Making The Most Of Foreign Food: The Dos And Don’ts Of Eating Abroad

What’s your go-to takeaway? Chinese, Indian or Greek? Something a little more out of the ordinary, perhaps? Australia’s restaurant and takeaway scene has flourished in recent years nationwide, but there truly is nothing like sampling authentic food in its own backyard.

Sampling new styles can be a daunting prospect. There’s nothing worse than having to ask how to use the correct utensils or biting into a cold dish you thought was warm – doing a little homework before you chow down can make your overseas culinary experience a whole lot easier. Check out our whistle-stop guide to making the most of foreign food whilst you’re abroad.

Get to Know Their Dishes

Sushi” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by IQRemix

Whether you research before you go, or you simply try everything on the local takeaway menu, it’s worth learning a little bit about the cuisine before you get to the country you’re having your holiday in. There are plenty of ways to do this, from looking for information online, to that all-important taste test. And you needn’t travel the world first! For example, if you’ve a trip to Thailand on the horizon, you can order a range of Thai dishes from any local takeaway. In general, you should try to learn some words to describe the food in any given country as well. Some menus won’t always be in English, and there are bound to be some language barriers along the way, especially in restaurants a little off the beaten track. Learn to recognise a few of the basics to avoid a pang of embarrassment.

Take A Cooking Class

When you travel, it’s important to learn something from the country you visit. Who says this can’t be food related? Not us! Taking a cooking class can be a great way to learn about different cultures, and their culinary offerings to the world. There are plenty of different kinds of treats that you can learn to make, from authentic pastas from scratch in Italy, to Tapas in Spain, and all kinds of Asian cuisine like rolling your own sushi as well. There are some fabulous ones worldwide – so why not take a look?

You’ll have fun, you get to eat, and you pick up a new skill – what’s not to like?!

Linguine alle Vongole” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by micurs

Eat With Locals

Eat with people who are really familiar with the cuisine that you want to try, or ask locals where the best place to eat might be. This is a good idea for a number of reasons, not least because it’ll help you make friends! If you’re more partial to a quiet meal and don’t fancy small talk, however, local hotel workers or neighbours will also have the best recommendations on which restaurants are getting it right.

They can also use their knowledge of the language of the place you’re in to communicate if you have any allergies or special requests. This can make the whole experience better and more authentic for you. Enjoy eating abroad, and be open-minded about trying new things. Don’t just stick to what you know – it’s all part of the experience of soaking up another culture!

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