No one travels because they wish to see the same old sights and experience a singular culture everywhere we go. The spice of life is in variety, and sometimes, the spice of life actually involves real spices. Authentic food is an essential means by which to experience a culture. In fact, it could be said that reading into a culture for years, learning its history, even speaking its language is an essential means of knowing a culture, but you can only ever understand it if you eat its food.
Identifying authentic food as you travel, then is a perennial skill that cannot be discounted. Not only can it allow you to enjoy higher quality food, but gives you a better taste of the place you’re going to. Learning about new cuisine, after all, is best achieved by eating it. That said, you don’t have to eat at the most remote kitchen in Tibet to say you ‘did it authentically.’ No matter if you wish for the best BBQ Catering you can find, or to experience the most delectable seafood along a coast, consider these essential tips:
Consider Its History
Considering the history of a culture and its food will help you understand it, and more readily know what to look for. For instance, learning about the cultural practices of preparing seafood and sushi, and to what degree that was established, can help you more readily spot sushi joints that conform to those time-honored methods of preparation, as well as the new, innovative restaurants that hope to iterate on that formula to provide something new.
Research A Few Proud Cultural Dishes/Ingredients
Of course, without knowing a few famous cultural dishes or ingredients, which every country has, it’s hard to really get to grips with a starting point for a culture’s cuisine. It can be helpful to ask the waiter or chef for recommendations, or at some point, the mode in which the food is cooked and delivered is so obviously of a place that experiencing it is key. For instance, eating beautiful Wagyu steak at a Teppanyaki restaurant is an absolute key experience if you hope to enjoy a fantastic Japanese meal, and the showmanship involved in that experience could be second to none.
Ask The Locals
Asking the locals regarding the best places to eat will (if you’re friendly about it), often provide you with at least one or two restaurants that the locals of a given area like to eat at, not just the places where tourists are directed to go. This might involve heading to a humble cafe or restaurant, a street food truck, or even an outdoor catering event that you can join if you book in advance. This way, you can avoid the chains and the very brightly shining restuarants, and instead eat food that means something to the people of a given country and culture. It’s hard not to understand which may provide you with the real experience here.
With this advice, you’re sure to identify authentic food as you travel in the best possible way.