The world on a plate…

2 11 2010

One of the things that has struck me on more than one occasion is the massive variation in what we eat around the world. For me a major part of the travel experience is with the local food. Perhaps this is why I “am packing” ? I don’t mean weapons either !

Seriously though, you can kind of tell the background of local types by their dishes. Where I come from (Liverpool), the speciality is a dish called “Scouse”. It’s actually where “Scousers” get their name from. Scouse is a very plain yet hearty dish. Traditionally it’s made with leftover meats, vegetables and a metric tonne of potatoes. It’s a poor man’s dish, originally adapted from a Norwegian recipe “Lobscouse”. Similar “one-pot” meals are prevalent in other areas where times have been hard.

The biggest national variation in foods in my opinion is at breakfast times. Us Brit’s are famous for a “Full English”. A Full English consists of a coronary inducing amount of bacon, sausages, eggs and another Brit speciality “Black Pudding”. I’ll explain ‘ black pud’ a different time. Nowadays most Brit’s breakfast fare is the humble if not boring cereal.

Then we move onto our cousins across the pond. Equally as fatty, the Americans present such delights as pancakes with buttermilk, streaky bacon, hash browns and all manner of muffins. A serious calorie overload (but v tasty) !

The North Europeans are fairly similar. Sliced meats, cold cheeses, and various fishy thingies. Southern Europeans have sliced spiced meats such as salami and cheeses. I experienced curry for breakfast in the Maldives, which certainly set you up for the day !

Now, onto the Asian’s…and obviously with my recent travels it’s really got me thinking about all things breakfasty. In Asia, anything goes for breakfast. Soup, dim sum, duck, cakes…whatever. Does it taste good ? Well let’s have it for breakfast !

What’s my point I hear you mutter ? Firstly, there should be a serious study of the worlds breakfast habits. We are all told how breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet due to our “country conditioning” we tend to opt for the “norm”. Is this one of the reasons that Asian people tend to be more happy and content than us Westerners ?

My other point, and this is a bit of a rant…

It drives me insane when someone goes to the trouble of travelling abroad, and yet won’t try the local food. How are they possibly experiencing the local culture (ignoring any bacterial references) ? They should embrace the culture and the culinary delights that are on offer. I have to point out that I did refuse raw chicken once in Japan, I did not want to experience that type of culture !

Throw caution to the wind, and try new foods.

Open your mouth, fill it (now then) and open your mind.

Soap box has been put away now. Is it time for my Xanax already Doctor…

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2 responses

4 11 2010
dannyllama

Hey Alana,

Thanks for the comment. I only spent a few days in Oz and that was years ago so my breakfast study would not be applicable there ! However I thought that it was a bottle of VB ?

Once you get over the thought of what Black Pud is, it’s actually very tasty.

12 11 2010
Tiny Temper

Great post – there could be a book in this, y’know. Trying local food is all well and good, but would you be happy eating penis or testicles? Did you see An Idiot Abroad? Made my stomach churn just to watch! 🙂

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