When is Rome, do as the Romans. But when you are travelling for a good two weeks, keeping up with foreign flavours and expensive meals abroad can be difficult. While trying local food is a great way to know the place and culture better; eating out everyday is simply not healthy for the body and the wallet. It is possible to rescue both, with just a little bit of planning and thought for food before you set out for your next adventure.
These tips will make your culinary routine while travelling a lot friendlier and cheaper.
Explore the market
A sightseeing excursion-cum-cultural experience, make time to visit the local markets or weekly farmer markets in your destination. It is a great way to learn about local food and also bag some of the best ingredients and fresh produce. Think farm fresh cheeses, homegrown wines, local spice mixes and organic vegetables. Add salt, pepper, vinegar, and paprika to your kitty and you have your mobile pantry. And with a mini induction cooker in your trunk you can cook up a delicious meal anytime, anywhere.
Bottomline, cooking with local ingredients will give you a far greater appreciation of the cuisine than any amount of ordering at a restaurant.
You may not have a knack for cooking but if you have one for learning, bonding over food is the best way to meet locals and make new friends. What’s best is that it doesn’t have to always happen over a glass of wine or at the cafe. Just like you, the locals too are equally hungry to try the various foods from all over the world. Offer to cook them a traditional Indian meal in exchange for a few local dishes. Carry the special spices of India and introduce them to the various culinary practices. You will be surprised at how much you learn in the bargain. And don’t forget all the amazing food it will lead to.
Pantry in tow
Packing your own snacks like granola bars, nuts, cookies or the iconic thepla, especially when travelling with kids will put you at ease. It will not only save a lot of money but also address the random hunger pangs in the middle of the afternoon. There are a whole lot of products available to help you set up a small, portable pantry/kitchen anywhere – heading for a picnic or taking that coveted road trip? add a portable car fridge and warmer to preserve all your food supplies. Kettles, coffee machines designed specifically for travel can provide a cuppa on tap, anywhere with ease. Wherever you go now, a little bit of home is on tap in pocket friendly and portable appliances.
Packing it right
Remember you are travelling, so space and weight are at a premium. The keyword is quick and easy. For that fancy 3-course meal check out the best restaurant in the vicinity. But for the rest of the times, use basic ingredients that can easily be paired, necessary cutlery. travel kettle and a lightweight rice cooker are all you need for your next trip. Pack single meal sized portions individually, so that you can only carry what you need with you on your day trips. Vacuum packing your food will ensure that food stays fresh and saves you space. For dry snacks, use ziplock bags instead of containers to make your luggage lighter. Most importantly, always do your homework of foods banned in the country you are travelling too. Will save you considerable embarrassment and penalties.