How to Cook Great Food On The Road

Back when I was first training to be a chef, I travelled around quite a bit and because of financial constraints, I more often than to stayed in hostels and budget accommodation. During this time, I couldn’t really afford to eat out and as you can expect, I was more than happy to grab some ingredients and cook back at my digs. Since then things have obviously changed for me somewhat but I still get loads of people asking me how they can live a budget travel lifestyle, and still eat well. I thought I put together a few helpful hints and tips for anyone wanting to know how to accomplish this.

Flavor is Key

Ever since I was a younger traveler, and still now, I have carried around a few little bags of flavor so that I can breathe life into even the most boring of meals. Usually I will pack a bag of mixed herbs such as parsley, oregano and garlic mix, as well as a bag of ground salt and pepper for seasoning plus a red bag with ground paprika and chile. With these three bags, you can revolutionize any meal.

Go One Pot

You never know what kind of cooking facilities you may have and for this reason I used to always aim for one pot meals. With this type of cooking you are far more likely to have the equipment and you will also have far less washing up. My go-to one pot meals would usually be simple stuff like a chile, a curry or even a poor man’s paella. These dishes are tasty to eat and they just make the whole cooking process much simpler.

Local Produce

If you are traveling on a budget then the one thing that you can usually rely on, regardless of where you are in the world, is some great local produce. Make sure that you are willing to be flexible as to what produce you eat. If you are buying locally sourced stuff then it will be far cheaper and far tastier, buying your favorite fruit and veg which had to be imported will set you back much more cash.

Markets

I love shopping in markets and I always have, and it is the best place for anyone who is traveling on a budget to find their supplies. The reason for market shopping is simple, the food is usually fresher and of a higher quality, the cost of the food is cheaper and most importantly, you can get the quantity which you need. This means that you can avoid buying large packets of stuff from super markets when you are only staying somewhere for a night or two. If you want the tastiest and most cost effective shopping option, go and find the nearest market.

What tricks do you use when you are traveling around and trying to cook great food? Let us know all about it in the comments section below this post.

Avoiding Food Poisoning on the Road

It is said that travel actually makes us healthier as human beings, this comes as a result of being exposed to different types of bacterias throughout the world and the new defenses which our bodies create as a consequence. Whilst us travelers may be healthier in the long run, those new bacterias can also cause us a bit of trouble in the short term.

One such illness that many travelers run into is food poisoning, this happens either as a result of our stomachs not being accustomed to new foods, or poor cooking practices throughout the world. If you want to do your bit to try and avoid food poisoning, then here are some of the best ways to do it.

Ice Cubes

Ice cubes may appear pretty innocent but they are one of the biggest causes of food poisoning throughout the world. The reason for this is that there are only a handful of countries in the world with good enough filtration systems that allow us to drink water directly from the tap. Many bars and restaurants will use tap water for their ice cubes and then us unsuspecting foreigners order a drink with ice. The best way to avoid this is to simply ask whether the ice is made with tap water or not, or alternatively, say no to ice altogether.

Salad

If you are buying salad from markets around the world then you have to spend the time on thoroughly washing it. Food poisoning from fresh salad can either come directly from the dirt where the salad was grown, or from the treatment which the salad receives on its way to your plate. Lettuce in particular offers bacteria the perfect conditions to thrive and if you are not careful then you could easily be struck down with painful food poisoning, from a simple salad.

Street Food

Most street food vendors around the world are not exactly well versed when it comes to food hygiene and if you look carefully you will see many ingredients sitting out all day, which should be refrigerated. If you are worried that this is happening then avoid the food altogether, alternatively, the best way to stay safe is to go to the busiest street food vendors, if it isn’t making the other people sick, you should be alright too.

Trust Your Instinct

No matter whether you are eating on the street or in a fancy restaurant, it is important that you trust your instinct regarding what you put in your mouth. If the food which you are eating doesn’t look good or smell great then you shouldn’t eat it. Food poisoning can take you completely out of the game for many days and it will be painful and uncomfortable, for that reason you need to do all that you can to avoid it and if any food is giving you doubts, do not put it into your mouth.