It has come to this, as the plummeting dollar, in its continuing free-fall, passes the rapidly escalating price of that last thankless seat in the back row of the overstuffed plane. Even bona fide travelers driven by wanderlust, and serious culinary adventurers who want to taste the world, have had to stop and consider how much international border-hopping and global grazing they can still afford to do.
The answer has a lot to do with the questions we ask. What would induce you to travel now? What cities and countries are you willing to give up? What places are still worth the profound costs of a trip? And how do we maximize that trip, so we get the most out of the trans-Atlantic seat next to the slamming bathroom door, and a doddering dollar that has become international comic relief?
I'm interested in hearing your answers. And I'll be offering a series of future posts that will offer some tentative tips, some ideas on how to travel now, based on my own ongoing trips. That starts with the partial (very) list of international trips I won't give up, at least theoretically. The places:
1. Montreal, because it allows a cheap trip to France without the jet lag (also admittedly without France ) and Au Pied de Cochon (www.restaurantaupieddecochon.ca) dishes up the meatiest meal, bordering on downright butch, around; those big hunks of meat should be wearing tattoos.
2. London, because the city is a tirelessly ambitious culinary playground but hasn't abandoned the world's most underrated nursery dessert, the regal sticky toffee pudding.
4. Stockholm, because the Stockholm Archipelago is Scandinavia in microcosm, and the exuberant Swedish smorgasbords, an antidote to Swedish understatement (and those sneeze guard buffets specializing in fried lumps of things that you suffered as a kid), are a primal food fantasy, and for herring lovers the annunciation.
5. Mallorca (aka Majorca), because the classic Mediterranean island that used to be a punchline has retrieved it baroque dignity, the tapas cafes of Palma (like La Boveda) do justice to Spain's signature dish, and there isn't a more serene village plopped on any mountain top (granted it's a very small mountain) than Deia.
Raphael Kadushin's work appears in Bon Appétit, National Geographic Traveler, Condé Nast Traveler, and Concierge.com. His fiction and journalism have been widely anthologized in a variety of collections, including Best Food Writing 2001, Best Food Writing 2008, and National Geographic's best-selling Behind the Lens. He is the editor of two travel anthologies: Wonderlands and the upcoming (November 2008) Big Trips. He is also the senior acquisitions editor at the University of Wisconsin Press, where he signs and develops fiction, memoir, travel, and food books.
MORE FROM EPICURIOUS.COM:
Recipes & Menus
Epicurious.com's portfolio of dishes for all seasons, cuisines and occasions
The Epicurious Editors' Blog
Food News and Views From All Over
Delicious menu guides for the busy work week
Epicurious Technique Videos
See better approaches to preparing your meals
Assorted galleries featuring pictures and recipes from Epicurious.com