Even while traveling, that familiar mantra rings true. Eating local is not only better for you, it’s also better for the environment. A good way to help offset your carbon travel footprint (something that is in the back of our minds all the time now) is to eat food grown and produced locally, thus eliminating carbon costs.
Not only that, it also gives you a great feel for the locale you’re visiting. Scotland would not be Scotland without the haggis. Japan would not be Japan without the tuna. France would not be France without the wine and cheese.
I am always dismayed when I see travelers eating at such American institutions as McDonald’s and KFC. Oftentimes these places are overrun by white faces far from home, each one gushing at how their fast food morsels taste ‘just like home!’
Why travel across the world to get the same crappy KFC basket that you could have gotten two blocks from your home? It will never make sense to me.
If you’re a picky eater, or a eater unwilling to overcome misconceptions, then plan your trips accordingly. If you don’t, or are unwilling, to like Chinese food, don’t go to China! I have met people who proudly proclaim that they eat little more than bread and water because they just don’t do Country X’s cuisine.
Tip of the day: try not to be one of those people.
As a caveat, I love all food. Most of my best travel experiences have involved food to some extent, food that I wouldn’t normally get the chance to enjoy in my everyday life. Don’t be afraid to eat a bug or two, an organ or two, things unidentifiable to our unaccustomed Western eyes.
And always know that people before and after you will enjoy the same thing. Know that anything can be prepared well, according to almost anyone’s taste and that bull testicles always taste better fresh from the source, not shipped off, deep fried and served on a styrofoam McDonald’s tray.