Rediscovering Street Foods: Why Foodies Seek It Out

Street food has been around for centuries now. Being borne out of local culture, it is something that pleases one’s sense of taste; most can even give one a sense of comfort. With human’s excessive concern for cleanliness referred to as “sanitized culture,” street food was casted as bad food at one time in history. It is for this matter that eating food bought from street stalls and hawkers is preferred by many to be kept under wraps, lest one is criticized for “lack of culture.”

streetfoodThese days, street food vending, in all its forms, make up a common street scene feeding locals inexpensive fares so they get through the day, as well as tourists who are out looking for exotic foods and ambiance.  It has emerged as part of local cultures so that they have gone beyond just being a socially acceptable dining option. It has gone up a few stars higher being now regarded as a class on its own reflecting local history and culture.

To say it is being glorified is not an exaggeration. Many specialty chefs trained in fine cooking has rolled up their sleeves to give street foods a more artisan appeal. They have conquered the streets in their mobile food trucks and carts to deliver their own versions of street foods to people from walks of life.

Are you wondering why a lot of people are into street foods? Here are “6 Reasons to Eat Street Food” posted in Dauntless Jaunter – Tips and Advice Section.

Eating street food is one of the cheapest and best ways to immerse yourself in another culture while you are traveling… You’re on vacation; why should you exert energy fighting through a crowd of people, up to a cart where they probably cannot understand you, to get food that in 5 hours will leave you hugging the toilet? It’s not worth it.

Here’s why it’s worth it:

 Price – You cannot eat much more economically than when you eat street food…  Street food is always cheaper than eating the same thing in a restaurant, which is great for backpackers and others who are on a strict budget…

Culture – You are eating what much of the local population eats… This street food is the real deal, not a modified version that you would find at a restaurant back home; this is what real people eat every day.

Cleanliness/Safety – … here are a few points to perhaps ease your mind. First, the ingredients that street vendors use tend to be very fresh. Also, they literally cook the food right in front of you; … Finally… Ingredients will likely be fresher, and if a place is popular with the locals…

Interaction With the Locals – Picking that street cart with the high turnover also allows you to interact with the population…. you put yourself in a position where you somewhat force yourself to use what vocabulary you know so that you can get your meal. This is a great way to hone your knowledge of the local language.

By eating street food you are also helping the local economy, which is a good way to give back something to your host country. Helping makes you feel good knowing that the recipients are hardworking people and families.

The experience is something you will remember for a long time being unique, exotic and even brave. It is a story you can tell and laugh about with your friends and family recalling how gross or daring it was, until you realize you just ate one of the best meals in your life.

Don’t get too worked up with the thought you can get sick, though becoming sick after eating street food is something you want to avoid. You can also get sick even when you eat in restaurants or in your home. In due time after eating “heaping plates upon heaping plates” and lots and lots of bowls and skewers of assorted street food, you will learn the “tricks of the trade.” For instance, stick to foods being cooked/grilled right before you. Don’t drink tap water and stay away from ice. Eat in stalls or carts with the longest queues; fast turnover of stocks warrant fresh ingredients.

As a parting word, don’t stay away from all future street foods just because you have one bad experience. It’s a bad experience that you can rant about, but learn from it. Street food is not only delicious; it also lets you avoid expensive tourist traps. The best thing is you get to try foods on a stool beside a local. Can it get better than that? The experience, the taste, the price… No wonder foodies travel to the ends of the earth to eat street food.

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  2. This is a topic that is close to my heart… Thank you!
    Exactly where are your contact details though?

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