Tuesday’s Top 5: Wanderlust

Instead of writing about places I have been, today I’m considering places I would like to go. This list is constantly changing depending on things I read, my friends’ wanderings, or foods I want to taste in person. For this particular post, I’m only considering places I’ve never been because my top 5 could easily be taken up by places I’ve already visited and would love to return to (maybe that will be next week).

These are in no particular order…

1. Thailand. In my ideal scenario, I would not be limited to only one or two places, I would have plenty of time to travel the whole country (and then some…). The Thai people I’ve met and befriended over the years are some of the kindest, most generous and proud people I know. It would be an honor to learn more about their culture and to experience the beauty of their homeland. Thai cuisine is one of my absolute favorites with its perfect balance of sour, sweet, spicy, cold, hot… mmmm! While there, I want to study the foodways and learn how to cook “real” Thai food and observe first hand the design ingenuity of the Thai street food vendors. (Great Read:Hot Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia)

2. Singapore. Just the hawker stalls (more street food!) alone are enough to draw me to this country. I’ve studied and written about the foodways of Singapore for school, now I want to experience it in real time. This multicultural cuisine represents the foodways of Chinese, Malay, and Indian cultures mingling in a way that was unlikely through any other medium. The Singapore Tourism Board has all but constructed a national reputation on their unique cuisine alone!

3. Spain. I want to experience everything from traditional tapas to El Bulli, from the beaches to the Gaudis of Barcelona. I want to visit Spain’s varied wine regions, eat paella, ponder the work of Dali, and just people watch from any random cafe. Where (and when) do I begin?

4. Sicily. The home of my ancestors. The world of The Leopard (The Leopard: A Novel), Anna Tasca Lanza (The Heart of Sicily: Recipes and Reminiscences of Regaleali A Country Estate), and Nero d’Avola (one of my favorite big red wines). Scorching heat, captivating sea vistas, almond desserts… I can’t believe I haven’t been here yet! This may have to be next.

5. Australia. I’d start in South Australia. Adelaide in particular. I graduated from the University of Adelaide, and have never been there… would love to visit, especially during the upcoming Symposium of Australian Gastronomy. Australia is huge, far away, and absolutely fascinating to me. I’d need at least a few weeks to do and see enough to make it feel worthwhile. There’s too much fresh and unique food (especially seafood), wine, and interesting people to rush through a visit – best if I can stay a while. Now, to find a way!

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