Last year I learned a valuable and life changing lesson from fantastic foodie friend. Culture IS Food! Why stick to the touristy "hot spots" and see a bunch of foreigners when you can sit at a wonderful cafe with the locals and really ingest their culture.
It's true that food is cultural... but there is a difference between “food=culture” and “culture=food.” In the first, food is just another aspect of a cultural experience like language or architecture. In the second, the essence of culture boils down to food. What people eat, how they eat it, where, with whom, when. What better way to discover the true lives of people than to enter into their culinary culture.
Night Food market- great people watching and incredible munching
Eating is more than a means of sustenance...Relationships, politics, social structure, can all be understood around a dinner table (or, in
Asia, on stools at outdoor market). It is for this reason that I now LOVE to search out the best and more traditional tastes of the lands I visit. I am not to the point of fully abandoning the "big sights" altogether, but eating with the locals holds a lot of weight in my travel itinerary!
Lok Lok in Penang
Cuddle Fish anyone?
Seafood Laksa- Singapore
My favorite place in Singapore! Lau Pa Sat food market- everything and anything available to eat!