Cooking adventures around the world

by possandruby

Food speaks all languages and is a highlight of any international trip. From roadside stalls to hawkers markets, fine dining restaurants to local family run cantina’s – food plays a huge part in connecting travellers to the local community.

Experiencing the traditional dishes eaten by locals is a great way to learn about local culture and gain an understanding of the customs, traditions, seasonality and agriculture of a country.

In my experience the best way to get a hands-on, immersive food experience is to participate in a cooking school. Classes are available in most countries and can take many forms from a simple demonstration by a local cook to a full day class where you can create your own dishes from scratch under the guiding eye of the local instructor.

Some experiences even include shopping for ingredients in the local markets and share the importance of seasonality in local cuisines.  If you are really lucky they may teach you how to bargain to get the local price. In many countries it is customary to buy only the quantity of ingredients for the dish of the day to ensure freshness and quality of ingredients, it also reduces waste.

Understanding the ingredients and how to use them is crucial to the success of a dish and this is all part of the teaching. The majority of classes provide you with a copy of the recipes so you can take them home and replicate them for your friends and family – be aware that some ingredients may be hard to find but with a little research you should manage.

Another bonus of the cooking class is that you get to meet locals and chat with them about daily life. Often they are just as interested in your life as you are in theirs and it can become a wonderful cross cultural information exchange. You also get to hear stories from other travellers in the class and it’s a great chance to get a few extra travel tips too.

Some of the cooking schools I have visited and highly recommend are:

Saffron Palate Cooking School – New Delhi, India

A Glimpse of Mandalay – Mandalay, Myanmar

Red Bridge Cooking School – Hoi An, Vietnam

Sojourn Cooking Class – Siem Reap, Cambodia

We are always looking for new cooking experiences around the globe and would love to hear your recommendations. Please share the details in the comments below or share with us on social media @possandruby

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