People travel for various reasons – and one is to taste and experience different kinds of cuisine, especially the authentic kind. But, for example, due to the different spices available and, more importantly, the adjustments made by cooks and chefs to cater to their diners’ preferences, some Arabic foods in the United States taste quite different from supposedly similar Arabic dishes served in the Middle East.
For a foodie, you would want to taste as many dishes as possible by travelling to different countries. You wouldn’t just be content with what you are being served back home; you would want to sample the “real thing” in the place of origin.
To get the most out of your foodie trip, online food delivery sites in the UAE share some excellent tips for an unforgettable foodie holiday.
1. Research in advance
You would not know which dining establishments are offering the most delectable dishes if you don’t do your research ahead of time. So hours or days before your flight, go online and find out about the local dishes in your target country and where to get them. You can find a lot of food bloggers sharing their experiences on the Internet. You may also find some helpful food and beverage industry articles.
Social media is also a great resource. You can check via your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account about the names of dishes you must try in Dubai, for instance. Consider adding a hashtag like #Dubai on your post so that locals will know about your query.
Instagram is also the best place to check out if you want to know what is trending. All you need to do is to enter your country of destination. The results can include mouth-watering images of some dishes you must try in that city or region.
- Visit the best hotels
If you forgot to do your research ahead of time, visiting the country’s best hotels is a good move. Oftentimes, they have an in-house restaurant offering some of the local must-try dishes. The best thing about going to hotels is that they have staff who can speak the local language and expert knowledge about the area, including the food.
3. Eat like a local
If you wish to visit the country in the most authentic way, observe the routine of the locals. By doing so, you can taste the best menus of the day, greatly appreciate how it is to eat like a local, and know which homegrown cafés have long, crowded lines of locals on a daily basis.
4. Check out the food markets
Every city has its own food markets, regardless of how small the area is. Here, you can taste the country’s delicious street foods, so don’t forego dropping by these places.
Furthermore, have a chat with the vendors to know if there are any hidden gems near the area. You might end up eating in a café that only a few tourists have gone to. If not, you can be the first tourist to dine in a newly-opened local restaurant.
5. Book a food tour
Most cities offer food tours to both locals and tourists. This is probably your best option if you are a solo foodie traveller. This tour will take you to the city’s best dining establishments. It also includes a walking tour where you can learn some trivia and important facts about the country’s history.
6. Sign up for a cooking class
Attending a cooking class in Dubai offers you a different way to experience the place. Today, most cities are already offering cooking classes for foodies. These classes may include honing your knife skills, knowing how to make pasta, acquire new cooking skills and techniques, and learning how to create vegetarian recipes.
Aside from tasting recipes you and the other students have created, you will be taking home new cooking skills and knowledge. This way, you can cook the same recipe at home and let your family and friends taste a dish from the country you have just visited. Make sure, though, to take home some authentic ingredients as well so you will achieve the same aroma and taste.
7. Sip on some local drinks
In some countries, certain dishes are paired with specific drinks such as special coffee, tea, juice, etc. Also, most countries have local produce, including their own beverage concoctions. So make sure to sample them as well.
For instance, if you go on a tea holiday, you can discover the different types of teas, how they are made, the different cuts, and how, exactly, oolong tea is any different from green tea.
Preparation and an adventurous spirit are the keys to having a spectacular foodie holiday. Make a list of the must-try dishes and where to get them. Most importantly, have the confidence to ask the locals about their best produce, eat with them, and take a local cooking class if you have time!
Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at Horeca Trade LLC with more than eight years of experience in digital, online and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut working in a creative agency and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.