Snacks, treats and all those little things we miss when traveling
I’ll be the first one to admit that I get cravings. I think we all do? But when traveling, especially long-term, or when living abroad, I think these little addictions become far more evident!
Yes, I’ve eaten some great food from around the world. But I still sneak out to the local big supermarket chain and buy the occasional stockpile of much-needed treats. What are they? Well, along with some other traveler addictions I’ve listed them below!
My 7 top snack food / treats when traveling
7. A big burger
I might be surrounded by great exotic food. But sometimes all I really want to do is chomp on down on a cheese burger and fries.
6. Chocolate bars
After a long day out and about sometimes I just need a quick sugar fix! Kit-Kats rank as the world’s number one chocolate bar for a reason.
5. A good beer
The emphasis here is on the word “Good”. Most countries have their own brand, some good, some not so good. On a hot evening, there’s sometimes nothing better to relax back with cold one. I’m off beer for now, but it’s something that still ranks up there with relaxing back with a treat.
4. Potato Chips
Sometimes you just want something crunchy and salty. Peanuts never seem to do. And Pringle’s usually do the trick.
Is there nothing more enjoyable than taking a time out in an air-conditioned coffee-house. Relax back in a cafe filled with the smells of rich coffee, freshly baked cakes all set to ambient chill out music. Slouch back in a comfy chair and browse some high-speed internet. It’s the new half a world away for the long-term traveler.
Ask any western expat or long-term traveler what they miss most and cheese becomes a rather fevered conversational topic. This applies heavily to Africa and Asia where the mere mention of good cheese will set a fire under most expat foreigners as they salivate in front of you.
1. Chocolate (Quality Dark or Milk )
Note the world quality here again. No exports from China allowed, no giant commercial brands. We are talking rich 85-90% pure dark chocolate slabs wrapped in shiny protective foil here. Along with creamy smooth melt in your mouth chunks of sweet milk chocolate goodness. No artificial flavorings, colorings or sweeteners to be found. Finding pure chocolate heaven like this is often a challenge when traveling. But when you do, you tend to buy a stockpile and hide it away. A hard thing to do in hot countries!
Top travel treats and most missed foods by nationality
I’ve taken a few personal polls when traveling from travelers of different nationalities when we’ve been in groups. It’s a popular conversation starter. Here’s a list of what foods people from different nationalities miss the most when traveling abroad:
- French: Cheese
- North Americans: Potatoes chips
- British: Chocolate
- Nigerians: Amala / pounded yam
- Spanish: Serrano / Chorizo
- Filipinos: Dried Fish
- Israeli: Tahini /coffee
- Nepalese: Dal Bhat
- Germans: Dried meat / beer
- Malaysians: Nasi Lemak
- Indonesians: Fish
- Dutch: Cheese and Beer
- Slovenians: Sausage
- Polish: Beer
- Indians: Rice
- Italians: Good Coffee
I’ve added a few close seconds to the list as it’s from conversations rather than statistical charts!
Interestingly many Australians didn’t seem to miss anything. Vegemite came up a lot along with a few crude words.
It’s worth a mention, but many, many ladies mentioned they missed vegetarian food when traveling.
Coffee ranked number two with North Americans, and yes I was surprised that potatoes chips really ranked so high.
The British seemed rather perplexed by all this and would usually settle on their mum’s cooking followed by chocolate.
What food expats miss the most:
On a slightly different twist, expats or people living abroad for long periods generally missed the following:
- Good pasta
- Specific confectionery
The most popular snack food or treat when traveling is …
As you can see from the small poll on snacks, foods and treats people from different parts of the world miss the most beer & meant seems to rank high. Bread is something that also continuously popped up as a second and third most missed food. At least among “westerners” anyway.
Interestingly beer was never an issue with expats.
But in terms of sheer numbers; chocolate wins out overall for everyone. Which is a good thing in my book!
Have you got a favorite snack food you can’t live without, or miss when traveling or living abroad?
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