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Fantasy Chow trips?

I'm sure there's been a thread about this, but I found ones that were a little more specific (i.e. domestic trips, honeymoons, etc.). What's your fantasy trip? Cost, transportation, and other issues not at all withstanding and no special occasion necessary... if you could go anywhere you wanted solely for the food, where would you go?

I ask because of this conversation I had yesterday with my BF...

Told him that I'd love to take a trip to the south of France. Fly to Paris, stay a few days, rent a car, head south, and drive from town to town, munching on whatever was good. A leisurely vacation driving through lovely countryside dining on fabulous cheese, bread, wine, and a whole lot more. When I had my fill, I'd turn east and follow the Alps through Switzerland, Northern Italy, Bavaria, and end up in Munich, where I'd fly back to the States. Naturally, I'd eat my way through the Alps, too.

His response? "I'm sorry, sweetie, but that doesn't really appeal to me."

Guess I'm stuck fantasizing for now. Join me!

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  1. For me, it would have to be a visit to the Pajottenland region of Belgium, so I could observe the open-air fermentation process for true Lambic. And, so I could drink some, of course. :)

    My Blog: http://www.epicureforum.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: sirregular

      Not long ago, I learned that friends of a good friend were beer geeks. They talked about their beer trip through Europe and spent a lot of time sampling and studying the fermentation of true Lambic. I learned a lot from them and it sounded like an incredible trip!

    2. Street food in Bangkok. Check out this mouthwatering NYT article: http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/...

      1 Reply
      1. re: hungry100

        Yum! I was in Bangkok when I was around nine or so... too young to care about the food. I remember taking a boat ride through a floating market and seeing noodle vendors serve right out of their boats.

      2. After seeing Anthony Bourdain in Singapore I am dying to go!

        6 Replies
        1. re: charlottecooks

          I love me some laksa (soup noodle dish from Singapore and Malaysia) and I've managed to have some in LA. Asian supermarkets will sell the mixes and until I go back, it's the closest I'll get.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laksa

          1. re: geekyfoodie

            Oh, yes, I read Calvin Trillin's account of eating in Singapore in the most recent New Yorker Food Issue and I was ready to buy a plane ticket right then and there. Too bad about that whole money thing (or lack of it, I guess).

            Here's the link to abstract:

            http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/20...

          2. re: charlottecooks

            Yes, food courts in Singapore sound amazing!

            Hong Kong sounds great.

            A road trip of fried chicken and BBQ places in the U.S. would be awesome.

            And I have been enamoured of the idea of travelling to different places to eat fresh fruit in season off the tree/plant. Ah the mangosteen...

            1. re: moh

              Hong Kong! The motherland! Ok, I immigrated here when I was two, but Cantonese food (whether in LA or in Hong Kong) means home.

              Bring your stomach and stamina. Like New York, Hong Kong has restaurants, food stalls, etc. on every corner and you really will have a ball going through it. My favorite places are the noodle stands where it's basically a counter, a table or two, and stools. The soup is hot, the purveyors surly, and the meal completely satisfying. The last time I was there, I had three meals before noon. My BF was not the happiest camper and cried uncle long before they were over.

              My parents have been saying LA's dim sum is on par with Hong Kong's nowadays (a viewpoint that I'm sure would bring on lots of debate), but they went to a place in Shenzhen (on the Hong Kong border with mainland China) where the dim sum was amazing and incredibly cheap.

              1. re: moh

                Hong Kong is amazing. I would definitely recommend visiting. A Chow's paradise.

              2. re: charlottecooks

                I've been TiVo-ing No Reservations and finally saw the Singapore episode. I can see what you mean!

                It's great that he started the episode with Hainanese chicken and rice. It's a specialty in my family and I grew up eating the stuff. It's true, indeed, that everyone has a passionate opinion about it.

              3. When my wife and I first started travelling, it was more about the destination than anything else. You know, old churches, museums, the scenery, etc. Over the years it has gotten to be more and more about the food. I mean, how many old churches can you see! We are now at the point where I would say the food experience comes first. Not that the destination itself is irrelevant; it isn't - but I spend much more time researching our food options than our museum options. This year we visited New Orleans for the first time. To me it is a great city to visit with much to see and do, but the food...

                We are spending two weeks in Italy this spring, eating our way down from Venice to Rome with plenty in between. Good luck to you in converting your BF into a foodgeek as well.

                2 Replies
                1. re: bnemes3343

                  Exactly! I totally agree... no matter where we go, I'm always on the lookout for good eats. We'll still do the sights, but the food is a very high priority.

                  Several friends have been to New Orleans in the past year and they're talking about all the fabulous meals they've had. With Southwest flying there, I think I'll have an opportunity to use a free ticket and fly down there. More money left for food!

                  I would love to tour Italy, too. I visited Rome and Florence for very short periods of time and had no time to sample anything. Do you plan on any cooking classes while you're there?

                  1. re: geekyfoodie

                    I would love to do a cooking vacation in Italy, but as with your BF, I would have to be on my own. My wife loves to eat as much as I do, but if I suggested she and/or I spend our vacation time in a kitchen she would leave me for sure. I know there are those types of vacations out there, but not in my future. I manage to squeeze in a recreational class or two every year at the ICE here in NY (We had Batali's Iron Chef sous chef (Ann) as an instructor one time - what a hoot!

                2. In general european, expecially the meditteranean food, is very tempting to me - we travel a lot around Europe and local food is as important as sightseeing to us. But over the last few summers we discovered middle eastern food and now all we want to do is visit these countries. Sad, that due to security issues we can't go everywhere, but we try to stick with semi-safe places like Egypt, Israel, Turkey and Morocco. Next summer I hope to go to Jordan and eat my way from Aqaba to Petra!