Whether you prepare it yourself or order it at a restaurant. You are fine as long as the ingredients are local.

Today this blog exists exactly one year. To celebrate this I will introduce a new – monthly – series which is called ‘The importance of…..’ Of course the normal posts will also continue to be posted weekly.

Tourism is not a very old phenomenon. Even though people have been travelling around the world for centuries, their motives were different than those of the contemporary tourist. Western explorers travelled to discover, research and reign ‘new’ countries. Some of them reached their goals, others failed. However, these travels have had a big influence on the worlds’ history. Small European countries like The Netherlands and Great Brittan ruled over faraway destinations for centuries. Thereby behaving like monsters and treating the inborn like minor races. People where traded as slaves all over the world.

The good side of this impetus to explore the world is that it not only spread people over the world, but with them cultures and their specific food habits. Because until that moment food – like people - didn’t travel either. People ate what was available in their proximity. When they had to go to other places, they just ate what was served there. Now we can still recognize the regional dishes which can be as local as the size of an island or of deserted valleys in mountainous areas.

Nowadays people go around the world like they visit their neighbor. Some of them still have the faith to discover unknown places and people. Others are less adventurous and just want to be away from home and to be spoiled in a comfortable environment. But no matter what kind of holiday you prefer, you need to eat anyway! Here is a good chance to get to know another culture.

In most countries food is part of local culture. For a inexperienced tourist it might take some time before he gets’ to know the food habits of their holiday destination. Do people have breakfast and what is it like? When can we have lunch? And what if I do not want to eat meat? Is there still a possibility to get diner? Well, I guess you have to go out and explore!

When you booked a hotel room in a small place you might be lucky to find a nice hostess which serves you a breakfast typical for the country you are in. This might be a spicy soup when you are in Asia or just a cup of cappuccino and some sweet pastry when you are in Southern Europe. When you are filled up, its time to go out. Go out to the local market. A perfect place to get to know local products. Farmers sell their fruit and vegetables but maybe also some meat, tasty cheeses, cakes and what so ever. Collecting diner here is very good for everyone involved: local farmers profit of tourism which helps them to survive and gives you a tasteful meal, a beautiful landscape which he maintains and a good feeling because the food didn’t have to travel over long distances.

Big hotel and restaurant chains also figured out the importance of using local produce. Some of them now serve a daily menu composed of vegetables and meat or fish from nearby farmers. This enables the lazy tourist to relax and helps the farmers to profit from tourism.

So, don’t feel ashamed to go on holiday every now and then. As long as you act responsible towards local environment and economies you’ll be fine. Did you start to plan yet?