If the very idea of sampling new flavours gets your mouth watering, then knowing about a country’s cuisine is likely to influence your holiday choice. At Explorer Travel Insurance, we’ve been making ourselves hungry by talking about the current hottest food trends, and where to find the real deal…
1. Deep South, USA: flavours inspired by America’s deep south are emerging as the food of the moment. It’s famous for the spicy and smoky tastes of Creole and Cajun cooking; think fried chicken, sweet potatoes, shrimp remoulade, jambalaya, one-pot seafood stew, fruit pies, foot-long fried shrimp and oyster baguettes, fresh Georgia peaches and towering layer cakes. An eclectic mix, best enjoyed with some New Orleans jazz.
2. La Mancha: Not only the home of manchego cheese, this region boasts some of the finest cuisine in Spain. It is also famous for gazpacho and the much imitated pisto manchego, made with red and green peppers, tomatoes and squash. Each town offers its own speciality, but all have in common flavours that pack a punch and recipes that are firmly rooted La Mancha’s history and culture. Throw in some local wine and a healthy dose of sunshine and you’ve got a happy holiday.
3. Melbourne: food is not often cited as the reason for a trip to Australia, but it’s fast becoming a culinary hotspot, particluarly for its fusion food. The immigrant communities of Victoria have introduced an array of authentic treats: Greek moussaka, pizzas as good as Mamma’s back in Naples, and countless Vietnamese dishes. If you’re not yet convinced, try a taste of Australia closer to home in London: join the masses who queue for Bill Grainger’s (Australia’s hottest culinary export) famous brunches at his London restaurants, Bill’s.
4. Barcelona: the epicentre of the tapas culture. Boasting more top-notch tapas bars than anywhere in the world, the Catalan capital is the spiritual home of this flavoursome scene. Spend a long evening enjoying an array of dishes packed with flavour and flair in this city that is renowned for its beauty and energy. Why limit yourself to just one table and one menu? Map out a tapas crawl, taking in modern bars such as Paco Meralgo and the more classic eateries like El Vaso de Oro.
5. The Lake District: you don’t need to get on a plane to experience some of the finest food on offer. The Lake District’s new status as Britain’s most fashionable gastronomic attraction was confirmed when its restaurants provided the backdrop to the first series of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s quirky comedy, The Trip. Highlights of this region include the Cumberland sausage, traditionally sold in a coil; the Cumberland is the only British sausage to have Protected Geographical Indication. Equally delicious are brown potted shrimps from Morecambe Bay and Herdwick lamb, fat on grass seasoned by the salty air of the Cartmel peninsula.