Tasting something unique or traditional to the destination you’re visiting can be the building blocks of great travel memories – these experiences make great bucket list additions
A 2020 report from the World Food Travel Association reports that in the past two years 93 per cent of travellers took part in a unique food or drink activity, and 83 per cent think foodie experiences help to create a lasting impression of a destination. Will will you add to your bucket list?
1. Indulge in a custard tart in Lisbon, Portugal
Two pastelaria’s battle it out for the mantle of best pastel de nata in Lisbon. The city’s vanilla custard tarts are now legendary, and you buy them in many cafés and kiosks around the city. Pastéis de Belém is the oldest pastelaria, and the queues down the street of both locals and tourists alike demonstrate its enduring popularity – don’t be put off, though, as the speed at which they churn out these tasty little treats is impressive. Back in the heart of the city, many locals frequent Manteigaria in Bairro Alto, which now has an outpost at the Time Out Market near the port. It’s only fair to try both on your visit.
2. Do the tapas trail in Barcelona, Spain
These small sharing dishes often include only two or three ingredients, but they pack a flavourful punch. If it’s your first time visiting, then a glass of Sangria on one of the outdoor tables along the main street Las Ramblas is a must, but for a more traditional tapas experience make a beeline for La Boqueria market about halfway down the 1.2km street. Hop from one stall to the next trying a few dishes at each – patatas bravas, pimientos de padron and croquetas should start you off right, followed by a dessert of churros and chocolate sauce to finish.
3. Try Norwegian Salt Marsh lamb in Stavanger, Norway
Norway’s coastal salt marshes are rich in a variety of plants and minerals, as well as having high iodine levels. This combination gives the lamb that graze here a rich flavour and melt-in-the-mouth tenderness.
4. Go volcanic wine tasting in Lanzarote, the Canary Islands
You might know Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote for its out-of-this-world landscape, but did you know that you can visit a volcanic vineyard here?
5. Taste the freshest fish and seafood in Ålesund, Norway
Norway has one of the world’s longest coastlines, so it’s hardly surprising that seafood is top of the menu here. Tørrfisk (dried cod) used to be the most popular export, and you can still buy snack-sized bags as a salty-but-healthy snack in most convenient shops. These days restaurants in Ålesund make use of the fresh salmon and Arctic cod that exists in abundance in the chilly waters. Find a table at Fisketorget Delikatesse to enjoy a bowl of fish ball soup (a local delicacy), sushi, moules frîtes or a simple yet delicious snack of slid (herring) marinated in vinegar or røkelaks (smoked salmon) piled on top of rye bread with herbs.
6. Try your hand at chocolate making in Bruges
Brussels is famous for its rich and silky chocolate, which has to contain a minimum of 35% cocoa to reduces the usage of other lower-quality ingredients. There are many shops to keep you occupied if you’re in the city to browse – don’t miss Neuhaus, one of the oldest, which is famous for its praline and ballotin boxes. But for the perfect introduction why not try a chocolate-making workshop with a traditional chocolatier?