My first memory of eating something rather good was fresh watermelon carved up by my father in Cyprus. I also remember lobsters in a tank at my parents’ restaurant, and them scampering around the kitchen floor before being plunged into boiling water. Back then, eating and travelling were distinctly separate experiences and didn’t especially overlap. In fact, unless candy-floss or whipped ice-cream was involved, eating whilst on holiday was almost a chore, which came secondary to pretty much anything else which was more exciting. Jump forward to 2018 and I don’t think travel and food have ever been as intertwined as they are today.
As travellers have become more seasoned and savvy, and the decreasing cost of flying has meant that more of us can travel further, more frequently, so too have holiday-makers’ expectations been elevated on the food front – with most now attributing as much importance to this element of their holiday as beach time. And so, I’m happy to say, the quality, variety and pricing of the cuisine available in a destination has become almost as important today as the forecasted weather.
I wouldn’t call this a ‘gastronomic issue’ per se, since every incarnation of The Cultured Traveller contains some articles to satisfy the culinary cravings of our readers, but Issue 21 does include a number of foodie features hailing from all over our taste-filled globe. We chat with the 21st century’s answer to Keith Floyd, modest British chef Paul Askew, who helms one of the top places to enjoy the art of eating north of Birmingham.
Alex Benasuli more or less ate his way around the colourful Nicaraguan city of Granada, which is the subject of our cover story. Sophia Brault and Katy Araujo reviewed a selection of the Colombian capital’s most celebrated eateries to compile Bogotá’s Best Restaurants, which showcases some crème de la crème dining establishments in the land of magical realism.
I visited Gerovassiliou winery, set in a spectacular position just outside Greece’s second city, where I spent a memorable Sunday afternoon sampling some of the country’s finest vintages. So, whilst this is not a dedicated foodie issue, our travels in pursuit of the perfect vacation have almost taken us around the world – and right back to the kitchen tables of our childhood. Because, if there’s one shared human experience that lingers, it’s the interconnectedness of food and memories.