Local Food Eater – Find Best Ethnic Local Food Places | Clorder

How to Find Your Favorite Ethnic Bites

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(Gerry Furth-Sides) Are you as daring an ethnic food diner at home as you are when traveling?  According to a recent TopDeck Travel survey, travelers are more and more motivated notably to experience the local cuisine while traveling but to actually travel to seek out the best dish of its kind.

An Indian picnic with friends and family sharing regional dishes

The same rules sent to us apply at home, even experimenting in your own kitchen at home.  And we have found that the closer to home cooking ethnic can be, the better it tastes.

Here are some of our favorite finds from 2017 with using Topdeck Travel Tips to Experience Authentic Food Culture Around the World (or At Home).

Follow the locals:  Wander away from the touristy areas and find the restaurants where locals eat. If a spot is flooded with locals enjoying each other’s company, it’s likely that this restaurant offers authentic cuisine.

Practice food customs: Respect is key when visiting a new place. Whenever you travel somewhere new, take the time to learn about local meal etiquette. This will make you a more respectful guest and a less invasive tourist.

Ask for advice: Locals and well-seasoned travelers are the best sources of advice when it comes to finding exceptional food. Ask about the best places to eat and the best dishes to try — your tastebud guide will likely not disappoint.

Attend festivals and events: Food festivals offer an exciting array of local cuisine, and most of the time, you’ll be surrounded by cultural music and crafts as well. These types of events are great to wander with friends or simply get lost in the crowd.

Taste mindfully: Once you actually bite into a new dish, slow down and engage all of your senses. Take the time to enjoy the flavors, as it might be a completely new tasting experience. This moment might be among the most memorable of your trip.

Learn what you like: Even the most adventurous foodies don’t like every single food they try. Remember that just because something is popular does not mean that you will like it. Being honest and critical is how you develop a palette.

 

Follow the locals: Explore places where the locals eat instead of touristy areas.  An Asian restaurant filled with Asians is a good indication of its value.
Visitors to Greece in the “old days”  used  to be invited to weddings and other family occasions by strangers.  Last Summer we trailed along to a party at ARO-LATIN after a food event and found ourselves in the middle of a family graduation-birthday party, eating what the family was eating!

Toasts with a special Havana Club Anejo tequila!

We had all the dishes the family ordered for their special dinner!
And after the meal, even though there was no rug to roll up, the family started line dancing and invited us to join!  A priceless, lifetime memory experience!  

 

Practice food customs:  Respect is key when visiting a new place.  Take the time to learn about local meal etiquette and listen.

This holiday season were invited to a Oaxacan New Year’s Eve feast.  After hesitating because it was in a somewhat dangerous part of town, we went anyway, and had the perfect introduction to 2018.  We also were also treated to the extraordinary Mezcal (below).

Our beautiful hostess prepares a fruit and yogurt dessert

Try a little of everything! Rice, pasta, chicken, pork and mole.  Everything tastes so different when cooked at home.

My favorite turned out to be pasta, which I rarely eat, with roasted grasshoppers!

Everything is more tasty in a group!

Pasta with fried grasshoppers with flavor and a unique crunch! 

Ask for advice: Locals and well-seasoned travelers are often more reliable sources of for finding exceptional food.  And they usually love to share their “finds.”

We discovered a fisherman who owns Fisherman’s Daughter Seafood at a local farmer’s market.  He had just returned from an fishing outing on  the Bering Sea (!) and very excited about sharing his catch with us!  He was a wealth of information on wild, fresh and varieties of salmon.

 

Attend festivals and events: Food festivals offer a choice of new and varied ethnic dishes, often in a leisurely atmosphere with cultural music and art and where chefs are happy to chat.


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We also invited to a rare experience at a picnic where friends and family shared their timeworn, most popular recipes.
Taste mindfully: Once you actually bite into a new dish, slow down and engage all of your senses. Take the time to enjoy the flavors because it might be a completely new tasting experience. This moment might be among the most memorable of all.

Cooking Indian regional dishes for friends and family, even better tasting outdoors.

I add:  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  I learned the most this year from hearing answers to questions asked by people I thought were experts.

Learn what you like:  Even the most adventurous foodies don’t like every single food they try. Just because something is popular does not mean that you will like it. Being candid and discerning is how you develop a palette.

At the New Year’s Eve dinner, we were offered authentic worm Mezcal La Reserva del Viejo Herradero.  It was extraordinary, brewed with 100% Agave Espadín, in strict accordance with a traditional recipe of Oaxaca.  It is then packed under strict control in the State of Mexico.  

 The wild notes of the Agave Espadín are balanced with the smoked flavor of the traditional production process that incorporates a light caramel that makes it smooth even though it is 40% alcohol by volume.

We learned that the very proper way it to drink it “straight” accompanied by a slice of sour orange seasoned with the worm salt in a little bag that comes with the mezcal. 

That little bag on the side of the bottle contains, the authentic maguey worm and a bag of jute with worm salt.  It’s more classic than the new trendy American TAJÍN, grains of confetti-colored dried lime with world-class chilies and sea salt.

 

 

 



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Author
Gerry Furth-Sides

Gerry Furth-Sides

Content Editor/Columnist

Photo-journalist Gerry Furth-Sides has been covering the ethnic and American culinary scene in California since it first came into prominence 25 years ago.