Sunday, June 26, 2011

Food Tourist part 1

I love being a food tourist. I love getting out there and sampling different foods from different places, and just as important, how people prepare that food. Increasingly, how and what we eat is becoming a statement of our lifestyle. So, I don't necessarily have to go far to try somethinng new, I can just go next door and find out what's for dinner, or pick up a cook/diet book and make it for myself.

If you've ever seen an episode of "No Reservations" hosted by Anthony Bourdain, then you know how I like to roll. I want to eat the same stuff that the locals eat, at the same places - I want to feel connected to that place. To me, travelling is all about dropping how you live at home and adopting how people live wherever you are.

The best trips I've taken so far have been to foreign countries or places where we know people. Our honeymoon to Fiji was a blast. I'll be honest, it's a bit touristy. I will forgive them for it because that's how they generate a lot of their income.

Life in Fiji takes a more relaxed pace. Time becomes more of a suggestion than a rule and idleness is encouraged and accepted. If you were to walk up a Fijian and say, "I'm bored, is there a bowling alley I can go to?" I think they'd just laugh at you.

The best part about the food in Fiji was the fresh fruit. It was the first time I've ever had honest-to-goodness truly ripe tropical fruit. Ever eat an orange with no sourness in the flavor? Just sugar and orange? I have, and I'll never be the same because of it. All of the fruit tasted pure.

Contrast that to time I visited Hawaii. Hawaii is known for its pineapples, but try and get one over there. Just try it. You can't, because they're all sent to the mainland. Every single one of them. I can get an apple in Washington, a peach in Georgia, an orange in Florida, but I can't get a pineapple in Hawaii. WTF? It's stuff like this that really make we wonder about the way things work sometimes.

In defense of Hawaii, I am told that residents there do have access to the fresh tropical fruit that I crave - it's just not sold in markets. People grow them in their back yards and it's more of a cottage industry type thing. Which means that if I want access to the good stuff, I have to become really good friends with some resident Hawaiians. If any Hawaiians are reading this, please be my friend! I enjoy cooking & eating good food, music, reading history books, and playing strategy games. I like dogs. Please have a back yard.

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