Some people travel to see white sand beaches. Other people travel to experience little-known cultures. Still others travel to experience the culinary delight of a destination. Whether it’s an exotic marketplace, a tucked away restaurant or a quiet vineyard to sip exquisite wine, these people travel to savor the food an area has to offer. You might call them foodies, gluttons or connoissuers of the world’s best edible delicacies. Whatever food you desire, there’s no denying a good place to eat when you see one. Here are five culinary destinations to seek out.
It’s all about being “Brusselicious.” Really? Yep. That’s the name of the year-long food festival in the city of Brussels, Belgium. If the name doesn’t “get” you, this will: foodie events take place everywhere in the city from gourmet tram rides to delicacies served in a restaurant suspended above the city. So what type of food is Belgium famous for? Chocolate, waffles, moules-frites (mussels with fries), waterzooi (thickened stew), paté, and Belgium fry. Check out the gourmet agenda in Brussels here.
Great Britain wasn’t always known as a foodie destination. But, all that has changed. For starters, farmers’ markets at Borough Market in London, England rolls out artisan breads and cheeses, fine meats, fruits, vegetables and other global delicacies.1 Local produce and meats of great quality can also be found in Castle Douglas, Scotland. In general, Great Britain’s famous food includes beef wellington, black pudding, dumplings, and yorkshire pudding.
Morocco may just be an up-and-coming foodie destination. The country is becoming quite popular for its hearty dishes and exotic flavors. Many of the country’s restaurants use recipes that have been passed down for generations with modern twists. An unexpected pleasantry is that Morocco is also becoming a place known for its excellent wine.2 Famous Moroccan dishes include tajine (an exotic, warm stew), lentil soup, zaalouk (cooked salad of eggplant and tomatoes).
While Malaysia might not be the first place you think about when it comes to foodie travel, it certainly is a force to be reckoned with. The food in this country boasts influences from Malay, Indian, Arabic and Chinese traditions. For starters, there is a wide availability of fresh ingredients for food dishes due to the country’s warm location – just head on over to Chowrasta Market in Penang. In Kuala Lumpur, curries, stewed and pickled vegetables and rice eaten with a rigid banana leaf are common foods. The use of chili and spices in food comes from many cultural and religious influences.3 Popular food includes asam laksa (noodles in tangy fish gravy), gado-gado (boiled vegetables with peanut sauce) and ayam goreng (chicken deep-fried in coconut oil).
Spain has long been a foodie travel destination. One look at what’s on the menu and you’ll know why. One famous flavor of the Salamanca region of Spain is Iberico ham, which is distinguishable by its nutty flavor (from pigs who are fed acorns from mountain pastures).4 This area of Spain is also called “Espana del Asado” (capital of roasts). Here you will find plenty of roasted meats like suckling pig, lamb, and chorizo, a local spicy sausage. Surprisingly, the area’s desserts have an Arab and Jewish influence, as can be seen in the cinnamon and almond flavored baked goods. Foodie travelers to the area must enjoy one of the many tapas restaurants, paella (a rice dish), and gazpacho (tomato-based vegetable soup).
What is your favorite foodie destination? Share it with us and tell us why it’s the place to be for a traveling foodie.