Traveling as a tourist and living like a local don’t need to be mutually exclusive. Our favorite way to live locally is through food – diving head-first into local markets and grocery stores.
Tesco, Carrefour, Metro, oh my!
Our first stop in every new city is always the local grocery store. We spend hours acquainting ourselves with local flavors and canvasing the fresh produce, cheese, and seafood sections.
A few gems we’ve discovered along the way:
- Canadians enjoy maple syrup in almost everything – cookies, sauces, chips and beer!
- France actually does have the best cheese and butter at prices so low we couldn’t resist buying it every single time we went to the store.
- Barcelona still reigns king for freshest seafood – but did you know that monkfish is a favorite in homemade paella?
Save that money, honey.
Some of the best advice we received on our travels was from a friendly French gentleman who let us in on a local tidbit. The same cheese and pâté we were eyeing on the restaurant menus were nearly 1/3 the price at the local grocery store.
Game changer. We were able to regularly dine on with such delicacies without breaking the bank.
Expand your pallet (and your skills).
We strive to make innovative meals at home using our host city as inspiration. We perfected the homemade Salade Niçoise in Nice. We learned to grill fresh meat and seafood in Croatia, where we enjoyed fruits of the sea straight from the Adriatic.
Having just booked our 2017 travels throughout Latin America, we’re already daydreaming of the local flavors we’re sure to learn. Homemade arepas, empanadas, and chivito sandwiches? Si, por favor!
Bonus points for buying produce in season. During a winter in France, eggplant and squash were the only vegetables in stores for weeks. Et voilà! We learned to make homemade ratatouille.
Using fruits and vegetables that are in season helps you save money and forces you to get creative with limited ingredients by expanding your culinary prowess.
Happy travels and, of course, happy cooking!