Food is a necessity, yet eating is still one of life’s most social and enjoyable activities. The beauty of food is that different cultures twist on flavors, and the differences in cuisines from country to country are mind-blowing. Khao Soi from the hills of Northern Thailand. Risotto Alla Milanese from the beaches of Sicily. Kibbeh from the streets of Beirut. It’s all out there waiting for you. If you do plan to travel and eat your way around the globe, the following are some food customs you should know about.
Snacking gets a bad rap. The image of someone devouring chips or candy comes to mind. Whatever perception you have, snacking is very much part of many food cultures, especially in countries where work culture is important and time is of the essence. Snacking during the day gets rid of those hunger pangs and it can be a better alternative to eating a whole meal. Signing up for a snack box subscription will give you the chance to try a full range of incredible snacks from across the world. Just do a quick Google search and look at what you can receive. You’ll love the variety of flavors and the fact that you’re getting to try snacks from all over the world without having to leave your home country. A snack subscription box also makes an ideal gift option for that foodie in your life.
There are fewer experiences more social than eating hotpot. In China especially, it is a family event where everyone gathers around a steamy, boiling bowl filled with vegetables or spices to cook their food as they eat. The ingredients in the hotpot depend on where you are: if you prefer red hot chilis with the unique numbing flavor of Sichuan peppers, then a Chongqing hotpot is for you. If you want something a little less spicy, hotpot mixes from the north of China are better. Hotpot isn’t just about the food. It’s also about chatting with friends and family as you eat, having a few beers and spending hours having a great time.
- Street Food
Like hotpot, eating street food is often a social experience done after an evening out with friends. And you have likely already been exposed to street food virtually and seen how platforms like Instagram and TikTok are creating a significant impact on the restaurant industry and food business. You watch as the food is cooked and the mouthwatering smells waft around as you sit waiting. While it is becoming more popular in Western countries, there is still a negative vibe attached to trying street food as it can be seen as unhygienic.
The fact is that street food is, in some cases, more hygienically prepared compared to food in a restaurant, as you can see the food being cooked right before your eyes. No hidden corners like there are in a kitchen. It is some of the best food you will ever eat as owners of street food stalls use recipes passed down from generation to generation. There’s a good reason why it is so popular, so next time you’re somewhere selling street food, get rid of your fears and dive in. You won’t regret it.
- Going Vegetarian
Mention vegetarian food and you will see people either roll their eyes or straight up reject any notion of eating it. Associations we have with vegetables growing up can negatively affect how we see vegetarian food as adults. Maybe you were forced to eat cabbage at school, or someone in your household cooked a certain vegetable badly and now you wouldn’t dream of eating it, such as broccoli?
This way of thinking is robbing you of amazing culinary experiences. In many cultures, a purely vegetarian diet is a norm and it isn’t what you think. Take the Indian cheese paneer, for example. Cooked in mouthwatering gravies filled with spice and flavor, one bite and you will be asking for the recipe. You don’t have to go permanently vegetarian, but you will be eating a healthier, more varied diet for a few meals a week.