What’s your ultimate food journey? Would it be tasting custard tarts in Portugal, Bouef Bourguignon in France, ceviche in Peru, satay in Indonesia, afternoon tea in England or sushi in Tokyo? As many of you know, I believe food and travel go hand in hand – there’s no better way to learn about a country’s culture than to learn about its food, and not just what people eat – their shopping and cooking habits also offer great insight. Food is, in fact, “as much a part of the vacation experience as visiting a destination’s top sites,” according to Dorling Kindersley’s Ultimate Food Journeys: The World’s Best Dishes and Where to Eat Them. “There is no better way of finding out what makes a nation tick than through its culinary traditions.”
This book is not so much a guide book that you would bring with you (it’s coffee table size, for starters!) but a list of dishes that food-focused travellers will want to try and the best places to try them. Organised according to continent, the book is an ideal planner for anyone who wants to experience authentic food in its original setting, and offers a unique way to get to know different regions, towns, and cities in the world through their food. Offering information about 125 destinations, the book identifies signature dishes and dining experiences for each so you can plan your travels according to the foods you want to taste (though I would always advise to check online for current information about opening hours, menus and prices before you plan definitively).
Each section gives an overview of a dish, including its history, a list of the best places to taste it (both in the city/ region, in the country and around the world!), a selection of cookery schools (so you can recreate those fabulous flavours once you return home) and also offers a selection of other things to do to round out a day (for some of the larger destinations, there are multi-day itineraries) in the area. There is also essential information about getting there and around (including where to stay and where to find tourist information) – all with websites listed so you can do extra research for yourself. As I said, this is not a guide book, rather it’s a pre-planner for a trip. Restaurants, markets, cooking schools – these are all my starting points for planning a trip so this is my kinda guide book! At the end there is a list of food festivals around the world which might just be your starting point for planning a trip!
As a point of reference, I looked at the “Marvelous Macarons in Paris” section and was impressed with the amount of information they managed to pack into a double page spread (along with some gorgeous photos!). Their suggestions for “must eat” macarons included the classics (Laduré and Hermé) which are definitely the places to start for those seeking the perfect macaron. (I, of course, could add to that list myself… but these are the places one must visit as points of reference) and I was pleased to see my favourite La Cuisine Paris included in the classes section (again, I can add to that list too!). Their short but swet list of accommodations included something for every price range and their “Day in Paris” itinerary was pretty comprehensive, including a nice selection of neighbourhoods to visit. The only section I was disappointed in was where they talked about other places to eat macarons in the rest of France and the world. It was definitely a little bit “light on” but if Paris is your destination and macarons are your thing, this is a great starting point. That’s the thing about this book – it’s a starting point for trip planning. And a book to keep on your coffee table to inspire many trips to come!
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An Ultimate Food Journeys giveaway!
Thanks to DK Canada I have one copy of Ultimate Food Journeys to give away to a lucky Canadian reader.
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling me where your ultimate food journey would take you.
For a bonus entry, tweet the following message: Canadians: Win Ultimate Food Journeys from @DKCanada + @eatlivtravwrite ! Details: http://bit.ly/UltimateFoodJourneys #travel #travelguides
then come back to leave me a comment on this post telling me you did.
Eligibility and contest rules
- Open to to readers with a Canadian mailing address.
- No purchase of any product necessary for entry.
- A winner will be chosen using Random.org from all qualified entries on January 14th 2015 after 6pm EST.
- Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday January 15th 2015 and will have 48 hours to respond.
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of Ultimate Food Journeys for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing do. All opinions 100% my own.