Week 23 of the Indie Travel Challenge is all about food and how it has connected you to a destination during your travels.
What is your favorite food and what does it remind you of? How has food connected you to a destination during your travels?
I am a gigantic food nerd! If you don’t believe me, go check out the video I made the first night back in the states. I’m geeking out to American foods I’ve missed while traveling.
My favourite food is a weird one. I grew up eating lots of vegetarian foods, and although I’m not vegetarian, I absolutely love macaroni and nutritional Yeast. It’s a wicked comfort food to me that reminds me of my dad, and home with my family, and Maine, and everything. I eat it when I’m homesick and I suddenly feel better.
But how do foods connect me with travel? All the time! The first time you try a food, every subsequent time you eat said food, you are brought back to the first time you tried it.
Arepas and eggs? = Colombia
Donas/Kebabs = Sarajevo
Encebollado = Quito, Ecuador
Icecream = Croatia (ok, so I downed icecream in South America too, but Croatia is where I learned I CAN eat icecream outside of the USA….so icecream and Croatia will always have this connection for me)
And food makes me think of special events and stuff too.
Pumpkins = before this past Halloween, they made me think of my sister and the time I accidently dropped a giant pumpkin on her stomach….because the stem snapped…twice…on 2 different pumpkins…5 minutes apart from each other. (Because, of course, after the first giant pumpkin stem snapped and fell on her stomach, we HAD to re-enact the scene for our mom)
Now pumpkins also make me think of Colombia and Diego, because this past Halloween was my very first holiday out of the USA, and for it, I devirginized Diego from the fine art of pumpkin carving. So now anytime I see a pumpkin I think of my sister and Diego.
Every time I make chocolate chip cookies I think of my mom. Because we made chocolate chip cookies almost everyday when I was little. Why? because after we made the dough, before we cooked them, we had to nap. At 17 I found a chocolate chip cookie recipe I wrote when I was 5. In it, the directions were, “Put cookie dough in fridge. Take a nap. Put cookie dough on trays. Cook cookies”
When I asked mom why I wrote “take a nap” her answer was, “I told you you had to take a nap for the cookies to come out right. It was the only way I could get you to shut up and be quiet for an hour”
To this day, every time I make cookies, I have to sit in front of the stove watching them cook or I fall asleep. Pavlov’s experiments in action. Thanks mom.
So yes, food and travel have a huge connection. Ask anyone about food they had while traveling, and they get this nostalgic look in their eyes, and you can see them being brought back to their travels and all the emotions, smells, sights, and sounds that surrounded the time when they had said food.
And now I’m hungry. And I want arepas, eggs, and chocolate chip cookies.
This is part of the Boots’n’All 2012 Indie Travel Challenge. I’m doing this to help make me a more consistent and better writer. And now it is also making me hungry.
About Dani Blanchette
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com.
I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I’ve flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion.
I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.