Eating Street Food Can Be Good for You
One of the most exciting but daunting things about going abroad is the food. Sure, you could stick to the touristy restaurants next to the fancy hotels but once you get away from this zone you know that you will be eating some things which are new to you.
If you are in Latin America, Asia or Africa then you will surely be tempted to try some street grub at some point. This can be a highlight of your trip but it can also lead to a nasty upset stomach if you don’t do it right. Let’s take a look at how you should choose your street food in order that it is good for you rather than bad.
The first thing to point out here is that tourists don’t just get sick in foreign countries because they are served dirty or rotting food. The simple fact is that there is likely to be bacteria in the local environment and food chain which simply don’t exist in the UK. The people who live there have been exposed to this stuff all their lives while you haven’t. This means that no matter how much care you take there is no guarantee you won’t get a dodgy tummy at some point. However, choosing a clean stall or kiosk and avoiding dairy products, raw food and seafood will give you the best possible chance of staying healthy. A place which is popular with the people who live there is always a good bet too.
Talk to the Locals
In the places where street food is popular it is really a way of life. While you settle down to Eastenders with your dinner many people in these countries head out to buy something from a stall in the street. What this means is that it is a wonderful way of chatting to some of the locals. In many cases, you all simply stand in a line next to the person serving the food and eat right there. Making a few approving comments as you eat and asking for more details on the food you are eating are a couple of sure ways to break the ice and get people talking to you. Whatever you do, don’t speak badly about the food or- heaven forbid- spit it out. If you don’t like it just discreetly place it in a bin or look for a hungry person to give it to.
Cheap and Cheerful
Eating street food can be a fine way of making your travel budget go a bit further. This is usually one of the cheapest and most filling options around. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money in expensive restaurants then you can eat well for little cash by heading out to the street. There are usually streets or zones which are well known for the street food they offer and all you need to do is ask around or else wait till the sun goes down and then follow your nose.
Photo by sakharnair on Flickr