Storied Escapes

Storied Escapes

Storied Escapes_Cooking Class_Pepian_Antigua_Guatemala

Food Travel Experiences: How to Experience a Local Culture Through Food

I love experiencing a local culture through its food. I get a chance to savor culinary delights while learning about the culture and people behind the food. Below, you'll find some of my favorite food travel experiences. Check back each week for new posts!

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Cape Town, South Africa's Culinary Scene

Table for 1, please!

Did you know that Cape Town, South Africa has an incredible culinary scene?

And traveling solo wasn’t going to stop me from experiencing all those amazing dishes!

So I made reservations for 1 at some of the top restaurants in town.

But I was never really “solo” at any of these restaurants.

At each restaurant, I was welcomed with open arms. The staff and chefs went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and share their delicious cuisine with me.

One of my favorite parts about traveling is the people I meet.

And Cape Town delivered on some spectacular people – and meals!

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Raspados Street Food Carts in Panama City, Panama

Condensed milk with shaved ice?? Yes, please!

Street food carts and trucks are a great way to taste local food in countries around the world. 

But they can also be a place to pick-up a stomach bug! Look for the food carts or trucks that have a line. While it’s not a guarantee against picking up a stomach bug, at least the locals have vetted the food! When it doubt, ask your local guide for recommendations on “tummy-friendly” spots. 

In the Casco Viejo neighborhood of Panama City, Panama (and several other Central and South American countries), you’ll find long lines behind little carts with big ice blocks.

These little carts are selling something called “raspados”, or shaved ice. 

The vendor shaves the ice for you directly off the ice block. Then you’ll add your favorite fruit syrup. My favorite was passion fruit.

Next comes the special topping: condensed milk. I was tempted to skip this part, but it truly made it the most delicious dish. And I asked for extra condensed milk the second time I got this treat. 🙂 

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Pepián Cooking Class in Antigua, Guatemala

I love exploring a local culture through its food. I usually schedule at least one food tour or cooking class during my trips. It’s an amazing opportunity to taste delicious food while learning about the culture and people behind the food.

In Antigua, Guatemala, I took an incredible cooking class to make pepián.

Pepián is a tomato-based dish featuring chicken, grilled chiles, and often, a family’s secret spice recipe.

The class I took was taught by a Mayan mother and daughter, who were making the pepián recipe handed down through the generations by their ancestors.

I learned about the traditional cooking methods. I even got to use their grandmother’s cooking stone to prepare the meal!

It was a fantastic experience.

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Tagine Cooking Class in Marrakesh, Morocco

Let’s talk tagines!

I had the opportunity to take a tagine cooking class outside of Marrakesh, Morocco. And have been craving the delicious results ever since.

Tagines are clay cookware used to create incredible stews and dishes.

In Morocco, you’ll see a two-piece tagine made from red clay, with a flatter bottom and a cone-shaped top.

Charcoal is often used to heat the pot. The top keeps condensation in the dish rather than evaporating.

Traditional dishes include chicken, minced meat, and fish with a variety of spices and vegetables.

For my cooking class, we made chicken and lamb. I also ordered the minced meat tagine in just about every restaurant I visited in Morocco. It was delicious, every single time. 

Are you ready to have your own food travel experiences? Contact us now to start planning your custom trip, tailor-made just for you!