5 Essential Locals To Befriend On Your Travels
#2: THE STREET VENDOR
In many countries street stalls are the go-to fast food outlets for locals and serve a range of snacks, drinks and meals that should tick all the boxes on your ‘foods-to-try’ checklist. But they’re not only the best places to eat, they’re also one of the best places to learn about local cuisine and expand your culinary skills.
Visit the same stall on a few nights, sit at the counter and strike up a conversation with the vendor. Chefs from all corners of the world are suckers for a compliment so learn the words for ‘delicious’, ‘spicy’, and ‘the best’ in the local language and inquire about their expertise. Before long you’ll find yourself scribbling down recipes as they talk you through each dish. Be warned though – there are some ‘delicacies’ that you’re better off not knowing about!
Enthusiastic regulars may be lucky enough to score a few free tasters – an excellent way to sample the different tastes on offer without committing to finishing the whole dish.
If you’re lucky you’ll get some tips on how to eat it too. I once suffered a hilarious and humbling lesson from a gaggle of women at a street warung in Indonesia after they’d laughed at my attempts to eat rice and curry with my hands.
By Zoe Clare Smith