April 20, 2017
May 5, 2017

I love food and I love to eat. I love to cook and I read cookbooks like they’re novels. And when I travel to a new destination, I crave to learn about local cuisine and how the food is interwoven through the culture. One of the first things I enjoy doing once I’ve arrived is stroll through a local food market. I’ll sit at a café or pub, chat up the locals or staff and ask for suggestions on “Where should I eat?”. If I’m on my own, I’ll sit at the bar as bartenders are often in the know about food and drink. On my first bleary-eyed morning in Lima, I took a tour with Lime te Llena through Mercado de Surquillo No 2 on the outskirts of the Miraflores neighborhood. Here is where I was introduced to Maria’s seafood stall. For breakfast, I devoured her Peruvian ceviche, drinking the last drop of leche de tigre, the spicy citrus based marinade that cures the seafood. I tasted Amazonian fruits and vegetables that were completely foreign to me. In Buenos Aires, with Cooking with Teresita, I strolled through her suburban neighborhood food shops, learned how to make traditional Argentinean empanadas and enjoyed a tremendous homemade lunch on her shady patio, served by her granddaughter. One of my favorite culinary experiences was with Tuba Satana in Istanbul. My husband and I were introduced to Turkish delicacies and culinary traditions, we drank freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, ducked through narrow alleyways and scurried through the Spice Bazaar. We met food and spice purveyors, and over the next days, we returned to several of Tuba’s favorite little spots for lunch, where we were greeted like old friends. If I don’t have any recommendations for restaurants, I nearly always look for a bustling place, it can be a hole in the wall, but should be filled with locals. This is a good sign. No menu? No problem, I’ll take the specialty of the house! And I find the simple comfort foods of a destination show its true self, whether it’s poutin in Montreal, shrimp & grits in Charleston, SC, jerk chicken in Jamaica, kofte in Turkey or fish tacos on the beach in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. –Rochelle, May 2017

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