Food Reigns on a Culinary Vacation

Travel is a delight for the senses, opening you up to a world of new sights, sounds and, especially, tastes. Sampling the local food is a way to immerse yourself in the culture and create memories that will linger long after you return home.

Here are some of the culinary experiences you can indulge in around the world:

With its rugged winters, simple, hearty meals — including fresh seafood — are a hallmark of Scandinavian cuisine. The open-faced sandwiches in countries like Denmark became popular in the late 19th century, when factory workers would pile leftovers they had at home onto slices of bread for a filling lunch. Served on sourdough rye, you’ll find toppings like smoked salmon and cucumber, or a classic roast beef with horseradish.

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Café culture is a part of everyday life in Europe. In Vienna, coffeehouses are the perfect places to try the rich desserts for which the city is famous. Among the best known is the Sachertorte, a chocolate sponge cake with apricot jam filling and chocolate icing. In Paris, you can indulge in a buttery croissant and creamy latte at a sidewalk café as you people-watch. Your trip to England won’t be complete without enjoying a traditional afternoon tea, including scones with clotted cream and jam.

Hotel Sacher Wien
Hotel Sacher Wien

Italy, of course, is home to pasta in a variety of shapes and sizes. Along the Italian Riviera, where the warm air is perfect for growing herbs like basil, you’ll find fresh spaghetti served with the region’s traditional pesto sauce. In Spain, follow the locals to a tapas bar for a late-evening snack. These small plates offer everything from cheese and meat to seafood and eggs. You can wash them down with a glass of sangria.

If you’re planning a Caribbean vacation, you’ll enjoy sunny skies, beautiful beaches and crystal clear water, along with the vibrant flavors of the region’s food. If you can handle the heat, try the fiery jerk chicken in Jamaica. In the Bahamas, be sure to get some sweet and mild conch fritters. And wherever you go, you can savor the intricate flavors of the islands’ many varieties of rum.

A vacation in Asia will give you a chance to try many of the dishes you may have sampled at home, including Chinese street food like dumplings, fresh sushi in Japan and rice noodles in Thailand. On a trip to Korea and other countries, you can take part in a traditional tea ceremony, an ancient meditative practice.

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But you don’t have to go across an ocean for a culinary experience.

You can chow down on a filling bowl of clam chowder during a fall trip to admire the foliage in New England. In Montreal, you can try poutine, French fries topped with cheese and gravy, which originated in the Canadian province of Quebec. You’ll get breathtaking views on a trip to Alaska, along with a chance to dine on wild Alaskan salmon, king crab and handcrafted beer.

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For help planning a culinary vacation, contact Angela Isherwood.

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