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A new survey by Intrepid Travel has found that more people would like to share a meal with TV presenter Stephen Fry than with Hollywood stars such as Angelina Jolie or George Clooney.
When asked to choose from a list of well-travelled celebrities, Stephen Fry was the most popular person to share a meal with (15%), followed by Frozen Planet presenter Sir David Attenborough (11%) and adventurer Michael Palin (9%). Just one in 20 people said they'd most like to share a meal with Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie or George Clooney (both 5%). Three times as many people chose Jamie Oliver compared with Gordon Ramsay (6% and 2% respectively).
The poll, which was carried out for the small group travel specialist by YouGov, found that although Chicken Tikka Masala may be thought to be the nation's favourite dish, Italian food is British people's favourite foreign cuisine, with one in six (17%) saying it’s their top choice.
Italian was voted the most popular cuisine among 18 to 34 year-olds*, Indian cuisine is the top choice for 35 to 44 year-olds**, while 45 and overs are more patriotic in their choice of meal and most likely to favour British food***.
Almost half of those surveyed who have been on holiday abroad (47%) said that the local cuisine is very or fairly important when choosing their holiday destination abroad. But although almost 9 in 10 with a favourite cuisine (87%) have eaten it in a restaurant, and 8 in 10 have cooked it at home, less then four in ten (38%) have eaten their favourite cuisine in a restaurant in the country that it comes from.
Within the UK, Londoners are the most likely to seek out the most authentic food they can find when travelling, eating from street stalls and markets whenever possible (18%), while Scots are the most likely to stick to Western chain restaurants or familiar cuisines (15%).
"It's refreshing to hear that British people would rather share a meal with someone famed for their great wit and conversation, than with a Hollywood heartthrob," says Rebecca McKernan, Manager at the Intrepid My Adventure Store.
"Sharing a meal is a great way to get to know people, their tastes and their culture. That's why eating in family-run restaurants, local markets and people's homes features so highly on Intrepid's itineraries. Whether your favourite cuisine is Italian or Indian, Mexican or Malaysian, you haven't tasted it at its authentic best until you've enjoyed it in the country where it comes from," adds McKernan.
Throughout February, Intrepid Travel is offering 15% off gastronomic tours in more than 15 countries known for their fabulous cuisine, from India to Vietnam, Sri Lanka to Mexico, as well as destinations closer to home including Italy, Spain and France.
The discounted trips showcase global food at its most authentic, with cooking classes, street food and local markets featuring prominently on many of the itineraries. Trips can be booked at www.intrepidtravel.com/deliciousdiscoveries.
Notes to editors
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,079 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken from 9 - 11 January 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
* 22% of 18 to 34 year-olds said Italian was their favourite cuisine
** 19% of 35 to 44 year-olds said Indian was their favourite cuisine
*** 30% of 45 and overs said that British was their favourite cuisine
A digital brochure is available on request, featuring authentic recipes for these fabulous foods:
· Pho (Vietnam)
· Thai Red Curry (Thailand)
· Curry Laksa (Malaysia)
· Jakarta Style Gado Gado (Indonesia)
· Seafood Bone Marrow Dumplings (China)
· Okonomiyaki (Japan)
· Jaffna Curry Crab (Sri Lanka)
· Butter Chicken (India)
· Braised Rabbit with Wild Mushrooms & Prunes (France)
· Pappardelle all’aretina (Italy)
· Swordfish Soulaki (Greece)
· Turkish Delight (Turkey)
· Salted Cod with Samfaina Sauce (Spain)
· Pigeon Pie (Morocco)
· Ceviche & Pisco Sour (Peru)
· Mole Poblano (Mexico)
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