Variety

Travelling Tastes

Rhea Lobo | Updated on February 17, 2011 Published on February 17, 2011

Foreigners enjoy Indian food at the Chandni Chowk Festival in the Capital- Photo: V Sudershan   -  Business Line

A gastronomy survey of more than 4,000 people across 18 nationalities shows that Indian food is the fifth-most sought after cuisine among global tourists. Italian cuisine continues to be the world's favourite food, followed by French, Thai and Chinese.

Aussies, Brits, Dutch and Kiwis all love Indian food, but among Asians the Koreans and Japanese least preferred it. Brownwin Miller, an Australian tourist working with an NGO in Mumbai who participated in the survey, says Indian food is ‘incredible' and her personal favourite.

She is seconded by Neil Heathcote, a media professional from the UK who says, “Indian food, good home food, is my favourite; it plays on a whole range of taste — spicy, sweet, everything. I find Indian food like an orchestra and western food like a string quartet.”

Sampling the local

The French, too, prefer Indian food over Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Greek cuisine, but reserve the top spot for Italian and French food.

Among tourists, Australians and Kiwis are the most adventurous when it comes to trying out local cuisine, while Indians tend to have reservations in this regard, according to the survey conducted by Hotels.com. Brownwin says she's totally open to trying out local cuisine in every place she visits. “I'm a vegetarian and I don't eat brains and stuff, but one of the most adventurous things that I tried out and loved is the Japanese mochi, which is a bun-shaped red bean rice pastry.”

For Heathcote, on the other hand, “the most adventurous thing I've tried out is a grilled cockroach on a stick in Laos. It was horrible… but whatever local people are going to eat, I'll eat too”, he says with steely determination.

Pack for the trip

While Indians love their food the most and miss parathas, spicy food and masala chai when they travel, Chinese cuisine ranks second in their list of preferences. The survey also indicates that travelling Indians love to carry along Indian snacks, while the Brits can't seem to do without their tea. But Heathcote begs to differ: “I buy my tea bags in India, I love masala chai.”

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Published on February 17, 2011
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