Whether you view it as fuel or see it as pleasure, food is part of all of our lives. We believe you should eat like you mean it. If there is something on the menu you’ve never tried, get it. If you want to learn how to cook something, do it. Through the Food for Thought series, we catch up with like-minded travelers who have a passion for exploring to flavors and locales. In this week’s edition we hear from with Julie from A Lady in London. Julie’s blog is filled with great tips and advice from the perspective of a young expat in London. She doesn’t sit still for long, though. Having recently reached her goal of traveling to 100 countries, she has many stories to share.
Julie Falconer is a London-based travel writer and photographer. Originally from San Francisco, she began her career in finance before moving to the UK and launching an award-winning global travel blog called A Lady in London in 2007. Her travel writing and recommendations have also featured on National Geographic Intelligent Travel, Lonely Planet, BA High Life, Time Out, the Metro, and other leading travel and lifestyle publications. Her photography is regularly commissioned by Eater in the US, and she works with BBC Travel to share her photos of London through their Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Food for Thought
The underlying idea of the “Food for Thought” series is that to truly experience a culture you must taste it. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
I agree. As a food lover, one of the main reasons I travel is to try new foods around the world. Cooking and cuisine give a great insight into culture, and can also be good ways to interact with the locals.
What food do you identify with “home?” Does it reflect something about your own culture or upbringing? Do you crave it while you’re away?
I identify a lot of my favorite childhood comfort foods with home. Things like mac and cheese remind me of growing up in the US, and I crave them now that I live overseas.
How has travel affected the way you think about food?
Travel has taught me to be more adventurous in terms of what foods I try, and to always taste everything once. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, though!
Do you have a technique to try and understand local cuisine? (ie: Attending cooking classes or food tours? Hunting the best street food?)
I like to sample a range of local cuisine when I travel, from street food to fine dining. Each style gives an insight into the local food and culture, and shows a different facet of the food in a new place.
Tell us about a memorable meal that was so special it is forever ingrained in your memory. Where was it and what set it apart? What was served, and who shared it with you?
I went to the French Laundry in California many years ago with a group of friends. I was just starting to get into food, and the experience really impressed me. I still daydream about it!
What food have you tried in your travels that some might find shocking or surprising? Would you eat it again?
The most unique thing I’ve tried while traveling was fermented mare’s milk in Mongolia. It was definitely an acquired taste! I would try it again out of respect for my hosts, but I think it would take a long time before I could say I enjoyed it!
And just for fun, if you had to choose one country’s cuisine to eat for the rest of your life what would it be?
I grew up eating a lot of Mexican food in California, and it is still my favorite cuisine. Whether authentic Mexican or Cal-Mex, I love everything from tacos al pastor to good margaritas!