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Food is a huge part of a good vacation for many people. A vacation gives you the chance to indulge yourself, treat your tastebuds, and be a little more extravagant in your restaurant choices than you might normally be.
But dining on vacation isn’t just about enjoying the finer things in life. Food is an important part of traveling, as you will undoubtedly try new flavors, recipes, ingredients, and dishes. Certain smells and tastes will transport you back to the place and time you first experienced them, and vacation food is often a truly delightful memory.
But that amazing sandwich you had in a beach restaurant in Puerto Rico or that mouthwatering soup you tried in a tiny hole-in-the-wall diner on the shore excursion that was a special offer on your cruise don’t have to be consigned to ancient, half-forgotten memory! It is often possible to recreate your favorite vacation flavors back at home, with a little creativity, and bring the experiences of your most recent trip into your home kitchen.
So whether it’s packing a few key ingredients in your carry-on to take home or noting down local specialties to research later, here are a few key tips on how to replicate your last vacation favorite food at home.
Make a note of what you eat
It might sound basic, but noting down the best meals and dishes you eat is the best way to start when it comes to recreating foods you loved on vacation at home. Keeping a meal journal while traveling lets you chronicle the best things you ate, what the flavors of each dish were, and what particular ingredients you noticed in each one. This will be an enormous help when it comes to making something similar back home.
Ask for the recipe!
Another simple piece of advice, but one that people often feel awkward about. The best way to recreate something special you tried on vacation is to ask for the recipe from the person who cooked it! Obviously, some chefs might be protective about their secret ingredients, but you’ll find that most people will take it as a compliment and be delighted to share.
Stock up on unusual ingredients
The main reason why it is sometimes tricky to replicate vacation meals at home is specific products, produce, or ingredients that are hard to find anywhere other than your vacation destination. If the mouthwatering meal you know you will crave includes a local delicacy or a particularly unusual ingredient as a key feature, you might want to consider heading to a market and picking up the key necessities to put in your carry-on.
Search for replacements and alternatives
Of course, it isn’t always possible to take everything you need home with you, and there are going to be some ingredients that you just can’t find anywhere except in your vacation destination. But don’t panic! This doesn’t mean that your cravings have to go unfulfilled. The vast majority of ingredients can be replaced or replicated with something else, something that is easier to source and can be found in your local grocery store. Do a little bit of research before you head home to see what you will be able to buy, and what alternatives you can use to take the place of anything that you won’t.
Get a takeout…
If all else fails, don’t forget that a lot of those delicious vacation flavors will be available at restaurants back home, and you can recreate the experience for your tastebuds at home with a simple takeout!