On Tastebuds Well-Traveled

Mojarra frita in Santa Marta, Colombia

Mojarra frita in Santa Marta, Colombia

Panela con queso in Medellín, Colombia

Panela con queso in Medellín, Colombia


Some parts I found floating in my soup in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristóbal, Galápagos


Fried corvina with ceviche de concha in the Mercado Central, Quito


Colombian tamales in Santa Marta


Yaguarlocro, or pig’s blood soup, in Quito’s historic district.

Some people travel to see new things. Some to break from the routine of their everyday lives. Others to cross something off of their bucket list. For me, it’s all these things and more, but to a large degree, I do it for the food. And while I consider myself an adventurous eater at home, I step it up a notch when I’m traveling. You can blame it on gustatory FOMO. My mindset is this: put it in your mouth first, ask about it later. Why? Because as disgusting to American ears as blood soup may sound, acting on that assumption may cause you to miss out on some serious deliciousness. Anyways, if everybody else is eating it, generally the worst that can happen to you is a time-sensitive trip to the restroom, something I affectionately call Gnarlytown. Usually the worse that’s going to happen is you simply won’t like it, which was the case when I treated myself to a $2.50 bowl of pig skin soup (the taste is fine, but I’m just not into the texture). But whatever the potential hazards may be, the rewards far surpass that.

So like I said, just put it in your mouth. Thank me later.

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