Traveling Tastefully With Sense

“The taste on her palate was pungent and rich; the flavor of woodlands and dark earth simmered in sunshine. (Murasaki Shikabu)

Independent travel means for me taking time to find the fullness of life in the present with all of my senses. So when it comes to the act of eating on my adventures, I’m often willing to consider trying foods that I would normally not ingest in my daily routine. Unfortunately, my mind and body do not always agree with this philosophy when matters of health and nutrition come into play. Moreover, some foods I consider to eat on our long road trips and cruise vacations just seem undesirable to eat from a taste perspective.

So as I get older and my body seems less tolerant of certain foods, it’s vital I educate myself more about making more sensible food choices in travel. In this regard, I now commit more time to researching Word Press blogs to become better informed about food preparation/recipes particularly from around the world. One connection, by Nadiiag, has notably educated me about how certain foods and spices affect the body from a health perspective. The online food journals of (Kitchen Italy) and (In Diane’s Kitchen) have also proven helpful to obtain samples of new recipes I might consider ordering in travel.

So in case you are interested, I present my most disliked food memories during our past travels along with brief explanations for each experiences as to why.

Fresh seafood like mussels and crabs are low in calories and contain plenty of iron, protein… But I’d been “turned off” to buying them at this India “raw bar” due to the danger of salmonella and various other toxins in surrounding waters.
Green may be one of my favorite colors but the pungent spices added to many soups like this one in an India restaurant I dined at repelled me from tasting it.
Snails may have been considered a fine French delicacy in many past Paris visits, but for me they represented an insect pest reminder not worth eating.
This crunchy snack accompanied by green seeds and sticks in this India cafe would have made a fine way to pass the time slowly while eating. But to me it became a confusing ritual from utensil to mouth and thus not worth the effort.
It’s easy to eat a simple hot dog while watching at a L.A. Dodger baseball game but not when your mouth sloppily bit into the overfilled condiments of the bun as it spilled all over your shirt when you were eating it.
Fresh mushrooms add a unique earthy taste to cooked food. But I’d become intolerant to the foul smell of these boiling fungi in my wife’s cooking. Therefore, I refused to buy them at this Seattle grocery store.
I love the experience of sampling a bite of French cheese but not when I’d entered a Paris market that sold sharp cheese which smelled bitterly rotten.
This unknown melon on this cart might make a curious object to taste but I would never have taken the unsanitary risk of eating such street food in New Delhi.
I can potentially enjoy this tasty looking appetizer but not when I’d spent an inordinate amount of time worrying about which of these sauces in a South India hotel would bother my stomach.
These heavily decorative cans in a London grocery invited me to give them a tasty sample. But I surprisingly discovered that this product was in fact dog food.
I know that these unhealthy, sugar- coated donuts if eaten in moderation would have made me happy as a late night snack in this Miami pastry shop. But who says I could have just stopped with one. So with heavy guilt I chose to eat none.
Eating this hearty stew in a Dublin pub looked like a timely way to warm up from the biting cold of an Ireland winter. But disappointedly, it was served dripping in vinegar sauce sourness.
Hot coffee replaced by a tasty mimosa filled with champagne, drunk during an energizing New Orleans walk in the early morning definitely did not wake me up as I intended.

2 thoughts on “Traveling Tastefully With Sense

  1. Howdy James!

    The unknown fruit in New Delhi is durian. It smells of sewage or natural gas. Very popular in Asia.

    It’s an acquired taste; one that I haven’t acquired. When we lived in Sai Gon or Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), there was a street in the fifth district where they processed most of the durian coming into the city for sale — by hand on the what passed for sidewalks — so you could smell it for blocks as you approached.

    One last observation. My travels strongly suggest that eating street food is far healthier than restaurant food in poorer developing countries. Everyone — including me — who has gotten food poisoning has gotten it from restaurants because restaurants try to serve their food longer than they should. Street vendors get an amount to sell that day. It is fresh everyday.



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