Balut - Exotic Food in the Philippines
Adventure – this is it in a wild sense.
You travel to some destinations to get a taste of the unusual, the not-so-ordinary, and even disgusting, to some degree, and it definitely takes a lot of courage and guts to get to sample these queer food choices.
Interestingly, there are a good number of travellers who come to Asia to have a taste of these exotic dishes. These choices at times surprise others, but these end up enjoying them. The profiles of those who come to appreciate it are the young, mostly males, love to travel and with adventurous spirit.
So we present the top 25 most exotic food in Asia, and where particularly in the continent you can best enjoy them.
1. Deep fried grasshoppers, Thailand
2. Balut, Philippines
3. Dog Meat, China
4. Turtle Soup, Singapore
5. Oriental Chicken Feet, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore
6. Roosters Testicle, Taiwan
7. Chau Taufu, Mongkok
8. Chicken Intestines, Philippines
9. Durian, Malaysia and Philippines
10. Bats, Indonesia
11. Cherry blossom meat, Japan
12. Bird’s Nest Soup, China
13. Izikazana, Japan
14. Tuna Eyes, Japan
15. Cow’s Brains, West Sumatra
16. White Ant Eggs, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam
17. Fugu (Blowfish), Japan
18. Drunken Shrimp, China
19. Silkworm Larva, South Korea
20. Tarantula, Cambodia
21. Bee larvae, Japan
22. Raw monkey brain, China
23. Crunchy mole crickets, Philippines
24. Field rats, North Korea
25. Kopi Luwak, Indonesia
All of these can be eaten as snacks, lunch or dinner, and needless to say, they are not recommended for the faint-hearted.
So travel to Asia now, and get to experience eating some of these exotic food dishes!
The title might seem a little obvious, given the fact that Paris is considered one of, if not the, food capital of the world. From wine to cheese, falafel to haute cuisine, this is a food-lovers paradise.
But while French food might be delicious, it's not always exactly healthy or diet-conscious. Though the pastry shops on every corner might seem tempting, your body won't be thanking you when you're back at home.
But heck! You're on vacation - why not enjoy yourself?
Fortunately there's a way you can do both. In fact, Beth Collins for Frommers.com just posted an article on this very topic: "7 Secrets to Eating Well in France." She talks to registered dietician and owner/director of Nutrition Energy NYC, Lauren Antonucci, about how travelers can prepare for trips by becoming educated about the foods they'll find abroad. As Antonucci says about her clients, "I want them to enjoy both their vacation and the way they feel when they return home from vacation."
The key here is moderation and choosing food made with quality ingredients. For the iconic baguette for example, opt for pain complet (whole-wheat bread) or pain de seigle (bread made with rye flour).
It really is a crime to skip the pastries altogether, so instead go for small treats and share the sugary ones with a friend! The article offers a lot of great info and tips (like did you know that softer cheeses have less fat than harder cheeses?) so be sure to check it out.
Our recommendation is to walk as much as possible! Not only will you burn off some of those extra travel calories, but seeing a new city by foot is a great way to capture all of the little things that make it special.
Photo by Markel Redondo
To learn more about travel to Paris, or to start your next trip, contact the experts at Uniglobe! We're here to help.
One of the (many) requisites of visiting New York City is also perhaps one of the easiest to realize - grabbing a slice of pie.
All over the city are pizzerias with above average flavors, which you can enjoy on any kind of travel budget. Many attribute the quality of NYC pizza to the water, which is rich in minerals, and therefore makes for excellent crust. Others point to the prevelant Italian-American influence, or the highly evolved palette of the New Yorker.
Whatever the reason, the pizza here is something special. And some, more special than others.
Adam Rapp, of TravelDudes.org, is a NY native who posted a great review of three famous NY pizzerias - Lombardi's in Manhattan, Grimaldi's and Totonno's in Brooklyn.
NYC PIzza Trifecta - Which Pie is the Apple of my Eye? is a mouthwatering breakdown of the city's best slices.
Inspired yet? Contact Uniglobe Instant Travel to plan that trip to the Big Apple...
It can be extremely difficult to stick to a certain diet when you travel: food on the road isn't always the healthiest, and if you try to cook you might not have access to the foods and kitchen tools you're used to.
However, with some planning and creativity, you can not only take control of your diet, but probably save a little money too.
Her list of tips is designed to give you ideas and help you find healthy eating practices while you're on the road. Below is an excerpt, but definitely check out the full article!
Make your hotel room coffee pot your friend.
"It's not just for coffee anymore! Take miso soup packets or stock up on canned beans and/or soups at the local convenience store or market. Heat up quick and healthy dinners in the comfort of your hotel room. This way you not only save time and money but you eat well before running out for a day of adventure."
When I think back to my trip to Portland a few years ago, two things come to mind: 1) Rain (pretty, refreshing rain - not at all depressing), and 2) the food - OhMyGosh the food.
Turns out that the folks up in the Pacific Northwest have figured it all out. Through a combination of quality land planning, conscious citizens, organic farming movements, and the laid-back culture, comes one of the most excellent foodie cultures in the United States.
Steph, from Twenty-Something Travel, posted an article on Portland: A Budget Foodie's Heave on Earth, naming all her favorite spots to get a cheap but delicious bite of food. Check it out!
Europe isn't as well-known for its street eats as some other regions, but there is a ton of variety of traditional and fusion flavors that you just have to try. So here are the street cart smarts you need to navigate through the mixed and marvelous world of European street cuisine.
One of the most fun parts about Europe is the many squares, plazas, fountains, parks and other public spaces available that are perfect for setting up a picnic.
Oftentimes there are street vendors stationed nearby; especially in more urbanized areas street vendors continue to be a popular local snack or meal that you can find almost anywhere.
Set up with some chow to people-watch and chat with friends, or add a cheap bottle of wine and you have budget-friendly romantic date.
This is one of the best places to find fresh produce, baked goods, drinks and snacks. European produce is high in quality, and since many people do their shopping out of Farmers’ Markets, you’ll have a large selection to choose from.
Throughout Europe you can find Farmers’ Markets that sell pre-maid snacks and meals for discount prices. Ask around locally or consult one of us at Uniglobe for some tips.
Particularly in Germany, the Netherlands, and France, a wave of immigration from Turkey and other countries in the Middle East has brought about an influx of delicious, rich flavors, now a staple in the street cart world.
In Berlin especially, Turks make up the majority of the immigrant population, meaning a plethora of fresh Turkish cuisine to enjoy.
Try the infamous döner, which is kebab meat with yoghurt sauce and fresh greens served in a flatbread like a sandwich. According to local legend it was invented in the 1970s by a business-minded Turkish immigrant at Kottbusser Tor.
Falafel is another popular import. In Amsterdam if you’re looking for a cheap, fresh snack, head over to the Amsterdam Central Station for the little falafel cart outside. For more about falafel in Amsterdam, check out this article.
In Italy you can easily find a street-side café or Espresso bar for a quick, pick-me-up espresso.
For places like Prague and Berlin, lift your spirits with some wonderful mulled wine. In Berlin, you can find Glühwein, a hot spiced red wine, usually prepared with cinnamon sticks, vanilla pods, cloves, orange peel and sugar. Sometimes fruit wines, like blueberry and cherry wine, are used instead of grape wine. For an extra kick order it mit rum (with a shot of rum). Glühwein is über popular in Berlin, especially during Christmastime.
In Prague, between the art and craft stands at the Christmas Market in Old Town serves up the most warm and wonderful mulled wine. It’s strong and sweet and unlike anything you’ve ever tried.
Ich bin ein Berliner! Seriously though, if you’re in Berlin, don’t miss out on thepfannkichen, a type of doughnut filled with jam.
In Italy, it’s a gelato dream. In major cities you can find small, bodega-like establishments on pretty much every block. For a few Euros you can cool off with a few scoops of gelato. Stick to places that sell only gelato though. One good rule of thumb for food carts is the fewer the options the better the quality.
If you’re traveling to Belgium, you have to try the waffles. Squeezed between the incredible art and architecture in Brussels are dozens of small stands serving up fresh waffles, covered in fruit, chocolate and whipped cream.
In Paris and other areas of France, crepes are where it’s at. For dessert have one spread with confiture de ait or with salted butter and honey. Or if you’re me, lots and lots of nutella. Crêperies are available on almost every street corner and in addition to dessert-style, you can find Arab versions with feta cheese, spinach, olives and sausage or with grated gruyère cheese, and a softly-fried egg.
Just stop and think about how good that sounds. One of the most popular and traditional of Czech street foods is syr smazeny, which is breaded and fried cheese, usually of the Edam, Gouda or Swiss variety. It typically comes with tatarska omacka (tartar sauce), along with fried potatoes, and salad or bread.
You can find this treat in Bulgaria too, except it’s made with kashkaval cheese.
Europe is tricky because it’s a region that encompasses 50 different countries. There are a few top hits though, so we’ll try to point them out (let us know what we missed!)
England is famous for fish n’ chips, seasoned with vinegar and salt served on a paper plate piled high with chips (“french fries”).
Across the Balkans you’ll find the most delicious, hand-formed sausages also known as cevapi or cevaps, served on lepinje, a type of flat bread. On the Dalmatian coast in Croatia, it’s fried seafood and seafood salads, such as lignje na salatu(squid salad).
In Athens, it’s the gyros; Germany has sausage with bread, wurst, kartoffein, and struedel; Bury Market in England serves up the best blackpudding; and Stockholm has cheap knäckis, a sandwich of fried herring, topped with cucumbers and red onions, and served on hard bread.
Speaking of herring, don’t go to Amsterdam without trying the “nieuwe” herring, salted and served on a paper plate with onions and gherkin (pickles). Eat with a toothpick and enjoy the surprisingly mild, savory taste.
Here’s a good, more specialized guide to Eastern European Street Food
Huffpost Travel: The 8 Tastiest Street Foods in Europe
Food lovers unite!
No longer does traveling mean the fear of tummy troubles. Cooking classes have made epicurean exploration not only feasible but fun. Even if you don’t consider yourself a traveling gourmand, pretty much everybody likes food and most especially, good food.
Cooking classes welcome all appetites and ability levels, so here’s why you should plan one for your next trip.
Most cooking classes are made up of a chef or two and a small group of students. You’re thrown into a diverse mix of people but the activity provides an automatic icebreaker.
Since you’re all in it together, there’s really no pressure on you the individual if you’re not a very experienced cook. Everyone is responsible for the outcome of the meal.
The setting is intimate and if you’re lucky, social. This is one reason why you should take a class at the beginning of your trip, because you might meet people and make friends to travel with.
The other reason you should go at the beginning is to familiarize yourself with local ingredients and popular dishes, as an orientation of sorts to the culinary landscape of your new home.
All ingredients are bought, some preparation is done and you split the work with everyone. You’re job is really just to learn.
By taking a class, you’ll know what flavors to avoid and how to order a dish to your liking. It’s also great for picking up some of the language. Even though most cooking classes around the world are available in English, you’ll hear and learn how to use the names of the different ingredients and dishes, making it easier to order in the future.
There are only so many museums you see. Instead of passively sightseeing, why not participate in the culture directly? You have to eat anyway … and cooking is a lot of fun.
And at least for me, cooking is relaxing. You’re focused on one objective and in a way that helps to clear your head, lifting away some of the stress that might have accumulated during your trip.
By learning how to cook a local dish or two you can bring some of your trip home with you, and show-off your new skills to your friends and family.
Sure you can look up a recipe online and throw something together at home, but with a cooking class you get step-by-step instructions, insider tips, and personalized info you won’t find in a recipe.
Especially for the amateur chef, the experience will give you some take-away confidence in your cooking abilities.
This one might seem obvious but boy - homemade food guided by a professional chef? It doesn’t get much better than that. Plus you’ll feel more comfortable in knowing what you’re eating (no surprise ingredients.)
In a good cooking class, the chef is highly experienced and motivated to teach. Since most chefs travel nowadays you’ll not only get to sample the local fare but also try a few fusion dishes of the chefs’ own creation.
World Cooking Tours is an online directory listing gourmet culinary vacations from around the world. Simply use the menu on your right to start your cooking holiday search.
The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Schools
The right hand side of the website has a long list of cooking schools across the world, insider favorites, wine courses, star chef seminars, hotel cooking programs, professional culinary schools and more resources to get you going.
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