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A world of food, so why have a burger?

February 3 2017 | , , , , ,

Now its no secret to my friends that my wife and I enjoy our holidays; well, she is a travel agent after all. And one thing that always surprises me on my trips overseas is when local restaurants offer non-local food.

In the past few years I have eaten some of the finest food I have ever enjoyed: from mis-shaped tomatoes with feta on a remote Greek Island to freshly-caught squid in the Caribbean. Yet all these restaurants also offered the same pizzas, burgers and toasties. Why?

In England, our menus rarely contain salt fish and rice for any passing Jamaican visitor or beef stifardo for the Greeks. So why do they feel the need to do so for English tourists?

I think I know.

In most countries, food is considered part of the local education and an appreciation of the great comfort which comes from the use of fresh ingredients is handed down through the generations. As a result, people come to enjoy – and to love – their local food traditions and local produce.

In England, we don’t share this tradition.

Whilst there are many superb, local food products and producers on our little island, we are not taught to embrace food in the same way. As a result, we become ignorant of the “world of food” available to us and remain firmly within our food comfort zone.

Don’t misunderstand me, I love a cheeseburger as much as the next chap. But given the choice between a frozen burger and a tonne of fires or a baked saganaki with freshly-made pitta and hummus… I know which one I’m choosing on my next Greek holiday.

So, dear reader, my advice to you is this: embrace the cuisine of the countries you visit. Try the local specialities. Take that leap of culinary faith.

It may taste dreadful. Or you tastebuds may fall in love with your new favourite dish.

Coming soon: Tales from the Big Apple.