Lonely Planet have just released their brand new ‘Ultimate Eatlist‘ book. It’s a list of 500 amazing foodie experiences around the world. Included within their top 20 is having pinxtos in San Sebastian (this came in at number 1), eating sushi in Tokyo and pizza in Naples.

The places that made Lonely Planet’s list did so because of taste, cultural importance and the atmosphere of the locations.

This got me thinking about all the incredible food experiences around the world that I’ve enjoyed. There have been so many! I tried as many curries as possible in the north of India and enjoyed the tapas bar scene in Murcia, Spain. I’ve indulged in countless plates of pasta in Italy and fell in love with pho in Vietnam. My love for French food (and French wine!) has grown in places such as Paris, Lyon, Nantes and the south of France.
food experiences around the world

I’ve taken food tours in Paris and in Venice and written before about my love for food tours when travelling. For me, there’s no better (and more fun!) way to get acquainted with a new country or region than through it’s food.

I’ve always been fascinated with food when travelling. I’m a massive believer that you can learn so much about a place from its food and flavours. Add to this the quirky little traditions and things people do in different regions and countries when it comes to eating and it’s all pretty fascinating.

Restaurants across the globe are so different. In some countries, there are specific customs to abide by and things you should and shouldn’t do when eating. All of this provides a wonderful insight into the country and culture in question.
food experiences around the world

The diversity that can be found in food – the flavours, textures, colours, smells – is amazing. And so are all the different eating experiences you can have around the world.

So many places around the world have dishes that are typical of the region and the reasons behind this can be so interesting. For example, haggis was created hundreds of years ago as a cheap meal that was easy to use up the remains of an animal that otherwise might not be eaten. Indian cooking contains many spices because spices have always been readily available in India.

This is true of most traditional foods from a country or region. They generally come from what was available for use from ancient times and so by learning about a countries food history, you can learn a lot about the country in general too.

Another thing about food experiences that fascinates me is how different peoples tastes and perceptions affect their experiences. Those who love spicy food will likely adore Asian cuisine, but those who loathe spice may find it difficult to find food to suit their taste buds.  This, in turn, may influence their feelings of the country as a whole. If you love the food of a place or country then this will also likely positively influence your feelings about the place.
food experiences around the world

The one thing I can suggest is to be open to all of the food experiences that you come across when travelling. Try everything once, even if you think you won’t like it. You might just be surprised.

Where have you had your best food experiences around the world?