Why Focus on Food When You Travel?
When I travel to a new place, I often make checklists of sights to see and placesto stop and visit along the way. I want to understand what makes the country I’m visiting di
erent, be it through the history of its buildings or UNESCOsites, or through the beauty of its landscapes. Examining a country throughits food is another angle of understanding, an all-encompassing snapshot of what a place has to o
er. In fact, I would argue that it is the most compellingtool we can use as travelers to discover the wonder of a new country or region.Food hasn’t caused me to ignore my checklists or the more established sightsin a country – I just save them for later. My
rst option for discovering theculture and history of a place is now eating and observation,
lling in the gapsthat guidebooks and history books cannot capture with ease.
e ancillary bene
ts to focusing on my plate have been as important as the taste of thefood itself: observing the rhythms of mealtimes and the constrained chaosinvolved in preparing and enjoying food.Instead of seeing eating as a necessity, I encourage you to view it as a lesson increativity, the same way that you would approach planning the other elementsof your trip.But it is not just about learning.
ere are other compelling reasons to eat yourway around the world instead of just visiting it.
e Art of Food Presentation
In a world of easily accessible photography and photo sharing, capturing thevisual element of food has become a lasting way to record your feelings abouta new place. Supermarkets, food stalls and even corner fruit shops are a feastfor the eyes, allowing you to compare what you know against what you arediscovering.Many countries also focus on the visual in presenting their meals. In Japan,for example, the supermarkets sell food in delicate bento boxes, carefully prepared and perfectly stacked.
, a multi-course traditional Japanese