Bon Appetit!

Simply put I love food. It is one of my favourite aspects of travel.

I am one of the only people I know who can go to Asia and come home 10 pounds heavier.  If I really like something I will eat it every single day without fail. In Thailand I could have eaten coconut sticky rice with mango or pad thai for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In Vietnam there was the pho and don’t even get me started on the curries in Cambodia. YUM! Thinking about it now makes my mouth water… I’d go back to some of these places for the food alone.

Pad Thai – a staple in my diet while in Thailand!

Street food in Bangkok

Having gone from eating oatmeal every meal while backpacking in Australia (food here is pricey for a traveller on a budget), I was eager to get to Asia where I knew I could eat to my heart’s content for a mere fraction of the price.

I quickly realized that you’re much better off eating with the locals because that’s where the good meals are much more likely to be found. If the menu isn’t in English (and there are no English speakers present), sometimes you have to point and hope you’re getting something you’ll enjoy.

Street food in Lijiang, China

For some strange reason, I take a certain enjoyment out of trying seemingly gross things that I would never ever consider eating at home.  I guess it makes things feel like more of an adventure! The memories from these meals are often some of the funniest.

Here are a few of my favourite travel food memories:

Mystery meat hot pot in Hanoi, Vietnam. We had the waitress at this restaurant pick this for us since the menu was entirely in Vietnamese. We sat on children’s sized plastic stools, at an equally small table with all the locals out on the sidewalk. We were served a steaming bowl of noodle soup, surrounded by every imaginable type of meat, which we then cooked in the soup.  I have no idea what exactly I was eating but I think there was some liver, stomach and intestines in there. From what animal I have no clue! I ate as much as I could, but I’m not going to lie, I found it pretty disgusting. I had a hard time believing the other travellers I was with were actually enjoying the food.

Kangaroo on the barbie in Sydney. A friend that I had met in Vietnam a year earlier invited my roommates and I over for an Aussie barbeque. After a five hour coastal walk and an afternoon on some pretty incredible hidden beaches, a bbq was the perfect way to end the day.  We had quite the feast which included kangaroo steaks and multiple glasses of wine. The steak was pretty tough and chewy – I wasn’t a big fan. Wouldn’t rush to try it again, but it made for a great experience!

Maggots in China. These were served to us alongside a beer we’d ordered one afternoon. To be honest, I only ate it for the bragging rights. Although I still haven’t figured out why it’s something worth telling people. Didn’t taste like anything in particular, maybe potato chips, but they weren’t nearly as bad as on might expect.

Over the bridge noodles in Yunnan province, China. These are quite the popular dish in this region of China. Along with your bowl of noodle soup, you’re given a dozen little side dishes with things to put in the soup. This is where it can get interesting. These can include eggs, vegetables, mystery meats, bugs and in one case a deep fried baby duck (or maybe it was a chicken). It made me sad looking at this poor deep fried creature and I couldn’t bring myself to eat it.

“Over the Bridge Noodles” in Kunming, China

Traditional Laos meal in Vientiane, Laos.  This included a plate of crickets – I think this was part of the reason the group of us ordered this meal. Crickets aren’t all that bad. Much like maggots, they kind of taste like deep fried potato chips. I thought we’d get a few, but they gave us a dinner plate full of them! The funniest part was that they were the best part of the entire dinner.

I could go on…but I think I’ll leave it at that for now. Don’t get me wrong, I have had plenty of outstanding meals, but these dishes all stood out. Maybe it was because of the company, the laughs and the memories associated with each, or maybe it was the fact that some of this stuff was downright gross but I can remember each of these experiences vividly.

What’s your favourite travel meal memory? I am sure I’ll have more to add to this at a later date, but until then bon appetit!

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About AdventuressAbroad

adventure seeker.traveling lover.occasional PR professional.

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