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Eating Local, Even When You're Not!

It’s summertime!  Most schools are now officially out, and for many of us that means vacation time (unless you happened to be married to someone who spends most of the summer in a hayfield…but that’s another story).  Vacations are great for visiting new places and trying new things; food included!
 
Fresh, local food is an ever growing trend around the world, so as you are planning your summer vacation, take the opportunity to include some delicious, local food in your travels!  Often times this means that you will need to look for places off the beaten path that the locals eat at.  Need some help in finding these places?  Here are some tips that might help:
 
1. Do a little bit of prep work before you go.

The internet can be a wealth of information.  Before heading out on vacation, take a little bit of time to do a quick search for local food ideas near your destination (and along the way if you are driving!).  You’d be amazed what you can find – there are often groups that help to promote local food in different areas.  Also, social media can be great for more than just keeping up with old friends – try asking for recommendations on your social media channels…you may be surprised who has suggestions!

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2. Keep an eye out for farm stands and farmers markets on the way.

Our family makes a trip to Chincoteague Island almost every year, and we stay in a condo with a kitchen.  Along the way we pass a ton of different roadside farm stands and farmers markets, and we always try to stop and pick up some fresh local food to prepare while we’re away (we also always make a stop to get some local seafood to pair with the produce we get).  Yes, I know, it may seem counterintuitive to be cooking while on vacation, but if it means we get to enjoy some fresh, local food, I’m all for it!

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3. Ask a local.

Don’t be afraid to ask a local for recommendations.  Staying at a hotel?  Ask the front desk.  In my experience their first reaction will be to recommend places that they think most people will be familiar with, so don’t be shy about asking for non-chain restaurants where the locals eat; those are almost always a safe bet for great food!  You can always also look on some of the travel sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp, they offer ways to sort restaurants based on if they use local ingredients, and most of the restaurants will have websites so you can check them out ahead of time.

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4. Know what is in season locally.

If you’re headed some place unfamiliar, or different geographically than where you live, it’s a good idea to do a little research about what food is local and in season where you’re headed.  That will make it a little easier to look for places that are using fresh, local ingredients.  Need some help determining what’s in season, where and when?  For trips in the United State, check out this website:  https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/.
 
If you are going on a vacation this summer, hopefully these tips will help you to be able to enjoy some fresh, local food on the road.  Did we miss a great tip?  We’d love if you would share!! 
 
Monday, June 18, 2018
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