There may not be a more intimidating country to travel in than India. Our Travel Specialists say it all the time: "People absolutely love it, or they can't wait to get home, but they're always glad they went." There seem to be so many factors to this intimidation. The languages, the body language, the personal space customs, the poverty... The food.
Let's talk about the food. Food is always among the most important parts of travel. We all love experiencing a destination through its ingredients, through its history and culture, through its sights and smells, all through its food. India's flavor palette and gastronomic diversity can seem overwhelming at first glance, however. Where to start on such a grand menu of options? What is safe to eat for an un-trained digestive system?
Things To Avoid
Let's begin with some general tips on things to avoid while eating in India.
- Avoid street food. Eat in restaurants that look clean and popular. More customers at a restaurant means more food turnover, so ingredients aren't sitting around.
- Avoid salads or juices. Juices are commonly cut with water. Same goes for salad dressings.
- Ice in one's drink can be questionable if you don't know the water source. We suggest avoiding it.
- Don't over eat! Eating too much of anything will leave your digestive system struggling to keep up.
Every city and town in India has specific local delicacies. The country's menu is too broad to offer specific tips in one blog post. (We suggest asking your Travel Specialist during your trip planning. Start here!) Here are some general tips you can use during your visit.
- Use your hands (it's fun and part of the culture!) but obviously wash them first.
- Many travelers opt to go the "veggie route" while in India. It's pretty simple to avoid meat, as most places offer vegetarian options.
- Taking a natural probiotic boosts the good bacteria in your stomach, improving all digestion and immunity.
- Nothing is guaranteed! Traveling in a new country means your body is introduced to unfamiliar germs and viruses regardless of what you eat. Be at peace with the possibility of being sick for a day or two.