The Wild Pair

Tasty Adventures

In Travel Tips on July 22, 2008 at 7:06 pm

The Wild Pair knows that the way to a great trip is often through your stomach. Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, carnivore or omnivore, what you eat on the road sometimes lasts as long or longer in your memory than other trip adventures.

So here are some of our fave food tips for your culinary enjoyment.

1. THE PRICE IS ALWAYS RIGHT

It doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. Your lip-smacking adventure can be at a rib joint in Kansas, a street food stall in Thailand, a picnic in the south of France or around a campfire after a safari in Africa. Once you decide to have a foodie experience, look for options and don’t let expense guide your choice.

2. A QUESTION OF MOOD

Sometimes the key to great eats is to follow your mood and let it dictate your choice. Just because brochures and guidebooks recommend a dining experience, it may not be right for you on a particular day or at a specific time.

Do you want a long, lingering culinary experience? An intimate, romantic treat? Something noisy and exciting? Casual? Check your inclination before you make a decision.

3. GREAT EXPECTATIONS

Go to every dining experience with an open mind and palate. If you decide in advance what it will be like, you’re likely to be disappointed.

Select. Go. Order. See what happens.

4. THE RAW DEAL

If you are traveling abroad and do not want to take chances with your digestive tract, order cooked food. Don’t eat ANYTHING raw. Not even a sassy little sprig of parsley. No ice. No fruit without a thick peel. Nothing that has been standing out too long. These few rules can make a huge difference. You don’t want to spend all that hard-earned money contemplating the dÈcor of bathrooms.

5. THE GREAT EXPERIMENT

Try food that is new to you. Travel is about broadening your experience. Order a plate of krill in South America. Try mushroom fungus in Mexico. Sip hibiscus tea in Egypt. Experiment with cheeses in Wisconsin. Sample eel. What have you got to lose? If you don’t like it–you can push it aside and order something else.

6. GO WHERE THE LOCALS GO

Ask your guide or cab driver where she or he eats. Write down the name and get directions. Go there. You’ll have an authentic dining experience.

If you ask the concierge in a hotel about food recommendations, ask him where he eats. Go there.

7. LEARN TO SAY NO

If you are served something you don’t like, don’t fuss. Push it around your plate with your fork and no one will know you didn’t eat it. You are never obliged to eat anything you don’t like. Ever. Even if your host is momentarily taken aback, a quick explanation about a food allergy or dietary restriction will smooth it over. This is one of the few cases in life where lying is okay. Better to lie than to lie in bed with a belly ache.

8. HIGHER UPS

If you are climbing a mountain, re-think the drink. Alcohol will affect you more strongly at higher altitudes. So watch how much you drink and know when to say no. Drink plenty of water.

9. SPLURGE

If you really want a special meal but are on the fence about spending the money on it, go for it. Order less alcohol with your meal to save money. Don’t order more than one appetizer. But don’t pass up the chance for a culinary experience of a lifetime.

10. QUESTIONS TO ASK

What is the special of the day? Of the house? What is the house cocktail? Is service included? What do most people order? Is there a chef’s tasting menu?

The Wild Pair wishes you bon voyage and bon appetit!


ABOUT THE WILD PAIR: Ellen Barone and Judith Fein,

They’re smart, sassy, savvy, award-winning travel journalists and photographers and now they’ve joined forces to become THE WILD PAIR, bringing you cutting-edge information and tips on how to turn your next vacation into a life-enhancing experience.

© Ellen Barone and Judith Fein. All Rights Reserved.

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