Let your taste buds be your guide

When traveling (and particularly on an exchange), it is a fairly common occurrence to find yourself strolling through a farmers’ market or local grocery store. The sights and smells of regional cuisine wrap themselves around you with a warm welcome to a new area. Thanks to HomeExchange, you can not only look but taste and experience living like a local.

One of the highlights of Exchanging your home is the fact that you are able to have access to a kitchen. Allowing you to not only try the local flavors but have the opportunity to make them yourself. Need help deciding where to go? Check out these regions and put your culinary skills to the test:

Florence, Italy

In the heart of Italy, it is all about the local flavor. Tuscany could be considered the originators of the “farm-to-table” movement and it does it well. The dishes might seem a little simple, but it is the quality of the ingredients that really make the region’s food so spectacular. Sample some freshly foraged truffles, experience a grape harvest, discover what genuine Tuscan olive oil tastes like and then enjoy some gelato made from local ingredients while walking along the Arno river. The rolling hills are ripe with Exchange opportunities that are just waiting for you to enjoy.


Immersing yourself in the culture of Thailand means discovering the nuances of the various regions of this stunning country. No matter where you Exchange, the geographical region will subtly impact that flavors and ingredients at your disposal. It is said that Bangkok (the cultural center of the country) has the most food establishments per square mile of any place on Earth. Just think of all the new dishes you can find! Partake in the fresh fruit of the south, the rice and noodles of the central plains, the Green Papaya salad of the northeast and the unique currys of the north. Where will your stomach lead you?

New Orleans, United States

You won’t need a riverboat to discover what all the scrumptious fuss is about in the Big Easy. The combination of Cajun and Creole cooking is a flavor dynamic that will have you grabbing for a fan in delight. From po’boys to crawfish, from beignets to jambalaya you are sure to be leaving the bayou with a happy palate. And while you’re there, you might as well partake in a beverage or two. Beads are not always included in an Exchange… how you earn them is up to you.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Grab your dancing shoes and head down to the dynamic gourmet scene of Argentina. Known for its delicious meat and fine wine, Buenos Aires is making a name for itself in elevating the farm-to-table movement while also being more economically reasonable than some locations. After you head back to your Exchange to try making chimichurri, empanadas or dulce de leche with Argentinian milk, you’ll want to get out and experience a city and culture that is as full of flavor as the food you just enjoy. We enjoy the country so much we even named it one of our 2017 Bucket List Destinations.

Paris, France

A list of culinary delights isn’t complete without listing a city or two in France. While there will be those out there who will say it is the small towns and regions that have the more authentic cuisine, there are few that can compete with the other amenities the City of Love has to offer. Whichever arrondissement you find yourself in, there is sure to be a local bakery, a market with fresh produce, a butcher and cheese shop just waiting for you to explore. And don’t forget the chocolate and wine. You might even be able to master the art of making fresh and flavorful macarons before having to come home. So, what are you waiting for? Bon Appétit!

Now it’s your turn, where in the world would most like to go for a food-inspired Exchange? Let us know in the comments below. As a bonus tip: make sure to use the filters when searching for your next Home Exchange. Select the “Gourmet Kitchen” under Amenities and “Farmers’ Markets” under Activities. Reignite the foodie in you with your next Exchange.

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