Travelling is for me definitely connected with eating and discovering new flavors. I would like to share with you my personal and fully subjective ranking of the countries I’ve visited so far with the best food.
I need to say that usually I try to choose travel destinations not only in terms of the attractions but also in terms of cuisine. And yes, I can travel to some place only because there is something special to eat (or drink) there 😉
Ready? Lets start!
Italy is one of my favorites countries not only in terms of food but in term of everything. People, atmosphere, attractions, nature, sights! Each year we try to visit Italy at least once, this is not so difficult when we have only 300 km to the boarder. Both me and my husband are extremely pasta lovers, literally we could eat pasta everyday! Yes, yes gluten is an integral part of our diet. Of course we cannot look so narrow and see Italian cooking as only pasta and pizza. There is much more than that! One of the things I love is that in each region the food is different and cuisine is very versatile. Starting from the north where there are plenty of meat dishes, polenta or rice, going through (in my opinion the best mountains in the world) Dolomites, where the food has big Austrian influence and finishing on the very south on Sicily having a dinner with seafood, ricotta and pistachio. Lets not forget the desserts, which are not only the tiramisu or gelato, try delizia al limone in Amalfi coast or Cannolo in Sicily and you will fall in love with these immediately. It then doesn’t matter if we are in Rome eating carbonara, having a pizza in Napoli or a steak in Florence. Italians love their food and so does everyone else around the world! Remember then, when live gives you the lemons – make limoncello! 🙂
Who would have guessed that USA would be on the list? When you think about the american food you think only fast food, fatty and not healthy? Oh, this is so wrong! Maybe this is not the best travel destination if you are on a diet and maybe there is still many fast foods and you need to choose the restaurant wisely? Yes, but USA is definitely a place for a foodie and the best if a foodie likes so called food porn. Specially in big cities the choice of the places where to eat is unbelievable, you can have everything you wish for or your belly desires. You want a insta-style healthy bowl, there you go! Typical american burger, but the slow food style not fast food style? Mexican, tacos, burritos – the best in the world for me! Soul food cooking from the south like fried chicken (please no KFC!), shrimps and grits or traditional american bbq? All there and much more! Are you hungry now?
Flavors, smells… Sweet and sour and salty and spicy… The real Thai cuisine is a specific blend of spices, ingredients and love. During our journey in Thailand I learnt a lot about the food and I definitely discovered new, exciting flavors. The best food you can have is often on the street, the streets are full of live with plenty of locals and tourist strolling around searching for the best pad thai. Hot weather and hot dishes surprisingly work together very well, and even in a tropical island spicy green or red curry is a like a blessing. Top attraction will be a cooking class, which even for not extremely food lovers could be a magical experience and on top of that you will learn how to bring this magic and repeat it at home.
This shouldn’t be a surprise, I think Japan is one of the food lovers' top destination. Japanese cuisine is well known all around the world and its unique, but classic flavors make it totally worth to travel there. There are many specific ingredients and dishes which cannot be found elsewhere, even though nowadays we live in a world of ramen and sushi and these dishes are easy available. Specially lately there is big, lets say, fashion for Japanese, what makes it even more desirable. If authentic ramen or udon, can be found outside Japan, sushi is definitely exclusive experience and it is different at its origin. Being in Kioto, do not miss Kaiseki style meal, many small, but special dishes let you see how authentic cooking looks like. The obvious conclusion after travelling there is that Japanese people definitely live to eat not the opposite.
This small country has a really big heart! Of course for cooking, but also for people. Do you want to feel how the real generosity and hospitality looks like? Go to Georgia! I still remember the taste of some of the dishes… We were there few years ago, still before many tourists, and there was no such thing like a „tourist trap” restaurants, which are the real plague in Western Europe (including Italy). In Georgia everywhere you go, everything was simply good. People always wanted you to be happy and make you smile with the food. It was quite easy though, when I had Khachapuri (baked bread with plenty of cheese and egg) or the most famous Khinkali (traditional meat filled dumplings) I felt quite like in heaven. There are plenty to dishes to try: different meats of course, but also vegetarians will like this country too. Many traditional things are made with beans and there are plenty of salads and veggie based delicacies. My recommendation: try aubergines filled with walnuts paste and beetroots with plums sauce and coriander. Being in Georgia one cannot forget about Georgian wine, specially from very famous region – Kachetia, locals drink it basically all the time. If you prefer something stronger after a big meal, cha cha is the drink to try.
So this was my ranking, I hope I gave you some inspirations 🙂
Let me know if you have been in any of those places or maybe you have some others favorite?