Food and Travel – From Elation to Despair

Food and travel
Pigs’ heads and trotters in Bolivia, which I didn’t try.

The anticipation of a meal – the wonderful aromas, glistening colours, textures – and then the flavours. Eating is undoubtedly one of the most sensational activities ever, yet the experience is amplified tenfold amongst ‘different’ cultures and places. Indeed, some of the most enjoyable and downright despicable experiences I’ve ever had involve food and travel. Here’s a few of my more memorable adventures.

Stuart’s Well, Northern Territory

Without a doubt, my worst eating experience ever was in Stuart’s Well, a small town about 80 kilometres south of Alice Springs. Here my bushman friend Luke grabbed a kangaroo tail out of the freezer and threw it straight on the fire, skin and all. Shortly after, he grabbed the crispy appendage and began engaging in vigorous typewriter-style nibbles, much like one would on a corn cob. I tried the same, however the tough skin, burnt hairs and appalling smell thrust me into the corners of culinary despair. Never again.

Food and travel
Me, deliriously anticipating a dish of pigs’ brains – Guadalajara, Mexico

Guadalajara, Mexico

Excited by the festivities of Guadalajara, in Mexico, I decided the time was ripe to engage in a bit of swine offal in a small café. Pork brains were on the menu and being adventurous (at least I thought so) I decided to chew on them wholeheartedly. These battered and deep-fried brains tasted like whopping balls of crispy-coated snot. While not the most delightful meal I’ve had, it certainly was a memorable experience.

Bangkok, Thailand

On a visit to Bangkok, I sat down expectantly with a bag of fried grasshoppers and a few tiger beers. The waitress quickly showed me how to twist off the head and munch away, which I did happily through about 50 locusts. It was a rather pleasant sensation that went well with a beer. Although my partner thought I was disgusting.

Food and travel
The eccentric Scamander Post Office in Scamander, Tasmania

Scamander, Tasmania

Closer to home, I entered the post office in Scamander on the east coast of Tasmania. This shop contained an adventurous train set that chugged over people’s heads, along with a curious collection of native pies. Some of the more memorable were the wallaby, rabbit, crocodile and scallop pies. The wallaby pie tasted a little gamey, yet uber-flavoursome, the crocodile pie tasted like chicken with more funk, and the scallop pie – well, one bite sent me all over Tasmania searching for these little sensations, which I’ve written about here, and here.

What are some of the more ‘exotic’ foods you’ve tried travelling? I’d love to hear about them!

3 thoughts on “Food and Travel – From Elation to Despair”

  1. Great! Can’t say the same for mine. Good Victorian Pinot and lashings of jasmine tea have taken their toll. Next time I’m in Asia I’m going to go for some cheap dentistry !


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