Written By: Catherine Wills
When you go traveling, you don’t pack a knife and a fork to take with you, right? So you should take this as a sign to unpack your perspective on what the ‘normal’ way to eat is. Western society has certainly spread the ideology that eating with cutlery is the correct and proper way to consume a meal. But really, the whole world isn’t western!
Once upon a time, before silverware was readily accessible to the masses, people were innovative about the way they ate their meals. Many cultures have retained their traditional eating methods and they are still used today. So when you go traveling to new countries, throw yourself into their culture by eating like the locals. It’s the most delicious way to immerse yourself in the local traditions!
India and Nepal
In this part of the world, you’ll digest some of the best curries ever. But not with a fork or spoon. Your meal will taste even better when it’s done properly – using naan bread or roti to scoop up the rice and vegetables.
This is the region of chopsticks! Ok, so you might spill a bit of your stir fry or fried rice, but who cares. Have a laugh while you’re eating your meal. Keep in mind that practice makes perfect, so you’ll just have to eat plenty while you’re traveling to master that chopstick technique.
Here you’ll find a convenient way of eating with fewer dishes to wash up. Tacos, enchiladas, burritos and other traditional Mexican meals revolve around the vegetables and meats being wrapped in a tortilla. Just like a sandwich, but better!
This area, including countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain, is well known for tapas style meals and healthy, wholesome salads. Meals are usually eaten here by just picking up something that looks delicious with your fingers or a toothpick. Then you just pop it in your mouth and enjoy.
Eating in some of these ways might feel a little odd or uncomfortable, but that’s no reason not to try! The whole point of travel is to open your eyes and mind to new ways of living in the world. It’s about remembering that the customs your grew up with aren’t necessarily the only or right ones in the world. In this case, you’ll open up your mouth to a new way of eating!