October 22, 2018

5 destinations for food lovers!

For most of us, eating well is certainly high on the list when it comes to choosing a travel destination. If you’re the type to let your appetite guide you, the following cities may very well be the ultimate temptation.

1. Rome, Italy

Earning high praise world-wide, Italy’s capital may well be a gourmet epicentre that is sure to please. If you venture a little off the beaten path away from the tourist hotspots, you’ll discover charming trattorias like Cesare al Casaletto, which serves a pasta all gricia of mythic proportions, as well as other notables like anchovy stuffed squash flowers, lamb chops en croûte and all-natural wines.

Pizza cooked over wood fires, antipasto, charcuterie, cheese, and meat preparations that draw on science (and simplicity) are just some of the reasons Rome will satisfy the most discerning of palettes and purses. And to finish your meal there is exquisite espresso, pastries to die for and refreshing gelato of every colour and description that will add a splendid lasting touch to any feast.

2. Tokyo, Japan

It would certainly take more than a month to take full advantage of Tokyo’s food offering. After all, this is the city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants. While the sushi experience may be unforgettable, there is plenty more to sample in this city of gastronomic heights.

After a visit to the early morning tuna auction at the Tsukiji fish market (where you can shop for fresh ingredients and very nice kitchen implements), start your food adventure with a Japanese rolled omelette sold in the many little specialized shops.

For dinner, choose between the affordable but delicious ramen, grilled meat and fish, the traditional bento box and assorted tempura available just about everywhere. End the day in an izakaya – lively bistros that serve sake and hot and cold finger food – each one more delicious than the next.

3. Port-Louis, Mauritius

Mauritius is a destination within a destination. Its cuisine, as with its culture, is a melting pot of Creole, French, Chinese and Indian influences – with a typically Mauritian touch.

Try the dhal puri, a flatbread stuffed with split pea curry and chutney, or the many varieties of gajak, fried vegetable snacks sold in street stalls near the markets. Treat yourself to Sino-Mauritian dim sums and rougaille, a type of tomato sauce with garlic and onion served with fish or meat. The abundant fare from the sea will dazzle food lovers. However, those with more sensitive palettes should keep in mind that chilies are everywhere in Mauritius. Happily though there is also pineapple, vanilla, sugar (nine varieties!) and coconut in all forms possible to exquisitely temper the heat.

4. New Orleans, USA

New Orleans is known for its music and rich history, but also for its culinary wealth, and the exuberance of this town is reflected in its cuisine.

Of course, there’s the iconic gumbo – a flavourful ragout of sorts named for the West African word for okra, “gombo.” It can feature shrimp or meat, tomato rice and brown gravy, along with any number of other ingredients – and jambalaya – paella with a Creole twist garnished with ham, sausage and shrimp. Other local specialities include the po boy, a fried fish sandwich dripping with sauce, and blackened fish grilled to create a flavourful crust of butter, herbs and spices. For dessert, fried doughnuts sprinkled with icing sugar, pecan pralines and Brennan’s legendary Bananas Foster, caramelized bananas flambéed in rum, after which you may well need to loosen the belt.

5. Barcelona, Spain

The Catalonia region of Spain is known for its architecture, history, culture and especially its vibrant and festive atmosphere. And part of the joy is Barcelona’s cuisine, from simple preparations to highly refined gastronomy and everything in between.

La Boqueria public market is a must for anyone wishing to discover all the culinary treasures that Catalonia has to offer. Colourful fruit, olives, cheese, charcuterie – all you need to put together the picnic of your dreams. There are restaurants and bars galore and even cooking workshops for those who like a more hands-on approach. Just think how you’ll impress your dinner guests back home with your new paella recipe.

Barcelona is synonymous with tapas of course. These mini bites from heaven are the perfect accompaniment for cocktails or a glass of Spanish wine at happy hour. Indulge! After all, dinner is served late in Gaudi’s hometown.

Bon appétit!