One of the guys at work said to me today: “you don’t eat street food do you?:
I nodded enthusiastically but I said “I have some rules“.
I have eaten soup surrounded by rubbish and dogs in Cambodia, squatted with locals in the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, shared falafels in Jordan* and snaffled pork rolls in Portland, Oregon. For a couple of dollars I have eaten like a king in cities across the globe!
- I take time to adjust to the local cuisine
- Drinking the local beer or eating local yoghurts seem to cushion my stomach
- Don’t jump straight into eating spicy food – this is about enjoying food not showing off how tough I am and then triggering an upset stomach
- Some countries rate their food stalls.. I go for the higher rated ones where this occurs
- I never eat sushi, dairy or chicken at a street stall – these are all danger foods
- The more popular a place, the more likely I will go there
- I like to see food being prepared and served quickly- it reduces the chances that the food had had flies land on it and/or got to the temperature danger zones
- If plates, pots or surfaces are dirty, I question whether to eat there
- I am very careful about fresh fruit- what has it been washed in? what was the knife like that was used to cut it?
- In some countries, I carry my own chopsticks and eating utensils
- I have towelettes to wash my hands before eating
- I relax and enjoy the food, ambience and prices!
(* by the way last Thursday was World Falafel Day!)