With air travel becoming more affordable every day, the world definitely appears to be getting smaller. Meanwhile, our food choices are getting even more exciting! So, where would a budding foodie start? From classics to modern culinary hotspots, you are guaranteed to find at least one gastronomic destination here to get your taste buds buzzing!
Try some authentic fusion cuisine in George Town, Penang, Malaysia
If you love Chinese food as much as you love Japanese, Thai and Indian, confidently make your way to George Town in Penang, Malaysia. Effortlessly combining influences, flavours and ingredients from across South-East Asia, George Town is known as a food mecca in Malaysia. Street food or fine-dining, you’ll find that every budget is catered for, and the quality of food is usually equally good at both ends of the spectrum. Expect plenty of noodles, seas of coconut milk and heaps of fresh coriander.
A carnivore’s paradise in Mendoza, Argentina
Probably not the best choice if you’re of a vegetarian persuasion. However, if meat is your thing then Mendoza is the place for you! Crispy meat, salted meat, grilled meat, stewed, roasted or boiled… you get the idea — meat will be on your menu! Pork back, roasted to a crackle, aromatic sausages and steak are probably the best-known local offerings. And that’s not to forget empanadas, which are the Argentinian equivalent of a pasty. These you will find on almost every street corner and with a selection of (usually meat-based) fillings.
Fresh, fragrant and flavoursome in Barcelona, Spain
Rooted firmly in tradition, the Catalan cuisine found in Barcelona is based around locally reared animals, aromatic herbs, and spices harvested on the sunny hillsides, as well as regional seafood. Head out of the city centre for a more authentic culinary experience. You can’t escape tapas or paella in Spain, but you will get excellent regional interpretations in Barcelona. And as long as you finish your meal off with Crema Catalana (a local version of crème brûlée) and a glass (or two) of Cava, you’ve done your Catalan cuisine tour of Barcelona right!
Classic cuisine of Bologna, Italy
Say “Bologna” and you’ll probably be thinking of spaghetti Bolognese. But, ironically, you’re unlikely to find this well-known dish here. You will, however, find plenty of other types of pasta and pasta-based meals. Tagliatelle, tortellini and lasagne al forno, for example, all are freshly made with the best local ingredients. Meat also plays a big part in the local cuisine. Cured, air-dried, roasted, minced or stewed, expect a variety of meaty textures, flavours and colours on your table… not forgetting shavings of parmesan, richly flavoured sauces and, of course, superb wine.
A bustling food scene in Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, is synonymous with street food. With exotic aromas wafting through the air and sizzling deliciousness all around, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to indulge. Why even bother trying? You can get a small snack or a full meal from many street-food vendors so expect plenty of noodles, stir-fries and grilled dishes. A green papaya salad is also a Thai classic. Bangkok is great fun to explore but, if you’re pressed for time, make sure to head to Wang Lang Market — THE foodie destination of the city!
The “New World” of the foodie world in Lima, Peru
Peruvian cuisine can give great insight into the country’s rich history. Cultural and geographic influences shape the flavours, and the best place to discover the variety of regional foods is in Peru’s capital, Lima. Forget roasted guinea pigs! Food here is an exciting combination of Spanish, African, Asian, French, Italian and British influences. And, with the country’s growing economy, the city’s food scene is expanding too. High-end restaurants and more modest eateries are springing up all around, attracting a truly global foodie fan base!