Many of us travel, among other reasons, for the love of food. These travel tips to help you survive your culinary adventures worldwide.
My culinary adventures include eating yak eyeballs in Tibet, bamboo grubs in Thailand, fried crickets in Myanmar and Rocky Mountain oysters (cow balls) in Wyoming.
While this may disgusting to you, eating a huge part of the discovery and pleasure of travel, but it can also cause some of your worst memories.
Here’s how to enjoy the best and avoid the worst of eating on the road
- The key to staying healthy is to be very careful about what you eat and drink. Drink boiled or bottled water – if the screw top of the bottle served to you is already open, ask for another. Sometimes restaurants refill bottles from the tap.
- When dining at food stalls, be sure the meat is well cooked and the soup has been boiling for a while. Many seasoned travelers say they wouldn’t pass up the mouth-watering local specialties available at very reasonable prices at food stalls. Others won’t touch street food.
- As for me, I size up the cleanliness of the stall, the clientele, the vendor and the freshness of the food offered and how it’s cooked.
- 4. When I eat in a hole-in-the-wall place where English is neither written nor spoken, I look at what my neighbors have ordered. I have gestured and cajoled the waiter to let me into the kitchen to point at this and that and see how dishes are made. I ham it up. The staff loves it and I end up with a great meal and new friends for the feast. 5. In developing countries, the rule of thumb is: boil it, cook it, peal it or forget it. Avoid that lady selling slices of fresh pineapple; mango and papaya on the street in Bangkok because you don’t know the cleanliness of the knife used to cut them or the hands that have handled the fruit. Stick to bananas and oranges you can peel yourself.
6. Look at your meal carefully before you take the first bite. I found a floating fly in my soup in New York, mosquitoes in my beer in India and raw meat in a curry in Bali
7. Never eat undercooked beef, lamb, poultry or eggs in developing countries. Raw shellfish can be particularly dangerous to people who have liver disease or compromised immune systems.
If this sounds horrible to you, well there’s always Paris. And in Europe all the rules are different.