The days of British holiday makers seeking full English breakfasts on their travels are waning, reveals a new survey by TripAdvisor®, the world’s most popular and largest travel community – with Britons preferring instead to embrace local delicacies.
The survey of 693 British travellers reveals that just two percent stick to familiar dishes when dining on holiday, whilst an overwhelming 86 percent rarely or never eat at fast food chains on their travels.
Meanwhile, 46 percent maintain they are culinary adventurers and willing to try most foods, including shark-fin soup (56 percent) – a popular delicacy in China, and guinea pig (40 percent), eaten in Peru.
A further 35 percent would happily tuck in to deep-fried grasshoppers in Thailand, whilst 77 percent would eat kangaroo in Australia. One in two travellers (50 percent) would sample snake in Cambodia, whilst 30 percent would eat camel humps – a dish becoming increasingly popular throughout the Middle East and Asia.
TripAdvisor spokeswoman, Amelie Hurst, says: “British holiday makers are increasingly seeking authentic travel experiences and for many, sampling local delicacies is an easy way to tap in to a culture. Some of our members’ more unusual culinary experiences include fish porridge, wasabi ice cream and fried ants – and whilst these may not to be everyone’s tastes, they certainly make for a great dinner party conversation!”
MYSTIFYING MENUS: A DINING DILEMMA
Despite this willingness to embrace unfamiliar foods, foreign menus can cause confusion. Whilst 82 percent of travellers confess they have ordered a dish without knowing what it was, the survey also reveals that regional delicacies are easily mistaken for other foods…
One in four travellers (25 percent) believe that ordering “cuisses de grenouille” – frogs’ legs – would result in sheeps’ testicles being served, whilst 13 percent believe the dish refers to lambs’ livers.
One in four (25%) mistook falafels – ground chickpeas which are shaped in to balls and popular in the Middle East – to be fried pastries, filled with meat.
One in five travellers (20 percent) think that the durian – a pungent-smelling fruit, revered in South East Asia – is a salt-water fish, whilst 16 percent believe it to be a purple root vegetable.
Almost one in five (19 percent) believe that a chimichanga – a fried Mexican burrito – is a spicy stir-fry, whilst a further 11 percent think it is a coffee-based dessert.
OPEN MINDS AND SENSITIVE STOMACHS
Having an empty stomach and an open mind to new foods can have consequences, and 45 percent of Britons have had food poisoning as a result of something they have eaten on their travels.
According to the survey, Spain tops the list of food-poisoning hotspots, followed by Egypt, India, the U.S.A. and England.
ITALY OFFERS BEST VALUE CUISINE
For those watching their wallets, if not their waists, the survey reveals that Italy offers the best-value cuisine – with the country also winning the accolade of TripAdvisor travellers’ overall favourite culinary experience.
France ranks second in the value stakes, followed by Thailand, the U.S.A. and Greece.
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Notes to editors
693 Britons took part in the TripAdvisor survey (August 2009).