By Jia Chyi Chung
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”
If you happen to be a lover of travel, chances are, this popular quote uttered by St. Augustine, resonates with you. Whether you travel in search of relaxation or adventure, the world is brimming with exciting destinations that are worth exploring.
Here at BookCulinaryVacations.com, food is one of the most important aspects to consider when deciding on our travels. So if you too happen to feel the same and unsure of where you should be heading for your next getaway, the team has put together the 5 most popular destinations that culinary travelers all over the globe flocked to in 2015.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Are you looking for a little romance? Are you a lover of food, art and wine? If so, lucky you! You can find all that (and much more) in France! Highly influenced by the Mediterranean style of cooking (especially in the Provence), you will definitely fall head over heels with traditional French cuisine. With only the use of humble and own-produced local ingredients (vegetables, fresh herbs, seafood and olive oil), you will be surprised on how tasteful and bold the flavors of such simple dishes could be! That said, if you are food lover who is always in the hunt to try something new and unconventional, then you could give it a go to try a sample of land snails (or also known as Escargots), a local delicacy in France. This dish is usually prepared with garlic and parsley butter, and served with bread as a delightful appetizer.
With each meal, it’s advisable that you enjoy a glass or more of France’s finest wines. Thanks to the wealth of options, you won’t believe how affordable it is! According to CNN, in most regions in France, you can easily get a nice bottle of wine and can actually be much cheaper than water. So it’s no surprise that it’s usually consumed alongside every meal (except breakfast).
You may also already know that France is renowned for its patisseries. So, we urge you to make the time to indulge yourself in a vast range of freshly baked authentic French breads like the baguette, couronne, flute, batard, ficelle, and so much more.
With all the scrumptious food and wine available in this wonderful country, we think that is about time that you take that leap of faith and spend a week or two in France!
Rich in culture and devoted to their belief, Thailand has always been a personal tropical favorite destination. What makes Thailand so unique you may ask? Famous beaches you’ve seen on postcards, breathtaking landmarks, interesting activities to do and you simply cannot miss out on their flavorsome cuisine, which is bound to bring all your senses alive! Thailand is a food haven that aims to please everyone.
Thai cuisine does not only look appetizing, it is also packed full with aromatic flavors giving you that extra punch of heat. Whenever you take a bite into them, you will be sure to have a party in your mouth as your taste bud kicks in and dances with the spices in the cuisine – we kid you not! So, you do not have to worry about being hungry, because there are endless selections available for you to choose from. No matter what time of the day it is, you can literally get food everywhere and it is all equally delicious. Especially at night, there are even more food stalls all lined up ready for you – that is when you can see Thailand bursting into life!
For a different experience, the floating market is highly recommended and a must-visit place when in Thailand. This is a lively place where different stalls and vendors are set up on wooden houses neatly lining along the canal selling souvenirs and abundance of authentic Thai cuisine and fruits. All these items are also sold on colorful boats that are floating along the river. It is definitely an extraordinary experience that one must witness for themselves!
India is a country home to 1.2 billion inhabitants with a spectacular mix of people and traditions. With its vibrant culture, snow-dusted mountain peaks, majestic temples and monuments, and their deliciously spicy cuisines, it is the perfect place for culinary travelers to be! From the humble naan bread to the oh-so delicious famous masala, briyani, kebabs and curries, taste the authentic and distinctive flavors of each part of India (from Jaipur to Kerala and to the Northern area of India). Once you’ve explored India first-hand, you’ll immediately understand why it is reknowned as the land of spices.
Here’s an interesting Indian food fact: according to an interview we had with Payal Biyani from Srihara Bed & Breakfast, what is unique about Indian cuisine is that they are mostly vegetarian. So, if you are a vegetarian or have yet to try the delectable dishes we mentioned above, then it’s right about time you start thinking of packing your bags, hop on a flight and experience the taste of India for yourselves!
As one of the world’s most popular destination for fashion, design and architectures, gorgeous coastal lines and the birth of all delicious must-have delicacies such as pizza, pasta and gnocchi, it is a no brainer that Italy makes a perfect getaway! Each of the country’s regions has its own vivacious culture and significant heritage. And of course, who can pass on a hearty serving of delicious Italian food? With the abundant use of cheese and olive oil, there is a multitude of mouthwatering (both sweet and savory) that awaits you in Italy.
As an added bonus, wine is also extremely popular in Italy, especially in Tuscany. If you are a wine enthusiast, then we urge you to taste some of the top-notch wines and explore a wealth of vineyards and cellars with the guidance of the experienced professionals. So, don’t you think it’s time for you to have a little fun, go on cheese tours, olive harvesting and learn how to whip up your favorite Italian dish in its country origin? We think so.
(1) The Caribbean
We can’t say we were surprised when we found out that the Caribbean is our most popular and demanded destination in 2015. How would one not enjoy spending their holiday lazing under the sun on idyllic beaches, while overlooking beautiful clear blue waters or going island hopping while enjoying a series of water activities? While there, we also can’t pass up indulging on their well-known fresh and scrumptious seafood based delicacies. A getaway in the Caribbean is indeed the definition of a vacation in paradise.
We recommend for you to begin your exciting Carribean journey in Barbados. Known for its scrumptious local street food, this region is certainly every foodie’s dream! Here you can find farmers markets, fish markets and a whole lot of street vendors lining up selling exotic authentic Caribbean delights such as the grilled clay fish, Bajan fried flying fishes, their famous Barbados pudding (sweet potato, pig’s blood, herbs, and spices stuffed in sheep or pig’s intestines) and even Souse (whole pig simmered in spices and herbs topped with pickled cucumber salad).
Continue your trip by heading to Jamaica, Costa Rica and/or Ladera as these destinations also offer abundance of amazing cuisines (and yes, there’s also an abundance of picturesque beaches). While you’re there, be sure to indulge in a glass (or four) of their famous cocktail boat drinks too! You’ll have so much fun in the Caribbean, we bet you’ll be making return visits for years to come.
Jia Chyi is the Community Manager of BookCulinaryVacations.com , a global food and wine focused travel site offering food & wine focused vacation packages that seeks to make your most scrumptious culinary dreams a reality. She is a food lover, has a passion for photography and enjoys traveling the world.
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