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Thread: Food and Travel

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    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Food and Travel



    A video preview of Jodi Ettenberg's The Food Traveler's Handbook
    Last edited by Darcy; 11-06-2012 at 02:51 PM.
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    Local food is very important to me when I travel. I have eaten at every chain restaurant in the US and I am tired of it. You learn about the locality when you eat with the locals...

    Once you leave the country I think this is even more true. Food is a necessity but there is pleasure in it. I love to find what the area considers "comfort food" and try that. Much to be learned there whether you are in Chicago or Shenzhen...

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    This is why I always say to people skip the tourist traps in the thoroughfares and go to the neighborhoods of big cities and make sure to visit the provinces of the country you are visiting.

    Unlike the U.S, many many countries use trains to link the provinces between each other and the capital, that make it easier to sample local food.

    By necessity, car travel depends on chains at rest areas and we all know about the standardized food at airports.

    France, for example, has 365 kind of cheeses, locally made ones, each "terroir" which means a small area of each province also has sweet and savory specialities as well as local wine or other beverages, including alcohol free ones.

    The same can be said of all other countries, and the bigger the country the more diverse the food.

    Do be mindful of safety and the level of spicyness or richness your body is comfortable with.

    Bring the Immodium and if you have to, order food to go and eat it at the hotel.
    Last edited by backpack; 08-13-2012 at 07:28 PM.
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    Registered User pegolas's Avatar
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    365 different cheeses sounds overwelmingly awesome. Behold the power.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegolas View Post
    365 different cheeses sounds overwelmingly awesome. Behold the power.
    This is where the cheese tray comes from. It is another course after the salad which, in France, is served after the seafood or/and meat main course and before dessert.

    People who have a taste for savory food, skip dessert.
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    Registered User pegolas's Avatar
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    I'm fairly certain if I ever made it to France I'd come back wearing pants that won't button the entire way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegolas View Post
    365 different cheeses sounds overwelmingly awesome. Behold the power.

    Multiple courses are served in restaurants with extensive menus, which are used, for family special occasions, club meetings, conventions...

    This is not the same as cafes which serve everyday meal, where there is usually the choice of a meat, a fish and, now probably a vegetarian dish and a couple of appetizers/warm sandwiches and a couple of desserts.


    As a tourist, you will walk a lot, you can even rent bikes and manned boats to have a slow, gourmet and lazy vacation along the numerous French rivers, sampling food all the while.

    You also most probably get to a main province town from Paris by train then get the boat and bikes there. The bikes are used for excursion at wine, cheese or other specialty making farms and local craft centers.

    Anything you eat will be burned out by the bike rides and the local craft can be shipped by the shop to yourself or friends.
    Last edited by backpack; 08-14-2012 at 01:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pegolas View Post
    I'm fairly certain if I ever made it to France I'd come back wearing pants that won't button the entire way.


    French portions look like the size recommended by nutritionists in the U.S.

    Furthermore, people walk a lot more and there used to be very few elevators, it must have changed to provide access to people in wheelchairs or with limited mobility.

    Gas is expensive so errands are bunched together and there is usually one or two days for farmer market in towns where farmers drive from the country.

    Those markets are always in the same place and can be accessed by bus, bike or walk depending on one's location.
    Which means carrying purchases from the market to the home.

    Between errands, house cleaning and child or dog care and getting to school or work, no need for gyms.

    Some decades ago, supermakets and convenience foods were introduced into French culture, it resulted in all of the health problems that can be see in the U.S and any other country which was invaded by convenience and fast food.

    Luckily, the health risks are now well documented and people are going back to sensible eating.
    Last edited by backpack; 08-14-2012 at 01:45 PM.

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    I live in Sydney, which is known as a 'melting pot' due to immigration. Last year, I started a new job in Liverpool (south western Sydney) which apparently has one of THE most culturally and linguistically diverse populations of any local government area. I'm discovering a whole new world of food and clothes! It's truly amazing the range of food I can get within a 1 km radius of my office. I'm discovering cultures and cuisines I had no idea existed!

    There's a show called 'A food lovers' guide to Australia' which I think is a 'must see' for anyone interested in food, and one of the hosts offers tours in Sydney. They're always booked months in advance so I haven't managed to get a spot yet!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pegolas View Post
    I'm fairly certain if I ever made it to France I'd come back wearing pants that won't button the entire way.
    Actually, I have a friend of mine who always winds up losing a few pounds every time she goes to France. For her, it's a combination of the fact that she walks and catches the Metro everywhere (versus just driving everywhere), and she eats whole foods without a lot of artificial chemicals. So she might have a baguette and cheese with some fruit, eat to her heart's content, and her body will be happy that she's not eating Doritos and fake cheese.
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    To truly experience a foreign culture, I believe one must sample the local cuisine. I never go to chain restaurants when overseas and even look for good, family owned local places in the states. I eat real food at home, why wouldn't I want to eat it when I travel?

    And unless the area is known for wine, another rule I have is to always sample the local beer.

    And as Lani noted, I too lose weight in France. The walking, the smaller portions, the fantastic flavors--I actually eat less but enjoy it more. (I'm even thinking of going to Paris for a couple of months just to drop a few pounds. )
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    JLE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    (I'm even thinking of going to Paris for a couple of months just to drop a few pounds. )
    Now there's a weight loss regimen most people could get on board with!

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    Any time we take a trip to some place other than the beach, I lose weight. The BF takes a lot of work trips where he is in meetings all day and I have time by myself so I get to wonder around whatever city we are in and explore. Despite arranging all of our free time around what/where we are eating, I still managed to lose 3 pounds while in Denver! I avoid chains like the plague. I'm always trying to find a great local place, maybe even neighborhood joint. Obviously, I ask on here as well as other travel sites. I pick my friends' brains about where they've been. I do research online. We are big time foodies so food is important when we travel, but I want to eat good while I'm away.

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    One of the constant highlights for me when travelling is going to a local grocery store. You can really experience how locals eat -- even if you don't have a kitchen -- AND you can get fantastic gifts for folks back home.
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    JLE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    (I'm even thinking of going to Paris for a couple of months just to drop a few pounds. )
    So I am in Paris for a few days and I thought I would put Frank II's theory to the test. I am sad to report that the anticipated weightloss is yet to eventuate and in fact things may be moving in the opposite direction!

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