Gastro tour bingo
We foodies can tend to enjoy a little point-scoring when recalling our holiday adventures, which is the thinking behind this list of some of the best food experiences to be had in the world. It’s by no means complete. Could it ever be? But go on, have a go ticking off all the foodie fun you’ve ever had by comparing your experiences with the list below and letting us know how you score.
- Eaten a Cornish pasty in Cornwall – 1 point.
- Feasted on moules in Brussels – 2 points. (Deduct one point for eating them on Rue des Bouchers.)
- Bought a whole rotisserie chicken from rue Mouffetard, Paris – 2 points. (An extra point if you cleaned up the bones with your fingers á la Dominique Bretodeau from the Amélie movie.)
- Eaten surströmming (rotten/fermented herring) outdoors on a summer’s evening in Sweden – 2 points (1 extra point per shot of Snapps had; 3 extra points for joining in with the drinking songs).
- Drunk a pint of Guinness at the top of the Guinness factory in Dublin – 2 points.
- Sat down to a meal in the Djamaa El Fna square in Marrakech - 3 points. (Give yourself an extra two points for shunning the tourist stalls and wandering over to the locals’ haunts and sampling sheep’s brains or snail soup.)
- Eaten fish and chips in Whitby’s Marine Parade – 2 points. (An extra 1 point if it was out of newspaper; 2 points if it was made with sustainable fish).
- Sampled a single malt whisky (or two) in an Islay distillery – 2 points. (Deduct one point if you’ve forgotten the name of the whisky).
- Eaten pastéis de natas (Portuguese custard tart) with a strong coffee in Portugal – 2 points. (An extra point if it was in Belém, Lisbon next to the monastery where it was invented.)
- Eaten Jordan’s national dish, mansaf, from a platter moulding the rice into balls with your right hand while your left is placed behind your back – 3 points.
- Eaten bobotie in Cape Town with the locals – 3 points.
- Fought your way through the crowds at Borough market and enjoyed a picnic of treats by the river – 2 points.
- Scoffed a plate of kalamari straight from the sea in a taverna on a Greek island – 2 points.
- Snacked on tacos al pastor at a tacquería in Mexico City – 2 points. (Five extra points if you persuaded the stall holder to give you the secret recipe.)
- Visited a Welsh tea room and eaten a plate of bara birth slathered in butter with a cup of tea – 2 points (Two extra points if the tea room was in Argentina’s Chubut province).
- Ordered a hot pastrami sandwich on rye bread with pickle in a New York deli – 2 points.
- Enjoyed a fried fish sandwich in a boat moored off Galata Bridge, Istanbul - 4 points. (Didn’t throw up due to sea sickness? One extra point.)
- Eaten a falafel from an Israeli falafel stand – 2 points (1 extra point if the stall holder flipped the falafel balls into the air and caught them in the pitta).
- Eaten a kaiseki meal in Kyoto, Japan – 3 points.
- Caught your own fish, gutted it yourself and cooked it over an open fire – 2 points.
- Eaten curry goat with rice ‘n’ peas and dumpling in a beach shack restaurant overlooking the Caribbean Sea – 2 points.
- Snacked from a bag of fried insects from the Khaosan Road in Bangkok - 1 point each for trying grasshoppers, crickets, silk larvae, weevils or the much-prized scorpions.
- Eaten a chicken kebab at Bade Miya food stall, Tulloch Road, Mumbai – 5 points. (Give yourself an extra two points if you ate off a car bonnet.)
10 points or less – Your idea of adventurous eating is tucking into your packed lunch before 12 noon on a car ferry. You probably pack supplies of oatcakes and dried fruit on your holiday, just in case the local nosh isn’t up to scratch. Go on, gamble on a local speciality and venture away from that resort restaurant.
25 points or less – You part-time foodie. You might like to book the local destination restaurant on your hols, but that reservation isn’t essential to your overall happiness and the quality of your vacation. So what if the guidebook recommended best-ever sushi/fondue/steak/pizza/currywurst restaurant is closed the weekend you’re in town, the place next door looks just as buzzing and authentic. You could either acknowledge that it’s time to take your foodie-ness to another level, or just relax enjoying the fact that gastronomy is still a pleasure and not an obsession.
26 points or more – You are a gastro tourist, and won’t order so much as a breadstick before checking recommendations on Twitter. Every hotel pillow mint and take-away coffee is recorded in great detail on your ‘trip report’ post on Chowhound. You need to relax a little, start your next holiday by eating one of those pre-prepared paninis on a budget flight. Remember you can’t tweet at 20,000 feet.
So now, it’s over to you. What do you think should go onto the essential ‘gastro tour bingo’ list?
Ramona Andrews is the host of the BBC Food Q&A blog and messageboard.