Do you know that you can explore a locale through its food alone? Food offers travellers a personal peek into a country’s culture, a taste of what sustains them.
This is why we strongly recommend not to miss out on the local cuisine offered by the country you’re visiting — to try to eat everything local as much as possible.
Local cuisine will help you connect intimately with a place’s culture and get even more meaningful experiences than you would otherwise.
Still not convinced? Well then, let us take you through the reasons you should explore local cuisine whenever you travel!
1. Local Cuisine Is Part of a Country’s Culture
It’s no secret that travellers typically head for the tourist spots in a location. It’s rare to hear from a traveller that their purpose in travelling is to taste what a country’s cuisine has to offer.
While there’s nothing wrong with doing the usual tourist trip, local cuisine offers just as much culture as tourist sites do — sometimes even more.
It’s deeply rooted in the daily life and experiences of its people. They cook and eat it daily, and their history and natural resources shaped it.
That’s why sampling local fare can help travellers connect deeper with a country’s very soul.
2. Local Food Supports Small Communities
Since visiting a foreign country helps travellers grow in various ways, it’s only proper to give back to the local community as thanks for that.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to support local cuisine by eating at restaurants owned by small business owners.
In areas where tourism is at its peak, some business owners choose to open fast food restaurants to pander to the tastes of Western tourists. This could drown out local restaurants and push them out of business.
In other words, a small amount of money spent on local restaurants will go a long way to keeping their business and country’s culture alive.
3. Local Cuisine Forces You out of the Comfort Zone
Going beyond your comfort zone means finding the courage to try out things you aren’t very comfortable with. Every traveller needs to muster up enough courage to taste foreign, unusual-looking food.
If you’ve gotten used to eating the same type of food every day, tasting unusual-looking food can definitely get a bit scary, but it’s a risk that comes with huge rewards.
Migrationology adds that foreign methods of cooking and ingredients may seem alien at first, but they’re ultimately what make local cuisine a lot more fascinating and rewarding to eat.
4. Local Food Benefits the Environment
Unlike eating at fast food chains, checking out local restaurants is beneficial to the environment.
That’s because locally grown ingredients don’t need to be transported to cities across long distances… which means they have a smaller carbon footprint.
On top of that, local farmers are also known for using safe, environmentally friendly, and sustainable farming methods.
So, eating local cuisine means not only supporting locals’ livelihood but making their home country a lot better to live in.
5. Local Cuisine Uses Fresh Ingredients
It’s no secret that if you want to know where the best organic and fresh produce is sold, you should stay away from chain supermarkets and check out small local markets. These are the same markets that most small local eateries use, naturally!
So, dining at small local restaurants can actually help you ensure you’re getting your quota of fresh, organic, and nutrient-rich food as you travel. That’s beneficial in more ways than one!
For instance, registered dietician Sarah Kozsyk says that it’s important for travellers to consume nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits while on a trip. These provide them with nutrients that will keep them energised while exploring.
In line with that, specialists from Dermatologist Singapore told us that eating such nutrient-rich fare can also protect one of the parts of the body the biggest beating during travels: the skin.
Sticking to fresh produce and nutritious food, they said, will help you maintain the health of your skin while travelling. That can make a difference if you’re going to places with extreme weather conditions — ones that can take a toll on the skin.
Anyway, that’s our list of reasons why every traveller should check out local cuisine while on the road. Now you know how rewarding it is to take risks and be curious when it comes to local food.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s something that comes with huge rewards. So, go ahead and prepare for a culinary adventure on your next vacation!