Do you try new foods when traveling?

Old Jan 18th, 2023, 12:31 PM
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,595
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by carolyn View Post
We had delicious, very thin crust, best ever pizza in Oslo. Found that mint sauce for lamb in Scotland is nothing like mint jelly. Hamburgers are best at home. YMMV.
Originally Posted by tom42 View Post
One of my fondest travel memories is sitting in an elevated outodoor restaurant in Lahaina overlooking the ocean, eating a cheeseburger and drinking a beer. It was heaven. But I get your point. I rarely order burgers for dinner when on vacation. Besides, the few times I have ordered burgers outside the US, they just aren't right.
Some places do try some different things. Eggs are a common ingredient in Europe.

Also maybe they have generally higher-quality sourcing for the meats and cheese though that's far from guaranteed.

As someone else noted, they're quick and convenient. If you're hungry and want something as fast as possible or if you want to eat quickly because you have a busy itinerary on a particular day.

scrb11 is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 12:32 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 10,596
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
mlgb - you reminded me that we tried durian ice cream and dried durian (I didnít see fresh, I think it was out of season) in Penang. It wasnít bad enough to actually make me gag but it wasnít very nice. I would actually taste fresh durian just to say Iíd done it.
Florida1 is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 12:47 PM
  #23  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,595
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by UdderlyHopeless View Post
I like to try new things and I have a dull palate so I can eat most flavorings (e.g., very spicy) without problem. But I do not try new things if they fall under certain categories such as blood, organ meat, pork, octopus, dog.
Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
No dogs horses etc. but yes to bunnies , lambs and octopus.
That raises another issue, wasn't sure if it should be another thread or part of this one.

A person's willingness to try different foods may be informed by emotional or intellectual considerations more than curiosity or appetite.

For instance, notion of eating dogs is verboten in Western culture because of the emotional ties. But things like horses and pigeons are popular in some European cuisines while Americans won't partake.

Then I've heard recently that some people won't eat octopus because they're intelligent creatures, so kind of anthropomorphic reasons, that is dogs are man's best friend, dolphins are as smart as humans, etc.

There are a lot of practical reasons for these. Until factory farming of some meat and seafood staples -- beef, pork, poultry, fish, etc. -- people consumed things like dogs, horses, pigeons as well as organ meats. That's what a lot of these dishes reflect, that animal protein scarcity means they had fewer options than we do.

Certainly these preferences have environmental and climate implications. I'm not advocating for consuming these kinds of foods, which cause visceral reactions in many people.

But at least in the industrialized world, maybe we're not as adventurous as we think at trying different cuisines. Maybe our tastes have been shaped by availability of foods.

When we choose where to travel and read up on those places, there's a lot of content out there about local cuisine and dishes to try in these destinations. These older cultures are able to maintain centuries-old traditions better than America. So you see Bourdain eating bloody eel soups or bloody pork dishes in Portugal which even some of the most adventurous eaters would balk at.
scrb11 is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 12:52 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,521
Received 42 Likes on 2 Posts
I stay away from hamburger meat if outside my home country. I have been severely disappointed when I have so decided, it’s not worth it. The same goes for hot dogs and sausages. I may on occasion try but it doesn’t happen often. I stick with chicken and fish but depends on the kind of fish as I don’t like many vegetables. I often get tired of certain foods when traveling and it’s only been a week away. I do judge and not afraid to admit it. If it doesn’t smell or look good, I am not touching it.
sassy27 is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 01:08 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 23,131
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've had cuy (guinea pig), pork and pigeon so it has more to do with my personal "emotional" connection to particular pets than with how cute or intelligent a species is. Lambies and bunnies are pretty cute but I've not had one as a pet. Pigs are darn smart. My SIL won't eat octopus because she saw "My Octopus Teacher".

After having a bad reaction to mussels I am more cautious about eating mollusks etc. I have not tried goose barnacles and probably won't if given the chance. I do like the "blood" (or black) clams that you find in Ecuador and the north coast of Peru. I have also had them in Korean restaurants here in the States as a banchan side but I probably would avoid them in the future for fear of the source and lack of sustainability.

Last edited by mlgb; Jan 18th, 2023 at 01:41 PM.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 03:38 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 6,228
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yo TW, our experience with food in China was that the deeper we went into the country, the less often we encountered anything resembling international-style 'Chinese food.' Mrs Z and I encountered dishes that to this day, we're still not sure what they were.
Some other suggestions:

-Chicha morada i.e. blue corn juice (actually more purple), available in Peru.
-Raw sea urchin; surprisingly sweet and found around the Mediterranean.
-Cavaillon melon--found in season throughout Provence--do not settle for less.
-Turku yinklar fodorzii--a quince/ricotta dessert; you won't want to leave Istanbul.
-unagi: eel sushi; our fave food in Japan.

* bonus: ume juice, which is cold plum nectar from public drink dispensing machines in Japan= ambrosia on a hot summer's day.
**bonuser: interesting state in India to try new foods = Gujarat.
*** bonusest: gelsi neri, the rare Puglian mulberry granite/ice available in Polignano.

I am done. the mystery meat
zebec is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 03:50 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 9,819
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 1 Post
Of course. Also burgers, when I grow tired of the local offerings (in England and French cafes, anyway).
Best steaks ever were in Scotland.
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 03:53 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 19,030
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
[QUOTE=zebec;17430390]Yo TW, our experience with food in China was that the deeper we went into the country, the less often we encountered anything resembling international-style 'Chinese food.' Mrs Z and I encountered dishes that to this day, we're still not sure what they were.
----------
And when you went to a Market in China, rats were for sale.

So zebec if you have any pictures of what you ate in China....given them a second look.!!!


Percy is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 03:54 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 19,030
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
[QUOTE=zebec;17430390]Yo TW, our experience with food in China was that the deeper we went into the country, the less often we encountered anything resembling international-style 'Chinese food.' Mrs Z and I encountered dishes that to this day, we're still not sure what they were.
----------
And when you went to a Market in China, rats were for sale.

So zebec if you have any pictures of what you ate in China....given them a second look.!!!



Percy is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 04:38 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,299
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, Zebec, do provide pics if you have them. We were served jelly fish at almost every meal (nic-named rubber bands for us) and pigeons and other things, as well. I admit I'm not a terribly adventurous eater... the duck was pretty wonderful and it was probably the first time (back in 2000) I'd heard of eating beef cheeks.
Trophywife007 is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 04:56 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 23,131
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
See, there is nothing in zebec's list that I haven't experienced as an ingredient if not a composed dish. All of it is readily available in California (including eel sushi and chicha morada). I can't stand uni and first had it as an initiation during my SCUBA checkout dive. It is harvested for export in California as well as for local consumption.
We call those melons Charentais and you can find them in supermarkets.
Never had ume juice, just umeboshi which is kinda gross (too salty) but just use a little bit as a seasoning.

Now if you want to try a really yucky Japanese food, natto is your man. Even in my BFF's extended family, only a few would eat it, including the older generations. She likes it, I tried one bite and that was enough. And I like slimy foods like boba, tapioca and boiled okra.


Last edited by mlgb; Jan 18th, 2023 at 04:59 PM.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 06:31 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,252
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Maybe hamburgers have become so ubiquitous because they are so good! TBH, though, I don't eat whatever Mickey D sells under that label. One of the best burgers we ever had on the road was at a Burger King in Bavaria.
Seamus is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 08:09 PM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,225
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
I now avoid hamburgers when traveling abroad. A few that I had in the past tasted like mutton. Not lamb. Mutton.
I have been semi-adventurous in eating and enjoying crocodile, kangaroo and wallaby in Australia, haggis in Scotland, and any number of strange foods in Japan. In fact, my Japanese colleagues would set dishes before me and dare me to try them. I didn't disappoint them. The seafood was good for the most part. But some of the fermented foods smelled and tasted like they were retrieved from sewers.
Regarding steak, the best I have ever had was bisteca fiorentino in Tuscany prepared over an open wood fire.
​​​​​
Dave_Ohio is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 08:17 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 4,299
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Regarding steak, the best I have ever had was bisteca fiorentino in Tuscany prepared over an open wood fire."

There was a restaurant in Switzerland that did that. Very nice indeed.
Trophywife007 is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 08:34 PM
  #35  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 13,712
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I try local foods as long as they're within what I will eat which has changed over the decades. Since the mid-70s, I totally gave up meat and then a bit later gave up poultry. Plus, I have to stay clear of my two deathly food allergies of corn and chocolate and also dairy, to some extent, but not butter. I didn't always have those food allergies. But, eating has shifted over the decades. However, if local foods fall into my food categories, then I try them. Plus, since the early/mid 70s, I've been away overseas on average from 3 weeks to 10 weeks straight, so I'm not going to only eat local food if I get tired of it. I will then eat something different. Although I love Japanese food, and ate it a lot as a kid, at some point within my three-week trips to Japan, it's time to switch to some other kind of food. It's the same wherever I go. I eat a variety of food types here at home in L.A. and do the same overseas. I remember when I was in Milan in 2017, my American friend, who lives in Italy, and I ate Italian food some days, but then I needed a switch and we accidentally found a Japanese restaurant and ate there.
Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 08:52 PM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 14,174
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
Like many here, a big part of the interest & joy of travelling for me is to try new foods and ingredients. I try to get a cooking school/class with a visit to a market before the class into my Itinerary whenever possible. Typically, if I see something I don't know what is on a menu, I'll order it. I might/might not ask the waiter what it is first. That's how I discovered squid cooked in its own ink served over polenta. One of my favourite dishes.

It's frustrating to go to a place and have the dishes "westernised" because our appearance makes the staff/owners think we wouldn't want the local version. That was the experience in Bhutan until a couple of us finally took our guides aside & said we would not eat one more palid product of the bain marie and to please take us to their local eateries. They did and it was much more interesting and tasty fare. One of the curiosities there was that there were many roadside sellers with buckets of asparagus for sale, yet not once were we offered asparagus in any of the hotels or restaurants. Once we asked them to take us to the local hang-outs, asparagus and a delicious long green thing like snake beans, and a green grassy vegetable appeared, with liberal amounts of chilli & seasoning. Delicious!

Hamburgers: I only eat them here at a couple of places where I know they make the real deal - not those frightful "patties" made from gawdonlyknowswhatscraps. Or if I make them myself. Probably 3-4 a year, tops. I've had McDonalds a couple of times but - not my thing. I don't think it would occur to me to order them overseas. Away, my "go to" if I'm sick of whatever the local food is would probably be a steak or lamb. Maybe a whole small fish & vegetables. Steamed or pan-fried.

I've eaten most of the things on Zebec's list. Not the S/American juices. I'm not mad about sea urchin, but its roe is just a step too briny for me. Tastes like what I imagine the sludge on an old wellington boot buried in the ocean mud for a few years would taste to me

I wouldn't knowingly eat horse or dog; am fine with most offal. Have eaten but don't love sheep's & fish eyes.

We were eating grass-fed, nose-to-tail long before there was a fashion or probably even the terms for it. Bred, killed, dressed and ate our own sheep, cattle & pigs. What we didn't eat ourselves went to the working dogs, so there was no waste.

And yes, at various times we did have pet lambs, foals, calves, piglets and kangaroo joeys who had been orphaned. None of them ended up on our plates though. The sheep, cattle & pigs all had multiple ear-marks and tags so everyone knew they were former pets and thus "sacred". We shore the sheep but the others just had a free ride, the boys were castrated.
Which brings me to the "prairie oysters". Mmmm... had them, chewy & not terrible, but not something I'd go looking for either.

I'm guessing not many of you have tried emu eggs. They are delicious. Rich, creamy and about equivalent to a dozen mid-sized hen's eggs. I also like duck & quail eggs.


Last edited by Bokhara2; Jan 18th, 2023 at 08:55 PM.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 09:18 PM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 59,665
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We used to have an emu farm near us in MA so we often ate the huge eggs.
they were fun.

jubilada is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2023, 10:39 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 14,174
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
Originally Posted by jubilada View Post
We used to have an emu farm near us in MA so we often ate the huge eggs.
they were fun.
One of my favourites is curried, scrambled emu egg.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2023, 03:33 AM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,702
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I knew our relationship wouldn't last long when we double dated at a Chinese restaurant in Boston and my boyfriend ordered steak and asked for a bottle of ketchup.

I think my trip to Italy a few years ago was great fun since we don't have good Italian restaurants near us. My first ten days were with a small group so we had the same private van drivers the whoLe time. One said he once was asked to find a Starbucks and he wanted to tell the family to get out of his car. We were staying in a very small town near the Amalfi coast. Our lunches were at wonderful restaurants in the popular towns we explored but our suppers were usually something modest and simple. We were supposed to dine at a local restaurant our last night but it turned out not to be open that night. We ended up at a local pizza place that was in the basement of a farmhouse. Our trip leader offered to translate the menu if a dish looked interesting. One person decided to try the pizza American style. Our trip leader said maybe her Italian wasn't good enough since the description didn't make sense to her. Well, the lady ordered it anyway. It certainly made us laugh. The pizza was topped with hot dogs and french fries.
At one lunch I decided to try the deep fried seafood medley which, of course, was not at all like what we get in New England. I liked all of it very much exept the deep fried little fish. Can'tremember if they were fresh anchovies or something else. Since they were whole I wasn't sure about eating the heads and after about two fish I decided to share the rest with the table.


dfrostnh is online now  
Old Jan 19th, 2023, 05:10 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,121
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Like pretty much everyone else, I enjoy trying new foods as part of the fun of traveling.

That's not to say burgers don't have any merit as a meal, just that the much higher popularity and availability may reflect travelers seeking the comfortable and the familiar rather than risk the unknown. Or they may have dined a lot of the local cuisine but wanted to take a break and have a simpler meal.

Also seeing that there's more internationalization or globalization of a lot of menus. They all offer beef, chicken and fish of some kind, usually prepared with accompaniments which are similar to what you'd find in most industrialized countries.


I don't think I agree that the presence of burger, taco, ramen, pizza, sushi, etc places in Stockholm (or anywhere) are there to give tourists a respite from the "local" cuisine. With a few obvious exceptions, restaurants are patronized by the local population. Perhaps more to your second point it's due to travel & globalization. Or maybe people just appreciate a wide variety of cuisines.

I've had an emu frittata. Similar tasting to chicken eggs but perhaps richer? Emu farms had a big moment in the US a couple of decades ago. I think their popularity dipped and leveled off. You can still find emu meat relatively easily though you have to seek it out. Not sold in your average grocery store. Eggs are scarcer and quite pricey.
obxgirl is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -