wasn't really doing the food tourist thing since the foods I think of as classically New York are off-limits for a celiac, although my friend I visited in NJ took me to a classic NJ Italian restaurant that served gluten-free options.

    I think we need a food tourism thread!
    Well I don't know why it took me this long to respond, but here tis...
    Someone jump aboard & I'll add some food-travelogue too...
    "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
    "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
    "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown


  • #2
    My favorite food tourism country is Spain. I could live on pata negra, Spanish olives and cafe con leche.
    Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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    • #3
      On my first trip to Africa, to the southernmost 5 countries, I had a lot of wonderful game meats since I visited several game parks where they allow hunting in order to cull the herds. I had impala, springbok, eland, oryx, cape buffalo, warthog, oh, and deep fried caterpillars are yummy too.

      My second trip to Africa was centered around Mt Kilimangaro. I swear I have never felt so alive, energized and vibrant as i did eating the food from that area. I think there is something about that volcanic soil plus fresh glacier melt water. The produce there just tastes like the vitamins are bursting out of it. They also have some amazing honey there. It's really dark like blackstrap molasses. Such an intense flavor of the flowers but not really very sweet.

      I had some great food when I was in China, Beijing Duck and all that. But it's kind of hard to appreciate good food when you have a perpetual stuffed up nose and sore throat due to the air pollution problem. Blech. I'm really glad I saw China but I don't feel the need to go back there again.

      I will definitely be back to Africa. I want to spend some more time on Zanzibar, the original spice island. Such wonderful flavors.

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      • #4
        Paleobird, your travels sound great! I have to agree that the most primal friendly places I've been are probably in Asia. China has a lot of good options, and of course Japan has the seafood. I really loved China, though I liked Shanghai a lot better than Beijing. The smog in Beijing is terrible, and I had a panic attack going up the cable car thing at the Great Wall, ha!

        Australia had a lot of variety as well.

        Oh, and Spain... Spain was ALL about the meat, which I remember well because I was vegan when we were there, and it was VERY difficult to be vegan there!

        India obviously was vegetarian heavy, didn't really care for the food there at all to be honest.

        Italy was all about the pasta & "rolls".

        London's getting a lot better for food these days, I was impressed at the high quality of food available recently.

        And Germany of course, I have a fondness for kraut & sausage, yum!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by palebluedots View Post
          Paleobird, your travels sound great! I have to agree that the most primal friendly places I've been are probably in Asia. China has a lot of good options, and of course Japan has the seafood. I really loved China, though I liked Shanghai a lot better than Beijing. The smog in Beijing is terrible, and I had a panic attack going up the cable car thing at the Great Wall, ha!

          Australia had a lot of variety as well.

          Oh, and Spain... Spain was ALL about the meat, which I remember well because I was vegan when we were there, and it was VERY difficult to be vegan there!

          India obviously was vegetarian heavy, didn't really care for the food there at all to be honest.

          Italy was all about the pasta & "rolls".

          London's getting a lot better for food these days, I was impressed at the high quality of food available recently.

          And Germany of course, I have a fondness for kraut & sausage, yum!
          Oh, yes the kangaroo in Australia was delicious. And so many interesting immigrant restaurants like Turkish, Lebanese, etc.

          I love Spanish food. I spent a lot of time in Europe as a starving student on a budget but even then you could eat (and drink) well. In the little town in southern France where I lived there was a shop that sold wine by the liter, BYO jug. Five francs a liter and it was really good wine.

          The northern Italian cuisine is more Primal friendly I think. More chicken, veal, salads. Not so much pasta and bread.

          The food in England always seemed to be sturdy and nourishing but not particularly interesting to me. Good sausages though.

          I used to be married to a German so I learned how to cook some things from his mother. She wanted to make sure that I kept her baby happy. Her Black Forrest cake recipe was the best. Those folks seriously know their sausages.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
            Oh, yes the kangaroo in Australia was delicious. And so many interesting immigrant restaurants like Turkish, Lebanese, etc.

            I love Spanish food. I spent a lot of time in Europe as a starving student on a budget but even then you could eat (and drink) well. In the little town in southern France where I lived there was a shop that sold wine by the liter, BYO jug. Five francs a liter and it was really good wine.

            The northern Italian cuisine is more Primal friendly I think. More chicken, veal, salads. Not so much pasta and bread.

            The food in England always seemed to be sturdy and nourishing but not particularly interesting to me. Good sausages though.

            I used to be married to a German so I learned how to cook some things from his mother. She wanted to make sure that I kept her baby happy. Her Black Forrest cake recipe was the best. Those folks seriously know their sausages.
            Yeah, I was married to a Dutchman for 10 years and I do seriously miss the sausage and speklapjes. I refused to eat balknebrij, though. He was from Arnhem (Gelderland) so it was heavy on the raisins and clove and he would fry it then sprinkle with sugar. Blech! Probably would have been fine without all that though. I also seriously miss the aged cheese and assorted pate, liverwurst and availability of game meat (including imported sprinkbok, koedoe, ostrich, kangaroo . . . ) And horse meat butchers.

            I've never been a big pasta eater and did pretty well throughout Italy. Lots of seafood on the coast, had a wonderful rabbit dish in Rome. Any coastal area will be good. Had a massive lobster in Croatia and an amazing roast suckling pig that the owner of the pension got for my husband's birthday and served along with fresh olives and olive oil from his garden.

            Spain is still my favorite though for aforementioned reasons. And the seafood is great as well. I had a wonderful baked tuna and clam in tomato sauce dish that I've been trying to duplicate with other fish. I have to get some tuna steaks to try it.

            We're planning on moving to Ecuador in a couple of years and I've been researching food there. Out in the country the livestock tends to be unpenned from what I can tell. I plan on looking for someone who would be willing to sell me whole/partial animals.
            Buy house, Demolish house, Build house.

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            • #7
              My food tourism has been pretty minimal.

              Nepal:
              On the menu were delicacies like top ramen, boiled potatoes, garlic soup (probably instant), and "pizza" which was like a chapati with some wilted vegetables on top. Probably the tastiest item was dal bhat with "pickle" and "spinach" and potatoes but it had a strange spice in it. Otherwise, my favorite restaurant served Western-style breakfast foods and was super cheap. I think it was $5 for about 9 of us at the table with full breakfasts and coffee and everything.

              India:
              We ate often in the mall. One cool Indian fast-food restaurant served the food on plates made of some kind of leaves sewn together. The most fun restaurant in the mall was one where they brought everyone a metal platter with a whole bunch of tiny bowls then filled the bowls with various Indian foods as fast as you could empty them until you cried please no more! Then they washed your hands with hot water and lemon. At one fancy restaurant for dinner I was dared to eat one of these hot chilis they brought out arrayed in a water glass with toothpick handles to hold them. That was the absolute hottest thing I have ever eaten. Oh my god. And I like hot things. The tastiest dish was made of okra. How shocked I was when they told me what it was! The nicest thing about India was how you could get a guava covered in chili powder while you were hiking some trail somewhere or you could get a fresh coconut right on the street.

              Mexico City:
              At a fancy restaurant I got their national dish, since it was around their Independence Day. It was a big green chili stuffed with a pomegranate and walnut creamy mixture. I didn't like it that much so I traded with the man who took us out for his Chicken Mole, which was tasty. The best thing we ate was the salsa, which they would grind up in a mortar and pestle right in front of us.

              The United States:
              Nothing beats going out for breakfast in the US. Nothing is better than being totally starving and having a big giant pancake sandwich and then still being hungry so having ice cream for dessert or a second breakfast of oatmeal with raisins, walnuts and jelly. I lived for breakfasts like these while hiking the PCT.
              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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              • #8
                I don't know if it qualifies as tourism, this are the places I lived mostly:

                I like meat at home, in Argentina. Like I really like it and miss it a lot, all of it.
                When I'm at Rome I eat coda alla vaccinara and trippa alla romana while fighting hard to stay away from tiramisł
                Here in Parma I usually go with sausages, most times I choose the meat and use family recipes.
                All around the coast I go seafood, I love regional recipes so I do my best to work around there.
                I'd travel to GB just to get some more stilton and port, and I miss club sandwich a bit. I'm not fit enough to travel a lot and it's been more than twelve years since, I'd love to go to Australia and southern asia but doctors are not of the idea.
                I miss having breakfast in Bahia, and I miss south beach by noon when I was out with friends doing very unprimal stuff. I'd love some crab soup I had once in Louisiana, my friend had grandma and she was a real cook (that woman was a hundred years work of wonder and I didn't get a single word out of the recipe she was trying so hard to explain to me).
                Cebiche in Peru and cheese and mandioca bread in Bolivia. Potatoes all over Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. Dulce de leche o leche quemada and some small dark caramel we had when up high in the mountains.
                Tapas around Barcelona, all things about patanegra cinco bellotas (that's a blessed piece of pig they have in Spain, yes).

                I'd go to Paris to have some more strawberries and cream, but that's more of an emotional thing.

                On monday I'll be traveling to Rome again, I think I'll try something new this time.


                Paleobird /me envious I really look forward to be allowed to travel to Africa, hopefully I'll get healthy enough
                No limits, only my will and the worlds I build.

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                • #9
                  I've just got back from a holiday in North-East Italy and Slovenia. I enjoyed a lot of fresh mussels, prawns and other seafood. My favourite dish was a mixed seafood grill with a whole baby sea bream, a baby sole, a baby squid, some pieces of fried monkfish tail and fried grey mullet. Eaten with a side of rosemary-infused oven-baked potatoes. Generally the fish and vegetable dishes are quite plain and primal friendly, if expensive compared to the pizza and pasta dishes which I obviously shun. I cooked veggie and goats' cheese omelettes for breakfast and for lunch I ate various goodies from deli-counters with rice salad. Ironically, but unsurprisingly, two of the best meals we had were at a Chinese and Japanese restaurant. My cheats were the traditional gelati - redcurrant, chestnut and Sicilian pistachio were my favourites among those I tried.
                  F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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                  • #10
                    Words don't do it justice.









                    These are all from Ecuador, which is a surprisingly easy place to stay semi-paleo (grain free at least, but be willing to eat potatoes) while traveling. Had a lot of meat, fish, potatoes, fresh avocados, and fruit.

                    I'm not really a food tourist in the sense that I don't plan my vacations/trips around food, but I definitely make an effort to try the local cuisine when I'm in another country.
                    Subduction leads to orogeny

                    My blog that I don't update as often as I should: http://primalclimber.blogspot.com/

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                    • #11
                      AmyMac703 you got graviola amazing fruit it is.
                      So glad I went through all that walking and climbing when I was healthy enough to go with nothing but a backpack. Food across the arco andino is so good, sometimes I miss local fruits and avocado varieties which are not comercial (same as with papaya and mamon).
                      No limits, only my will and the worlds I build.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AmyMac703 View Post
                        Words don't do it justice.

                        Is that a......rat?
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                          Is that a......rat?
                          It's a guinea pig, haha
                          http://www.plateoftheday.com/396/ Peruvian Cuy Al Horno – aka Baked Guinea Pig

                          Posted by admin under Food , Peruvian Food

                          I just got back from Peru and had an amazing time hiking the Incan Trail up to Machu Picchu. The hike was a grueling 4 day 3 night excursion through the magnificent green valleys and mountains of Peru. At the peak of our climb on the 2nd day, we were over 2 miles above sea level which, at that elevation was an equally challenging experience on physical, mental and spiritual levels. On the 4th day, we awoke at 3:45 AM and dashed off to the Incan Sun Gate to capture our first glimpse of Machu Picchu just as the sun was breaking. To see this with your own eyes after the 4 days of hiking was an unbelievable experience that I can truthfully say will stay with you for a lifetime. Unfortunately reaching the actual site was in someways anti-climatic or as my friend Daniel appropriately quotes Motorhead, “The chase is better than the catch”. Why? Because, as we approached the actual Machu Picchu site, we were suddenly met with crowds of tourists who had just comfortably ascended to the site via train and bus. Tourists aside however, I really can’t complain too much because the actual site of Machu Picchu is indeed a magical place worthy of being one of the 7 wonders of the world (Machu Picchu just got voted in this year). See my photos here

                          Now, on to the food. Everything you hear about the amazing food in South America is true. The vegetables, fruit and meat are fresh, non-genetically modified, and the taste is better than your average over-priced organic equivalent in the USA.

                          Day 1 – Dec 28th, 2007 Cusco, Peru
                          Cranked on a mixture of Diamox (high altitude medicine) and Coca Tea, I stumbled/wandered the city of Cusco (Cuzco) in search of good local cuisine. It was actually quite difficult given that I was staying about a stone’s throw from the Plaza de Armas, the “Times Square” of Cusco one might say – thick with tourist shops and high priced watered down, disgusting N American cuisine. I wandered about 2 km up the hills before finding a few places that served Cuy al horno (baked) and Cuy chactado (fried).

                          Ok, but Guinea Pig?
                          Yes.
                          Aren’t they related to rodents?
                          Yes and to be quite specific, Guinea Pigs are a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia.

                          Believe me, it was not so much a gustatory dilemma, but also a personal one since my sisters and I had a few guinea pigs as pets during our childhood. Nevertheless, I didn’t come all the way down to Peru just to miss out on a national dish. Not to mention, for you hardcore food enthusiasts, Guinea Pig was featured both on Andrew Zimmem’s Bizarre Foods and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Alas, you’re now looking through the eyes of an obsessed food blogger. Guinea Pig, my friend is what separates foodies from faux foodies. As a side note, I’m going to draw the line at dog right now. Although I was given a few opportunities to try it in China, I could not and will not go there. Call me a fakie if you want, but sorry.

                          “What the Fuck…”
                          That’s what I said as I boldly walked into the restaurant and promptly ordered the Cuy Al Horno special. My tingling feet and cramped stomach (side effects of the Diamox) suddenly made me second guess my decision, but I pressed on and slammed down a hot brew of the mind stimulating coca tea which emboldened my decision to eat baked rodent meat.

                          “What the Fuck..?”
                          That’s what I said when the waiter served the dish. Click here for photo (I warned you) This has to be a sick joke that the locals play on the tourists right? They must have hidden cameras to capture wary N Americans in the process of buckling over to vomit? I guess he read the blank expression on my face and quickly explained that this is simply a presentation for photos and that he would then take the dish back to the kitchen to have it properly cut for consumption. After retuning with the dish (head removed), I dug in and guess what? It tastes a lot like chicken. No joke! It’s baked with sprigs of a cilantro like herb that was pretty overpowering in my opinion but the meat was tender while the skin was a little tough. There are also a lot of bones, so watch out. The plate was served with a side of baked potatoes and a delicious deep fried pork stuffed green pepper. Overall, a good meal and one I would try again – maybe the fried variety next.

                          I make it a point whenever I visit a country to try out the local cuisine and I felt pretty good trying out a new dish for the first time in my life. Guinea Pig is significant staple of the Peruvian diet. It is estimated that Peruvians consume an estimated 65 million guinea pigs each year. What’s additionally fascinating is the degree that guinea pigs are engrained into the culture, so much so that there is famous painting of the Last Supper in the main cathedral in Cusco that shows Christ and the twelve disciples dining on guinea pig!

                          So my advice, try it if you get the chance. I heard from some locals here that you may be able to get it in NY. I highly doubt that but I will look for this and let you know if it’s true.
                          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          But if you insist... http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/...ting-rat-meat/

                          BANGKOK: -- Who would have thought? We've been hearing about the dog trade for weeks now. News of stray dogs being smuggled to neighboring countries. Today, we're met with even more shocking news. It turns out that Thailand is among several Asian countries which have a taste for rat meat. We're sure many of our readers are cringing at this very moment, but it certainly makes for interesting news.


                          Official numbers reveal that Thailand imports three tons of rat meat from Cambodia a day...yes, a day! This number does not include the amount of rats that are caught and eaten in vast farmlands across the north, northeast, and central parts of the country. The kingdom is ranked third behind Cambodia and Laos when it comes to consuming the meat of the small whiskered creatures.

                          For those of you wondering how Thais can stomach the dirty little animals, we must make it clear that when we say rat meat, we're not talking about sewer rats found in city areas. We're talking mostly of farm rats in the countryside which are believed to be much cleaner and toxic free.

                          Apparently, the practice has been a part of Indochina civilization for centuries. It is believed, although not proven, that the agricultural based countries of the region are more inclined to such delicacies. Farmers catch rodents to prevent them from damaging the crops. Said rodents end up on the supper table that evening. It has been reported that such tastes can be found in Thailand, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

                          The cultures of other ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines were highly influenced by the West and theoretically don't have such preferences.

                          Rat meat eating locals in Thailand are found mostly in the northeastern provinces. However, people in the north and central parts of the country are also found to have a taste for it. Provinces such as Udon Thani and Supanburi are widely known for the trade.

                          So how do Thais prefer their rat meat? Mostly, we like them grilled, crispy on the outside, moist on the inside. However, it is also widely found that rat meat is used in spicy Thai soups as well.

                          And make no mistake! The rat meat does not come cheap. Prices range from 180 to 250 baht per kilogram. So far, there is no known brand name for rat meat traders, but who knows, we could have a whole new business just waiting to be discovered.

                          Translated from www.manager.co.th
                          Last edited by Betorq; 08-25-2012, 05:30 PM.
                          "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
                          "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
                          "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

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                          • #14
                            Hmm. I would have eaten it if it had been rat and I would have eaten it with the little feet and the head eating the carrot or whatever that was. Then they probably would have laughed their asses off at me.

                            In Nepal our guide and porters dared me to eat the local pickle, which was made from carrots and very spicy. I pretended it wasn't hot at all. It was very hot but no worse than the hottest Mexican food. I tried to explain how close to Mexico I lived and that spicy food wasn't new to me. They still snickered at me.
                            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                            • #15
                              All my food travels have been pre-primal.

                              China, staying around the relatives in Shanghai and near Beijing: xiao long bao and Beijing duck. I also ate a bunch of packaged hickorynuts because bags of in-shell hickorynuts in the US cost $10/300g =\

                              China, Sichuan province: Yak meat. Yak milk. Oh my goodness. I starved on the rest of the trip because I was yearning for the taste of the yak meat and yak milk that I ate from the farm.

                              Canada: Had my first real sweet tomato here. Oh my god, so delicious. Inspired me to plant some in my backyard to emulate it. I also miss all of those real maple products. Haven't eaten fake maple syrup since.

                              Vietnam: PHO. To no pho-king end. In between I tried pretty much every single weird fruit that i could find. I never found out the name of half of them online. I was traveling with classmates; otherwise I would have also eaten the dog and the half-formed fetus in the egg.

                              Europe highlights: CHOCOLATE, working on an olive farm in Italy and eating freshly pressed olive oil with bread or rice, buffalo mozzarella, tartufo Italian pizza, fig marscapone gelato, French bread, French pate, French macarons, dense nut bread from Netherlands, and Spanish seafood paella.

                              Best food in America: salmon chowder in Seattle, gourmet sausages in LA and chicago, good hamachi at sushi places, and Hawaiian poke.


                              Aspiring:

                              Kangaroo in Australia
                              Lamb anything and feta in Greece
                              Authentic Mexican food
                              Last edited by sakura_girl; 08-26-2012, 12:46 AM.
                              My chocolatey Primal journey

                              Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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