Where will your taste buds guide you on your gastronomic world tour?
There’s so much out there in the world to explore. From majestic mountains to soothing seas, but there is also so much to sip and taste. With HomeExchange, those new flavors are yours to savor, and they are right outside your Exchange Partners door. Need some culinary inspiration? Dig into our curated menu of exchange destinations.
Grab a knife and fork (or chopsticks, if you so desire) and dig in to these incredible, edible destinations.
Whether it be from a Farmers’ market or a neighborhood grocery store, finding quality produce can be a quest in and of itself. But some city going above and beyond to cater to those who relish a plant-based diet. In fact, an increasing number of cities are becoming so rooted in the concept that they are building a reputation for vegans around the world. There are some that probably won’t be a surprise like London, New York, Portland, and Los Angeles, but did you know that Tel Aviv has the highest percentage of vegans globally? It might also be a bit of a surprise that both Berlin and Warsaw are both continuing to flourish in their vegetarian and vegan offering. Yum!
For the more carnivorous among us, discovering a prime piece of meat might make your exchange more than worth the effort. There are so many countries that could make the cut, but there is no denying that Argentina and Spain are two of the top destinations to visit to satisfy a meat-eater’s hunger. That said, you may also want to toss America (particularly the south), Australia and Japan into the mix, or onto the grill as the case may be.
When you’re looking for seafood, fresh is always the best. That’s why most of our favorite places to get a taste of the sea can be found along the coast. Dive into Tokyo to discover what fresh really tastes like or head to New Orleans and prepare yourself for a flavor explosion. Other ideal exchange areas for oceanic-based ingredients: Chesapeake Bay, Sicily, Seattle, Nova Scotia, and Sydney.
In our book, a quality meal isn’t complete without a little something sweet. For a confection to cure the common sweet-tooth, we would arrange an exchange in “The City of Light” and explore the pâtisseries of Paris or head to “the Imperial City” and discover why Vienna is considered the pastry capital of the world. Honorable mention also goes to New York, San Francisco, and Singapore. Who wants to split something? We promise to only have a bite or two…
Whether shaken or poured, the right beverage can elevate any exchange experience. Here are just a few places to let your palate guide you.
Whether a casual fan or a die-hard connoisseur, a quality glass of wine can be a transformative experience. Take your tasting to a whole other level by experiencing the flavors in the region it where it matured. How much better will that sip taste when you smell the fruit groves nearby or feel the heat of the sun that ripened the grapes on your face. There are the obvious destinations that we have explored before like Bordeaux, Napa, and Barrosa but checking out the developing areas like the Willamette Valley outside of Portland or Cape Town will have you showing off your knowledge once you return from your exchange.
From bottle to draft, from pub to microbrewery, you can tell a lot about a city by the quality of its beer. Finding that ideal combination of water, barley, yeast, and hops can take generations to perfect, and that’s just what some of these areas have been doing. There are the go-to favorites of Belgium and Germany (hello, Munich’s Oktoberfest!) that will have you wanting to bring more than a few samples home. Or, if you’re looking for a more personalized experience, you can’t go wrong with either Portland, Maine or Portland, Oregon as they are both havens for incredible microbrews. And, if you want something a little lighter, check out New Zealand and discover Nelson’s love of and passion for cider.
If wine or beer quenching your thirst, there are plenty of other options around the world. Head to Dublin and taste your way through a distillery of whiskey or stop by Scotland and explore the multifaceted world of scotch. Tokyo will unlock the exciting world (and beautiful traditions) surrounding sake, or Mexico City can combine culture with a love of quality tequila. And then there is the classic, London, where even a novice can be schooled in the marvels of gin both shaken and stirred.
Now we turn to you, the HomeExchange community, is there a certain place or destination that you love to visit to explore imbibe both for food and for beverage? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Until then, cheers and bon appetit!