Why Travel for Food
Well, why not?!
Food is the truest identity of any place. It is the soil, the air, the water, the history and the culture of any region, packed into one wholesome offering. It is the truest representation of the physical and the cultural; a marriage of mother nature’s gifts, with the hearts and minds of the people. You see a thousand places, but you wouldn’t know any, if you haven’t eaten what it has to offer.
Thanks to the new age of globalisation, we can get food from all parts of the world in one single place. Yet, with the food on the plate, one would have these nagging questions – is this the real deal? What is this dish about? What makes this a speciality of this region? And so on.
Getting these answers is not easy. No google search, book, travel show or any other means in the virtual world is going to do justice to your quest. Every dish has a story and a reason. Why is Kehwa had in Kashmir and Solkadhi in Konkan? It’s not enough just to read about it. The only way to satisfactorily answer these questions is in the physical – get off your seat and go to that place of origin! While they say, ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’, we say, ‘If you want to do as the Romans do, go to Rome!’
We’ve clicked photos of the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower, skydived in Spain, sailed in Croatia, climbed Fuji and done all the touristy stuff in other parts of the world. But when was it that you REALLY learnt about the place and the people? Was it when you were falling from the sky or when you were having Sangria and Tapas that you learnt about Spanish traditions? How much did seeing the Taj Mahal tell you about the people of Agra? And what did the Eiffel Tower do to help you understand why the French love cheese?
Think about it. We understand a place best when we sit to have a meal (this does NOT count finding a McDonalds and ordering a McChicken meal), preferably with a local. How many interesting travel incidents do you recite and remember, which don’t have food involved?
Anyway, food is a vast topic for any place and learning about it in the midst of a business trip or a vacation with some other agenda has its limitations. While you may be in the country, the real magic lies in the countryside! To understand the food culture of a place and to learn how it has evolved requires dedicating time and traveling to the place of origin. And that is why you should travel for food.
Among the various travel motivators, food is increasingly gaining importance as people are realizing how rich and deeply indulging the experience is. Now, all the destinations mentioned above sound distant and expensive, right? So how about we start closer to home? Fortunately for us, India is blessed with possibly the most diverse cuisine in the world, where food cultures change every few kilometers!
Wandering Foodie arranges amazing weekend food trails around Mumbai, where you can start traveling short distances around your city to discover amazing new (for you, but otherwise old) food cultures! This involves tasting authentic regional food, visiting local farmers and learning to cook local dishes too! So why not jump into the habit of setting off on great food adventures?
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