Five foods worth travelling for
While architecture, culture, activities and nightlife are big draws when choosing a country to visit, a place’s signature dishes are often an attraction in their own right. And while we might all be ready for the ‘Christmas kilo’, our overindulgence shouldn’t stop us from concocting food-based travel plans for the New Year.
So if you’re tempted to head away to try some of your favourite dishes in the country where they originate, here’s what the Flexicover team suggest should be on any self-respecting foodie’s bucket list.
Pho in Vietnam
More fragrant and delicate in its core ingredients than its East Asian neighbours, Vietnamese food is a particular joy for western palettes. Crunchy fresh herbs, a squeeze of lime and lightly-spiced meat make it an increasingly popular option in the UK, but for a taste of how it should be done, head to the hectic streets of Hanoi. Patrons generally don’t get a choice of Pho, but once a steaming bowl of noodle soup is placed in front of them, that issue – and the beeping traffic around them – will quickly be forgotten.
Kobe beef in Japan
It’s a delicacy in Japan where it’s produced and hard to find in the UK, so if steak is your death row meal, Kobe beef is arguably worth the airfare. Often called ‘the caviar of meat’, the perfectly marbled beef is made under strict rules: cows (a type of Wagyu called Tajima) are raised in the Hyogo area, where many farmers feed them beer, massage their flesh and play music during meals to encourage their appetite. For a taste of authentic Kobe steak at a reasonable price, try it at Asakusa Imahan Kokusai Dori Honten in Tokyo, which offers a 160g steak as part of a set meal for £120.
Danish pastries in Copenhagen
It’s surprising that Danish pastries are a show-stealing item in Denmark, mainly due to the fact that these warm, flaky pastries actually derive from Vienna. We can only assume they’ve taken on the name because the Danes do it better. In coffee shops and supermarkets around the country, varieties of pastries like apple, cherry and raisin take centre stage. They’re often as big as your head, and so well prepared they’d all deserve a Paul Hollywood handshake. Try the popular local chain of Lagkagehuset for a bakery that serves light brown flaky pastry, fruit-heavy filling, an expertly-designed flash of icing and a glossy sugar coating all around.
Fried chicken in Louisiana
Frankly, southern fried anything gets our vote, but when it’s chicken and found in the Pelican state of Louisiana, you know you’re onto a winner. This dish is rampant across America and has international appeal too, but the recipe originates from the Deep South and that’s where they still produce the best stuff. For tourists there’s no shortage of Cajun-tinged fried chicken – Willie Mae’s Scotch House in New Orleans, Chicken Shack in Baton Rouge and the fast food chain Krispy Krunchy Chicken are all passionately argued as the world’s best. Served with sides of mac and cheese, okra and sweet potatoes, it’s a meal made in heaven.
Pizza in Naples
Pizza has become such a ubiquitous meal but to see how it was originally intended, a visit to Naples is a must. The colour match of the margherita pizza to the red, white and green of the Italian flag is no coincidence: the dish was first made in 1889 to honour Queen Margherita of Savoy’s visit to the city. To this day, purists argue there are only two types of pizza: margherita and marinara, and the place to find the original version is Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba, believed to be Naples’ first pizzeria. Or try Pizzeria Da Michele, otherwise known as the joint where Julia Roberts ate pizza in Eat Pray Love.
Wherever your travel plans take you it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.