One of the greatest pleasures of cheap holidays is the different kinds of cuisine. Gone are the days when British holidaymakers would only eat “chips with everything” – an increasingly adventurous attitude to food is part and parcel of the modern UK travel experience.
A recent poll by DK Travel Guides found that one of the most popular forms of foreign cuisine remains Italian food, which is hardly surprising. One of the first foreign restaurants to be a regular sight on post-war Britain’s austere streets was the Italian restaurant, preceding even the Great British Indian Restaurant or Chinese takeaway by a number of years, so it is natural that this has now become a much-loved part of the average Briton’s food experience. Even a nation such as Spain, with a near-xenophobic championing of its own cuisine, is very happy to visit the Italian for a good nosh-up once in a while.
The survey was conducted to mark the publication of the company’s new book, Ultimate Food Journeys, which not only describes where some of the most delicious and original cuisine can be found across the globe, but also gives recommendations on the best spots to sample it.
In the poll, respondents were asked what country’s food they would opt for if they could only eat one sort for the rest of their lives – and a third of went for Italian. There was still a rump of respondents, comprising a quarter of the total, who opted for British food, with Indian and Chinese food both scoring a joint third. Cheap holidays in Italy seem to have yielded the most respondents declaring that they had “eaten like a king”, followed by the USA. Again, this is hardly surprising – Italian restaurants in Italy have to keep the local population satisfied as well as the tourists, and US hospitality in its cafés, restaurants and diners is the stuff of legend.