One think I share with a great many people is my love for food. It’s simply one of life’s great pleasures and my passion for it seems to grow stronger the older I get.
One of the joys of traveling for me is simple exploration. I just want to see how other people live and how they eat is a big part of that. Food and drink are central to nearly every culture so exploring through your stomach makes a lot of sense.
Restaurants and food stands tend to be what first comes to mind when you discuss culinary exploration. That is of course where people tend to eat, but for me, the local markets are often a better place to start. These cater to both local businesses and local homes and the selection of products on the shelves can tell you a lot because they are a mix of what is in demand locally and what is produced locally.
One such difference that we have noticed here in California is with artisan bread. In Seattle Trail and I became fond of rosemary and sea salt bread as well as olive bread. Both can be found in most groceries. Here in California so far we have not seen either in any grocery. Instead you find many types of sourdough bread. This makes sense since California has a strong mining history and where you find miners you find sourdough bread.
California is also a place where near anything can grow so farmers markets and even the local super markets are rich in a variety of produce, some of which I’ve not yet encountered. The variety of citrus fruit stands out here as where back in Washington you can find a huge range of Apples. I’m looking forward to discovering what products we find in other states and regions as we travel further.
Discovering new favorites is also a benefit. While most big groceries stock food from all over, some of it can be hard to find, squirreled away among all the other goods. When you are traveling local favorites are prominently displayed and easy to find. Pick some up, try it out, and if you like it you can likely find it back at home if you know what you are looking for.
If you know of anything you think we should keep an eye out for to chow down on as we travel, please let us know!
Aside: Stomach… the way this is spelled vs the way we pronounce it rubs me the wrong way. When I read it, no problem, I’m used to it, but when I write it, it just feels all wrong. I often have a strong desire to pronounce words phonetically almost out of principle.