Travel

Street Food Challenge

Can you navigate your way to a delicious meal that won't end your holiday early?

3 weeks Discovery Channel

Take the quiz and then scroll down for more helpful tips to navigating your culinary curiosity!

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The World's Biggest Gems

There are many things to consider if you want to be a savvy street food master when travelling. Here are our tips of what to look for and what to avoid to save you from the horrors food poisoning!

Thumbs Up

  • Food that is cooked to order
  • Avoid bug infestation by eating food below 4°C and above 60°C (hot enough to burn your mouth)
  • Ingredients stored separately
  • Busy, popular vendors
  • Vendors serving a limited menu
  • Proud, industrious, clean, and organised vendors

Thumbs Down

  • Food served at room temperature
  • Pre-prepaired dishes
  • Too many options
  • Cutting boards used for several types of food
  • Vendors that have bad attitudes or are disorganised

Seemingly yum…but how long have these curries been sitting out in the open?

Low Risk Foods

  • Fruits with natural wrappers (bananas, oranges, mangoes)
  • Uncut, whole fruits
  • Dried products; less moisture, lower chance of bugs
  • Vegetarian dishes

High Risk Foods

  • Fish, especially served raw
  • Homemade ice cubes
  • Fruits with edible skin (apples, berries, peaches)
  • Sauces: add with caution

Which of these dangling snacks is the safest pick?

Other tips

  • Translate specific food needs into the local language. Vendors aren’t likely to advertise dairy-free or gluten free options so you need to be as specific and direct as you can.  You can also bring pictures to explain your request, especially useful if you have a specific allergy.
  • Find out when locals eat and try to copy their schedule. There will be longer queues, but this is when food will be at its freshest. Bonus: a great way to discover local hotspots.
  • Pack ginger tea, probiotics, or activated charcoal to aid digestion and ease minor discomfort.
  • Research the common types of street food to avoid confusion and target the best and safest types of cuisine.

Go for the sizzle! These yummy skewers look great and are cooked hot enough to banish unwanted germs.

Above all remember: Simplicity, popularity, and freshness are key. Trust in the locals and get out there adventuring…happy eating!

Words by Hannah Anderson | Images sources from Shutterstock