Embrace local foods when traveling


Isabella Chen, Staff Writer

Over the summer, many people take the break to travel domestically or internationally. They most likely visited tourist hot spots, took a well-deserved vacation, or just relaxed. However, in a study from Jetcost, around three-fifths of Americans admitted to not trying local cuisine on their vacations. Although people are excited to see the new and different scenery, they are hesitant to try food they never had before. 

While some travelers might be picky eaters, most of the time, they simply do not have the curiosity or do not want to take the risk. In the same Jetcost study, the top two reasons why people tended not to try the local cuisine were because they disliked its look or smell or wanted to stick to what they knew. Like the saying, “never judge a book by its cover,” the way to judge food isn’t only by its appearance. Take a durian from Thailand, for example. Its spiky skin can seem menacing and inedible, but the creamy, sweet interior contrasts sharply. 

Food is an excellent way to explore the local culture, and it can also have many different roots. An example is macaroni salad. While it is known for being from Hawaii, the origins are Italian, from the pasta, French, from mayonnaise, and possibly German, with the inspiration from potato salad. Trying local foods can allow you to embark on a multi-cuisine journey and explore beyond the cuisines you are comfortable with.

Cuisines can be influenced by cultures and sharply contrast from those in their native locations. We are familiar with sushi rolls when considering Japanese cuisine, but foods like California rolls tend to be adapted to California customers and are generally impossible to find in Japan.

By trying new cuisines and experiences whenever possible, you will never have to regret not doing something or missing out. Trying new things can allow us to expand our minds and learn more about exciting things. Who knows, you might even find yourself trying your new favorite food.