Don’t be afraid to eat street-food
The excitement of trying the flavour of the country, an authentic cultural experience, the food the locals eat. It’s so alluring yet terrifying at the same time. To eat or not to eat, that is the question.
We’ve all heard the horror stories, Delhi Belly, Pharaoh’s Revenge, Mummy’s Tummy, but so often the most delicious food, and the cheapest, is found at street vendor stalls.
It would be such a shame to miss out on great food and saving opportunities due to a bit of fear and ignorance. After a year of traveling through Latin America and 5 months of living in Bolivia we can recommend the following tips for eating street-food:
- Your best bet at protecting your stomach is to avoid roadside food stands of questionable hygiene
- Start off slowly. Every time you travel to a new destination, your body needs time to adjust to new bacteria so take it easy when it comes to roadside eating until you build up some resistance
- Eat where the locals eat. Look for the stalls with long lines and tables packed with locals – crowded tables of tourists don’t count!
- Nothing kills bacteria like heat. Try to eat food that is piping hot and doesn’t look like it has been sitting around for a while. Street food that is cooked-to-order is the safest to eat.
- Look at your food before it goes in your mouth. Make sure that any food, like chicken, is cooked through. Eating food that is raw but shouldn’t be = danger!
- Stick to bottled water. Avoid raw vegetables and fruit that could have been washed in contaminated water, along with drinks or desserts that have, or might have, had ice in them
- Food made with the freshest ingredients are made in front of you. If you don’t see them cook it you don’t need to eat it
What has been your favorite street-food experience?