When we travel, the food we eat tells a story, unlocking social customs and revealing ancient traditions, all while offering us a chance to connect with the locals in an organic way.
From meticulously-crafted sushi in Tokyo to succulent Texan brisket and pilgrimage-worthy pizza in Naples, here are our top 10 eating experiences – as ranked by some of the world’s top chefs.
Bar-hop for pinxtos on San Sebastián's streets
These tiny bites (called tapas outside of Basque Spain) are best consumed with a drink, seeing as you’ll be taking this culinary journey as a bar-hopping escapade through the streets of San Sebastián.
Beginning their existence as small open sandwiches, pintxos can be experienced in many incarnations, from the traditional, piled-high toppings on bread, to molecular gastronomy renditions.
It’s hard to list favourites, but the simple examples are often the ones that blow your mind – battered white asparagus, a tuna and anchovy tart or maybe mushrooms braised with garlic.
Choose your curry laksa stall beneath the towers of Kuala Lumpur
Rich and creamy curry laksa is just about as tasty a bowl of food as you will find, but it’s in Malaysia, and in particular in Kuala Lumpur, that you’ll find some of the best ways of eating it.
Here are fantastic little hawker centres tucked into the shadows of towering skyscrapers, and at Madras Lane, just off Petaling St, you’ll find competing curry laksa stalls vying for attention.
Pick the one with the longest queue and when you have the bowl in your hands choose a plastic chair and begin the swoon-worthy, sweat-inducing process of eating.
Is Texan beef brisket worth the four-hour queue? Hell yeah!
The folk in Texas know their barbecued meats. So when they line up for four or more hours to get some, it has to be special.
That’s the situation at Franklin Barbecue, in Austin, six days a week. Franklin’s menu includes pulled pork, ribs, sausage and more, but the main attraction is its smoked beef brisket.
It keeps it simple, rubbing the meat with a mix of salt and black pepper, and cooking it ‘low and slow’ in oakwood smoke until it’s fall-apart tender and encased in a thin, salty crust.
Lines are shorter elsewhere, but the queue is good fun, you can have a beer and meet some friendly Texans while you wait, and damn, that brisket is good