Holidays: Cultural Dining… Taste the Experience

Holidays abroad can be a chance to try something just a little different to what you’re used to at home. Whether you’re in a five star, all inclusive hotel, or just a two star self-catering apartment, no matter what, at some point, you’ll want to eat!

If your hotel has meals ready for you, the chef may not be too adventurous, and just rely on the basics, pasta, pizza, burgers, even the occasional fry up. Great news, if you want to have the same old food like you can get on your high street!

Why not live a little and have one unique meal, something you don’t usually eat in the UK? Even if you don’t like it, well, you can at least say you tried.

For starters, lets have a look at the The Canaries, and Greece, two of our most popular choices for sun seekers, and what food they have on offer?

The Canaries

captureImage via @ Benje Ordonez

The Canary islands, like Spain, has the traditional paella (rice with seafood or meat) and tortilla (omelette with potatoes and onions), so when on holiday you can sample normal Spanish cuisine. Perhaps even your own hotel might make these for you since they prove to be popular among tourists. However, the locals prefer a main diet of fish, given that they are surrounded by water, that’s no surprise! Mackerel, sea bass, and even parrot fish are among the types found, and all are high quality and healthy choices.

Two other main dishes are eaten by the locals. Papas arragudas, made by small potatoes being boiled with their skins to make them wrinkly, served in a mojo sauce. The colour is red if made with peppers or green if coriander is used instead. Gofio is a type of flour made from roasted grains, and is a simple breakfast when used with milk, though it is filling. It can also be used to thicken a stew, again, something that is done often on the islands.


Turning to holidays in Greece, it is a meat-oriented country, good for the carnivore tired of the same old salads and low fat foods. Souvlaki or as you may know it, kebabs, are commonplace, and can be bought for no more than three euros, many restaurants specialise in them, and you can tell by the rotating pillar of meat enticing you in! Tsatziki (garlic, cucumber and yoghurt) is a standard dip with kebabs, and are just right for chips, no need for ketchup! Seafood, such as kalamari (squid) and htapodi (octopus) is also widely found on the islands, best served with a squeeze of lemon and strong jaw muscles.

Vegetarians, don’t despair, there’s still fresh fruit and veg, straight from the farmers in most cases, and of course the famous kalamata olives. Buying some olive oil just before you come home is always a good treat for your meals back home and a great souvenir of amazing food tried on your holidays.

Most areas in greece and the Greek Islands are very much a small community, with the local fournos (bakery) always making tiropita (cheese pie), jambonotiropita (ham and cheese pie) and croissan sokolata (chocolate croissant), for everyone, and again are available for less than two euros each. They are welcoming to new people, and may even offer you more things to try out!

In both the Canaries and Greece, if you want to try these local foods, head away from the tourist areas, or even better would be to ask the receptionists of your hotel for a good restaurant, they should be more than happy to help you!

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