An Appetite for Travel
Exodus staff are united by an appetite for adventure, but this pioneering spirit extends much further than just getting active on holiday. For us travel is about being immersed in new cultures, pushing personal boundaries and discovering new sights, sounds, and of course, flavours.
If like us, you enjoy testing your taste buds as well as your limits, we’ve cherry-picked some of the finest, and weirdest, food from around the globe, all tried and tested by Exodus staff, to whet your appetite for culinary adventure.
So, are you feeling peckish?
Vicky Boughton, Product Executive, upsets the die-hard vegetarians with her mouth-watering account of a Chilean BBQ...
“Arriving at my first Patagonian asado I was handed the essentials: an apron and a steak knife. The absence of a plate made it evident this was back to basics eating. When it was announced that the lamb was ready, a hungry mass surged towards the flames, each person eager for their turn to step up and carve their own portion. Before long any politeness gave way and it descended into an every-man-for-himself situation. Conversations stopped and manners flew out the window as we feasted on succulently roasted meat, the kind that falls off the bone and practically melts in your mouth.”
Tim Fearn, Product Manager, shuns Asian sushi and opts for some South American ceviche instead…
“I can’t travel to Peru without hunting down a decent plate of ceviche at least once, and on my last trip I found it in a lively cevicheria in the Barranco district of Lima. Ceviche comes in lots of forms, but I always go for the classic version - cubes of fish “cooked” for a few hours in a mixture of lime juice, chilli and red onion, served up with sweet potato and a hunk of corn. From the first bite into the firm fish to the last spoonful of the tangy “tiger’s milk” marinade and the lingering sensation of spice on the tongue, this great little fish dish packs in a whole range of amazing flavours.”
Charlotte Taylor, Product Executive, tells of her Chengdu hotpot eaten during her time in China…
“We took our places around a large table with a gas stove imbedded in the middle. Giggling girlishly, waitresses laid out a vast selection of uncooked ingredients in front of us, delighting in our ignorance as to what each one could possibly be. A steaming pot of spicy stew was then placed over the stove. Tentatively at first, we added the dishes of traditional Chinese vegetables and raw chicken to the bubbling centre piece. Like a giant scientific experiment, we watched with anticipation as they simmered away before extracting them with questionable chopstick skills and savouring the flavour of the finished product.”
Natasha Preston, Marketing Executive, discovers Greece’s best kept secret as she eats her way around Evia…
“A trip I expected to be all about the trekking, with food simply being the necessary fuel to get us through each day’s hike. I was wrong. As captivating as the mountain vistas and coastal drama were, food became my raison d’etre in Evia and to pick just one standout dish would be a waste of editorial real estate.
From the grilled halloumi perfectly accompanied by homemade fig chutney to the pumpkin filo tarts eaten eagerly for elevensies on a windswept mountainside, every mouthful was a delight on the palette. Dishes of deep fried courgettes, butter bean dip with olive oil and garlic, wilted wild greens (picked locally in the mountains), crisp golden calamari and chargrilled lamb cutlets all graced our taverna tables during the trip. Oh, and the taramasalata is a world away from the pink blancmange you’ll find in any UK supermarket!
You’ll notice in Evia, when bread is brought to the table it is only sliced partway through. This is so customers know it is fresh and not leftover slices from other tables.”
The Trip: Mountains & Villages of Evia
Dan Jackson, Agency Sales Manager, conjures up some Moroccan mealtime magic…
“For sweet tooth foodies looking for something with some bite, Moroccan mastication is perfect. Sweet flavours of prunes, dates and apricots mingle on the tongue against fiery spices. Moorish traders brought pungent fragrances and many flavours from overseas, meaning a tagine may contain a plethora of flavours, slow cooked in traditional earthenware pots like they have been for centuries.”
On his Culinary Odyssey, Dan picked up more than a few hearty hints about Moroccan cooking – try his recipe for tagine success
Tom Harari, Product Executive, waxes lyrical about the fasting fare he tried on his recent Ethiopian adventure…
“Ethiopia may not spring to mind as a Mecca for vegetarians but at the heart of Ethiopian cuisine is the succulent fasting food. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians will avoid eating any kind of meat, dairy or other animal product during fasting days, of which there are more than 200 a year! These convivial meals usually consist of a large dish covered with a sourdough flatbread, injera, on which dollops of various lentil, bean, grain and vegetable dishes are spread. A social affair, everyone gathers round to eat from the communal plate, tearing off injera with their right hand and using it scoop up the other foodstuffs.”
IT Manager, Shawn Stephney, tickles his taste buds with tarantulas in Cambodia…
“It’s my first time in Cambodia. I’m standing in the Khmer sun with two tarantulas crawling on my chest, when another is handed to me. This one is deep fried. The words accompanying this arachnid offering are: “Eat! Eat! Very nice!” I think to myself, this is my rite of passage. Do this and I return to the office a legend. So I opened my mouth, stripped off a leg and chewed. Not too bad - a bit like shredded crispy beef!
Having drawn quite a crowd, and feeling pretty proud of myself, I quickly devoured all eight legs. I politely handed back what was left, only to be told “Eat, eat!” Suddenly the phrase ‘to bite off more than you can chew’ took on a whole new meaning. I chomped straight through the abdomen. Much to my relief, it tasted like chicken pate. Then I looked down at what remained of my spider surprise; there was no denying it was a female. With my realisation came the confirmation from the local guy next to me: “Eggs! Eggs inside. Eat - very nice!” I did as commanded.
I tried to muster a smile afterwards. A wry mix of disgust and achievement is what actually materialised. I ate a whole tarantula. Legend?”
Our hardy Sales Manager, Jim Carder mans up in Mongolia…
“Sit in a traditional Mongolian yurt and you will be offered a cup of salt tea. Whatever you do, do not turn it down; you’ll cause offence if you refuse. Hospitality is important to Mongolians - one small sip and etiquette is satisfied. Whatever you do, don’t drain your cup if you don’t like the tea (honestly, not many people do) as this will result in an instant refill! Often a substantial splash of vodka is offered to add to the tea – my advice is to take it as it will help dull the flavour of the salt.
Don’t panic - there are lots of conventional dishes on offer in Mongolia, like the many delicious meaty stews. But if lambs are being castrated and you don’t fancy a (still warm if it’s fresh) Mongolian snack, get out of there quickly! If you do get cornered to try one of these ‘delicacies’, take my advice: swallow, don’t bite!”
Another dish from his beloved Peru, Tim Fearn glorifies the gourmet credentials of the humble guinea pig…
“Roughly speaking, the world can be divided into two sets of people – those who consider guinea pigs as pets, and those who consider them to be food. The people of the Andes fall firmly in the second camp, and think nothing of stuffing these rodents with all manner of tasty spices and slow roasting them, but are you game enough to travel to Peru or Ecuador to try one of the world’s most divisive foods for yourself?”