When traveling, it’s possible that one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences come from trying new and unusual foods. Whether you’re in another part of the country or experiencing a completely different culture, food is an excellent way to experience the local culture. You can discover what makes the area unique and try something new or try something the way it should be made. The top five best meals I’ve had while traveling are things I still remember and they helped make those vacations unique and memorable. Pay up on the travel insurance, we’re leaving the country!
Best Meal: Escargot
When my friend and I decided to order this, I only agreed because I figured I had enough money to get something else when I didn’t like it. I didn’t need the extra money. This was the perfect appetizer for our first day in Paris. It was delicious and I thought it would melt in my mouth. It also prepared me to enjoy other foods while on my trip in France.
Best Meal: Italian Ice Cream (Gelato)
It can be argued that ice cream isn’t a meal. But, it is an excellent snack and the perfect end to a meal. What’s more, Gelato stands dot every city in Italy so you can easily find some and try a new flavor or an old favorite. The ice cream is inexpensive, delicious and has a rich taste. Best of all, it has fewer calories than American ice cream and you’d never guess it unless you look it up (like I did).
Best Meal: Crepes
Eating crepes in Paris was a delightful experience because they can be sugary for a dessert or a snack or salty for lunch or dinner. I ate my first nutella crepe and pretty much fell in love. Crepe stands are located all over the city and are great when you’re on a tight budget or in a rush. They also provide a great experience. Imagine standing under the Eiffel Tower, eating a delicious crepe while waiting for your turn to go up. These are also really easy to make so, at home, I can make them and feel like I’m back in Paris.
Best Meal: Couscous
This North African dish has made its way to several countries. It’s made from wheat grains and alone is fairly tasteless. However, when spices, herbs, vegetables and meat are added, it becomes a very tasty and flavorful dish. It does have an unusual taste and can take some getting used to. The thing I love most about couscous is it’s made differently everywhere. No two recipes are exactly the same, so it’s always a surprise.
Best Meal: Mussels
At a small, dingy restaurant in Santiago de Compestella, Spain, I met with a former roommate and her parents for dinner. We had four platters (the fourth and the first were spiced similarly) of delicious mussels. Each was prepared differently and the succulent, buttery bits felt like they melted in our mouths in the most perfect of ways. Each dish was unbelievably delicious.