2 days ago
Eat Absolutely Everything ~
One of the questions I hear most often regarding my trips is, “how was the food there?” Oh man, have I eaten some good food. But when I tell them about the fish plucked fresh from the ocean that morning, thrown onto a BBQ whole, doused in hot chili pepper and spices, then picked with fingers over rice while walking down the street, people seem a little horrified. They want to know the restaurants with the fancy, unpronounceable names, and their twinkling stars. But I never go to those. My favorite places have no names.
I am asked a lot, what’s the best thing to eat, and it’s usually street food. The carts rolled onto the curb in the early evening, sizzling fires loaded with whatever they happened to catch that day. Tiny shacks around a back corner and down an alley way. The one where auntie serves you in her stained apron with a scowl saying, “you look too skinny.” My favorite food is what the locals eat. Food speaks to their culture in a way that few things can.
I’ve become fearless when it comes to food. I’ve eaten roasted crickets and other bugs, deep fried maggots drizzled in soy sauce, the “mystery meat” in a pot of scalding soup. Yes, I’m that crazy girl who eats fresh fruits and veggies out of a bike basket in Vietnam, or roasted guinea pig, Cuy, in Peru. (Not gunna lie, I cried afterwards, I try not to eat things I consider pets). I live by the philosophy, you have to try (almost) everything once!
Food is also a great way to make friends. When you’re shoved into a tiny bar in Spain, munching your free tapas and trying not to knock over your neighbors wine, you tend to strike up interesting conversations. Where did the food come from? I try and ask. Down the street, is the usual reply. The farm once city over. The garden in my back yard. Everyone knows where their food comes from.
I dare anyone to walk into [insert chain restaurant here] and start asking where their food comes from. Hell, most Americans don’t even know what is in the food! So why is it that you will eat a “hamburger” that’s 50% god-knows-what, but you won’t eat the steaming, fresh snapper from the shack on the beach. It tastes like the sea. at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam