I’ve always been of the persuasion that the absolute best thing about being away from home is the eating away from home part of the deal. Sure, it isn’t half bad exploring new neighbourhoods, attractions, sights and sounds, but there’s nothing I look forward to more than the prospect of new dining frontiers.
The options in all their shapes and forms are nothing less than enticing, if not completely exciting – from funky cafés with the best espressos, local specialities and street food, to the hardest to get into restaurant in town. Then of course the local markets, with all the wonderful and sometimes weird (depending on where you are travelling to) produce.
It’s no surprise that food and wine tourism has become such a huge driving force behind our holiday decision making process. As we delve more deeply into the origin and sense of place that our food derives from, the yearning for all things “local” creates a sense of authenticity to our travel experiences, as well as providing a deeper fulfilment of “giving back” to a community in an ecological sense.
When you think about it, really there is no better way to explore a region than through its food and beverage culture. Number one of course, is the promise of discovering new and delicious culinary delights – now this is a top priority on any day in any location, but it seems all the more exciting when one is in holiday mode.
And then very importantly, you have an inbuilt opportunity to learn all sorts of other things about a place – geography, geology, topography, you name it! Not to mention being part of the social demographic and immersing yourself in the culture – because, let’s face it, there’s no better way to get to know anyone than a situation where food and drink is involved.
Increasingly, the lure of the unique food and wine proposition of a region has become a powerful force in attracting visitors. Indeed, there is a “food and wine trail” that traverses the entire globe, and some lucky folks even get to make it their life’s work to reflect on their culinary adventures. Just a quick click on #foodblogger or #wineblogger on Instagram will give you some idea of the extent of this phenomenon. And the popularity of those that have made achieved success in this “field” is nothing short of astounding.
Just goes to show us how very much we love to live vicariously online – “living the dream” of making a career of travelling the globe enjoying the best of food and wine is no longer purely the premise of TV travel show presenters, but in the grasp of anyone with a passport, a bit of social media flair and handy with an iPhone camera!
But let’s face it, even if you’re not quite that ambitious and can’t afford to give up your day job to aim for the blogging stratosphere – eating and drinking in a new neighbourhood is one of the best (or if you’re very unlucky, one of the worst) parts of a trip.
In fact, if you are anything like me, you may find yourself planning your entire itinerary around the infinite possibilities inherent in the three meals of every day. Or, even bemoaning the fact that there are only so many waking hours in a day, not to mention the sad reality that there is a finite number of daily calories that are able to be consumed by one human being …
Come to think about it … might need to get out there and walk up that picturesque mountain over there, rather than just sitting there admiring it over lunch …