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Chowriffic Destinations...

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Hi all,
I am a new hound but was hooked from the first moment I stumbled onto the boards. I got to thinking after the Rachel Ray/Tulsa post(you know the one!)-there was a reply asking about the role travel plays in unlocking your Chowhound potential. I know for me personally food and travel are definitely intertwined. A few of my favorite chow destinations have been Jamaica, Mexico(shout out to Eat_Nopal), Vancouver, and Barcelona. Still on the list: Singapore, Greece, and India. What about you?

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  1. My list in very rough order: Laos & NE Thailand, Mexico, Japan, China, Vietnam, eastern India, Lahore (Pakistan), Italy, Thailand, Tajikistan, Guatemala, NYC, Burma, San Francisco, Singapore, Peru, Mozambique, Belen (Brazil), Nepal & Bhutan, Cambodia, Taiwan, and Fresno.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

      Hi Sam,
      I forgot to mention how much I enjoy reading your posts. Always very informative...
      I am planning to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Japan(Tokyo&Yokohama) next year so I will probably want to pick your brain just a bit in the coming months :)

      1. re: Luvfriedokra

        You might want to check the Japan board as well, it's very Tokyo centric and if you search you'll find just about everything's been discussed already. Good travels

    2. Oh, Italy. #1 is Italy.

      1. Paris, SF, Sydney, Oah'u, Mexico City, NYC, Tahiti, Vancouver, Italy and the whole state of Maine..

        1. Great post............ New Orleans is close to the top of my favs as is Paris but definately on my to-do list is asian countries: Vietnam, Japan, Thailand, China, Cambodia. Also Greece would be fantastic to go eat through.

          Seattle was a wonderful culinary adventure.

          We recently went to Paris and Italy and from an eating perspective : disappointed in Italy - Paris blew us away!!! (we had wonderful guides/hosts in Paris, on our own in Italy - could be part of the reason)

          1. Keep it simple. Hope a flight to NYC and take the number 7 subway to Queens and get off any stop. A wonderland of ethnic chow. So little time, so much chow.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Passadumkeg

              I second that! Former resident of Ridgewood....I enjoyed chowing my way though Queens

              1. re: Luvfriedokra

                I lived in Ridgewood, Glendale and Maspeth, and loved it! There was a terrific Asian supermarket in Maspeth (as of 8 years ago, lol) and I loved to browse the unfamiliar items. So, so many good places to eat in Queens!

              2. re: Passadumkeg

                Agree! I visit that area frequently.People always ask what I did on my visit. All I can really say is "we ate"!

                NYC is a truly wonderful eating area! My family member who lives in Brooklyn is planning on moving to Cal. in Jan. I hope I can squeeze in one more trip before then! (We are trying to talk her into keeping her apt.as a timeshare sort of thing with several of us chipping in...)

              3. For food, I would skip Greece and go to Turkey. Seriously. Much better food in Turkey.

                Food plays a big part in my choice of destination. My list would include Thailand, Vietnam, Italy, New Orleans, NYC, San Francisco, Hong Kong, France, Barcelona. On the to-do list: Japan, Mexico, Laos, Cambodia.

                The place I was most disppointed in, food-wise, is Sri Lanka. With Florida coming a close second. And Russia was pretty rubbish too, apart from the vodka, but they were going through an economic and political crisis at the time.

                1. I can't imagine a destination that is NOT chowriffic, as long as travelers
                  a) are open minded, curious and willing to learn new things,
                  b) ask locals,
                  c) leave home customs and attitudes at home.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: RicRios

                    There are a few places that are a bit challenged and more challenging: the western Brazilian Amazon, rural Ethiopia, remote parts of Madagascar, much of Colombia, the more rermote areas of Cambodia, rural Nicaragua, and a few others.

                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Been to # 1, 4 & 6.
                      Don't recall any suffering.
                      In the Amazon, just followed the advice: drink only black river water, not the brown ones.

                      1. re: RicRios

                        No suffering, but places like Rio Branco have no vegetables and, even, hard to believe, little fruit. Meat and farofa and beans. I don't mind beans and rice and fried meat in Colombia - but the lack of green vegetables, the lack of picante, and the high salt and oil levels can get to me. I love eating with rural families in Nicaragua, but again there is relatively little in the way of spicy and not that much in terms of vegetables. These are all areas where rice is of the IR72 types (from IRRI where I used to work) that are not so good. No good breads...

                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                          Hey, wait! It was in Colombia where I met my first huevos de iguana.
                          Actually, Mother Iguana was right there next to the eggs looking at me, at the market stall. I remember grabbing one, asking the vendor if it was figs...

                          1. re: RicRios

                            Never seen or had iguana eggs. How were they?

                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                              Pretty tasty. Read picture caption below.

                              http://www.gourmet.com/food/2008/03/e...

                    2. re: RicRios

                      Bravo, RicRios, great response. One of my favorite travel memories is finding a roadside cart of Taber corn in rural Alberta. The area doesn't have to be known for food, but you do have to know what's around you.

                    3. Greece! Have to disagree with Greedygirl. The food in Greece is fabulous, if you know where to eat. I have been to Greece at least 16 times so I know of what I speak.
                      Also love the food in Japan- certainly a culinary adventure.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: emilief

                        I'll admit that I haven't been to Greece in a very long time, but when I was there (and it was for a month & we were all over the place), my impression was that the Greek food in Astoria, Queens surpassed what I had in Greece! Perhaps it has changed over the years, but I remember spending some time in a small town on the island of Patmos, and if the fisherman had come in with something, you could have that, otherwise it was pasta, tomatoes and omelets. We learned the phrase "ochi ladi" in Greek, which meant "no oil." After they would cook an omelet, they would pour oil over it. But the one fabulous thing I remember having was yogurt. A lady in the large town made it, and it came in little pleated paper cups with a piece of paper twisted over the top, and sprinkled with some sugar, it was heaven. I never think of Greece as a foodie destination.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          There is fabulous food in Greece. Maybe it is because we have family and many friends who take us to the best ( as in best food, not expensive) places. Patmos is extremely small and not a chow destination(I have been several times but only on cruises- never to eat). Also, never had the experience of having someone pour oil over an omelette.

                      2. HK is where I realize food can taste so good. Like even the run down looking cafe tasted absolutely wonderful! I really liked Japan too but I was sick at that time so I couldn't enjoy there as much (though the Japanese cheesecake in Osaka was the best damn cake I ever tasted).

                        I was disappointed in Taiwan but well we did go with a tour group...

                        I have not been to a lot of places...

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: AngelSanctuary

                          I agree - Hong Kong is a great place to eat! Never had a bad meal there.

                        2. I would love to go to Vietnam...and will one day. Favorite food spots=Yountville, Ca., San Francisco, Philadelphia, New Orleans, a BBQ spot in Utila one of the Bay Islands off of Honduras, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Las Vegas.

                          Someday I'll make it to Barcelona!!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: melly

                            The food in Vietnam is wonderful, but I think Thailand is slightly better. Barcelona is good, but Rome (or anywhere in Italy) is great. I wasn't impressed at all by the meals I had in Las Vegas.

                          2. NYC (gotta be loyal to the homeland), Singapore, Xian, Guangzhou, Tokyo, Cahors for the last duckfest my poor body will ever be able to tolerate, New Orleans, Yountville/CA, Texas (go Q!), Frankfurt, London (drink only, pass on the food when I was there).

                            I wanna be Sam. Hats off to you!

                            1. I ate my way through Buenos Aires - add it to your list!

                              1. We just finish 5 lbs of clams on the half shell, 5 lbs of steamers and 4 lobsters for 20 bucks at home. TGIF in Maine.

                                1. Oh gosh, China China China. I've been three times, and I'm about to move back--I'm ecstatic that I'll be eating so well and with such variety. I've also done Tibet (technically China, but very different) and the food was fabulous. Also done Italy and Costa Rica, both great places to eat.
                                  On my to-do list in no particular order: France, Morocco, HK, Malaysia, Spain, Thailand, Japan,...everywhere. I want to go everywhere and eat everything!