Traveling and food just go together. The lure of a new cuisine, the chance to expand your palate through unique experiences, and the opportunity to meet chefs with fresh ideas are all a big draw. The very promise of a food adventure gets scores of people on the road every single day.
There’s an authenticity to eating “with the locals” that you just can’t get traveling your palate at home (even in NYC). Different terroir, climates, and, thereby, certain ingredients can’t be replicated everywhere. For some dishes, you need the smell of the streets where the dish was invented or the energy of the people on those streets or recipes handed down by grandmothers and grandfathers and revitalized by a new generation.
All that in mind, we thought we’d take a moment to lay down ten amazing food experiences around the world. These are not only some of the best moments you can have with food on earth, but they highlight foods that are essential to building a palate and understanding world cuisine. These are the food experiences that’ll change the way you think about a certain food for the rest of your life — the wonders of the culinary world, if you will.
OPEN A WHEEL OR PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO IN EMILIA-ROMAGNA
The play here is to get on a flight to Bologna and go either to a Parmigiano-Reggiano factory in Parma or hit up FICO Eataly World outside of Bologna. Take a tour of the cheese factory and watch in awe as they pound open a whole wheel for you to taste.
When they open up that wheel, the cheese is still alive, comfortingly warm, and full of some of the boldest umami flavors on the planet. It’s also got a “milkier” taste that you’re sure to expect if you’ve only bought your parm in the states. Dip it in a little sweet and thick balsamic and you’re done. You’ll never go back to the pre-grated stuff.