Whether you’re venturing overseas or simply traveling across the States, trying drinks and foods that are a little out of your comfort zone is never a bad thing. In fact, as July 4th is now well and truly behind us for another year, perhaps it’s time to ditch those familiar flavors and try something else.
One of the best things about immersing yourself in a new culture is trying the drinks and food, so we’ve got a few ideas about how to make the most of it all!
Try before you fly
Heading to a country to experience their food is always going to be the best way to sample items you’ve never had before but if you can’t explore just yet, ordering in a certain type of cuisine is the best way to go. The benefits of this are plentiful: there’s no embarrassment in leaving half the dish on the plate if it turns out to be something that you really don’t like and you’re not pressured to make decisions in the first place – you can take your time before ordering.
Of course, many places around the USA have large immigrant populations and with that come some incredible food choices. New York is famed for its China Town (among many other cuisines), while in Chicago you might want to sample some Greek. With the rise of food-delivery services, ordering takeaway in a new city is delightfully easy and lets you go authentic without having to go too far.
Eat like the locals
So important when you’re on your travels! Once you get to somewhere new, nobody knows the local cuisines better than the locals themselves. Local people will have the best restaurant recommendations, and – depending on where you are – may even invite you to dine with them as well. In addition, you can try variations on recipes that you’ve tried before but in an Americanized state – to cater for people’s taste buds back home. You may find foods are a lot spicier or more fragrant, for example, but that’s all part of the fun.
Finally, be careful
Traveling is fun for a lot of reasons, but when you’re not able to speak the language in a new place you may find obstacles, even when it comes to something as universal as eating food. It’s important to properly communicate any allergies or intolerances that you may have, to avoid any nasty surprises.
You should also remember that some countries may not practice the same levels of hygiene you’re used to, so exercise caution when ordering certain dishes (such as those containing meat).
You might also find that the American way of service differs from what you’re experiencing overseas – it’s not necessarily wrong but it might come as a culture shock. Many countries do not have the same expectations when it comes to tipping – in Japan, it may even be considered rude – so do your research before you go.
The food world is a book and those who do not travel only eat one page! Look, it’s not a perfect metaphor, but you’ll see what we mean when you get out there!
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