SPLAT. Did you hear that? That was the sound of a few thousand packed lunches being thrown out the window. Yep. The Intrepid Food Truck is in town!
Lunch-ladies, waiters and stale-sandwich makers of the world, have the day off, because we’re taking over Sydney and Melbourne’s hungry-hot-spots and serving up a complimentary mouth-watering street food feast – and everyone’s invited.
Daniel Klein, of the adventurous and sustainable eating team The Perennial Plate, has just enjoyed another taste of India and explains why the best food experiences are right under your nose…
“When you arrive in India, whether it’s Mumbai or Delhi, you’ll think to yourself, “I better eat at the hotel, or the fancy TripAdvisor recommendation. Well that is WRONG. Embrace the streets! Indian street food is your most delicious, and in my opinion, safest path towards a wonderful culinary experience in the land of spices. Just think about it: at a street food stall you can see how everything is made, the cleanliness is clear and the popularity of the stand is obvious. Meanwhile, a fancy hotel has a hidden staff of young cooks that don’t care if you come back, and the kitchen and cooking conditions are hidden to the public. To me, the choice of popular public display of delicouness trumps the restaurant kitchen behind door number 4.
We asked Mirra Fine, Perennial Plate co-founder, what she enjoyed most about China during filming of their video for the Real World Food Tour. It seems she had trouble narrowing it down to one thing…
“I loved China. I loved everything about it. I embraced the toilets, the spitting on the streets, the vegetarian dumplings sitting next to the donkey meat sandwiches. I appreciated the waves of Chinese tourists in matching yellow hats, the bustling markets full of crazy food and innards I had never seen (and never particularly wanted to see), the crowded streets, the stinky tofu, the public dancing (there’s a lot of it).
Some might accuse the Intrepid team of being obsessed with food, and it’s true that there are few things we love better than tracking down a great local eatery. When Rami Hazou, from Intrepid My Adventure Store and former Intrepid Group Leader, spent time in Jordan, it didn’t take him long to find a special place to feast…
“The only port city of Jordan is called Aqaba. It lies at the northern most tip of the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea. Known mainly for its warm waters and exquisite coral and marine life, Aqaba has much more to offer. With its modern city, great restaurants and night life, on top of being a free trade zone, it has become a traveller’s paradise. It’s also the gateway for famous Wadi Rum, where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed and you can explore amazing rock and sand landscapes that are unique to the area.
If you’re feeling a little blue, then travelling to Bolivia could be the cure. Intrepid’s Jacqueline Donaldson discovered a drink made from corn that’s a curious colour but a great local treat…
“Maize is a food with endless permutations; fresh, popped, ground into flour for bread, as a syrup, or an oil. Travelling through Latin America you will find so many delicious foods with maize as the main ingredient. Travelling in Bolivia you will find something extra special. A blue maize drink called api.
One of the greatest joys of travel is discovering the local food specialties and eating out in different styles. This can be doubly terrific when you know your dining is helping to support and benefit formerly disadvantaged people. Intrepid makes a point of seeking out truly fair trade restaurants and cafes, and in all the following wonderful examples the food and friendly service will not disappoint!
Where’s the best food in Asia? You’d be hard pressed to top the great choices in Cambodia:
Your Trans-Siberian highlight could be the excitement of getting on in Asia and disembarking in Europe, or it could be thrill of actually being aboard the iconic train journey. For Intrepid’s Rebecca Willis it was what happened on the platforms that she loved most, and it was all about trying the local treats…
“My favourite part about the Trans-Siberian train ride is the platform food! When the train stops for a short break you can jump off and search out the babushka, Russian grandmothers, selling hot, fresh, homemade goodies. It’s a carbohydrate addict’s utopia! There’s fresh bread, peroshki (bread pies filled with veggies or potatoes), boiled potatoes with carrots and onions, trubochki (rolled waffles filled with sweetened condensed milk) and my personal favourite, vareniki.
In Mongolia many things are different to what we are used to at home, but especially the food. Trying fermented mare’s milk, dried curd, sour yoghurt and other traditional dishes is all part of the fun, and Intrepid’s Denis Sobnakov explains why a Mongolian barbecue gives you a special taste of the local lifestyle…
“We finally reached our remote destination, where we were warmly met by our hosts, Bat and Tsetseg. Our Mongolian friends invited us to their ger and Tsetseg gave us each a cup of salted milk tea and put a bucket of small breads, that looked like donuts, in the centre of our table. We talked for a while and our hosts told us that for dinner they will cook a meat dish and we’ll eat it in the traditional way.
Think of movies and most know Morocco for the famous Hollywood film Casablanca, even though in that case production never left the Los Angeles studios! But since then there have been 100s of movies made locally and Intrepid’s Summer Davis explains how Intrepid travellers get to dine with a Moroccan film ‘star’…
“In a small mud brick house on the wadi bank opposite Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, lights and laughter warm the cool interior. Joking his way through a cooking demonstration, Hussein Boulkil enlivens the onlookers intently learning to cook couscous and tagine. A self-proclaimed actor, Hussein has been an extra in 14 movies filmed in Ait Benhaddou and ‘met’ such prestigious actors as Harrison Ford, Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt.