Top 10 Overlooked Culinary Vacations

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Flickr user ^riza^
It's a long way, but the rendang is worth the trip.
Anyone with the means can travel the villages of Tuscany, visit tasting rooms in Napa Valley or hit Belgium's chocolate shops. In fact, certain places are so well known as culinary destinations, even those with only the faintest interest in an authentic experience will book tours.

Some gourmands go a little further, seeking out less obvious destinations. They sample fare from street vendors in Lebanon or head to 'undiscovered' restaurants in the Philippines. More adventurous sorts may even savor dark bread and warm vodka in some Russian dacha. And a few daring diners set their sights on cuy or sheep's eyeballs.

The world is wide and food often surprisingly local, personal--and sometimes scary. Sure, being able to tell friends you've tried insects in Mexico or testicles in Midland is worth something. But what about an intimate understanding of chicken and waffles? Damper bread? Halusky? This is for the real gourmand.

So, here are ten trips that will definitely round out a culinary education:

Wikimedia photo from che
They do, however, keep Czech wine inside this cellar in Chvalovice near Znojmo.
10. The 'other' wine countries
Beyond France, Italy and California--even beyond Germany, Argentina and Washington state--are regions producing good, bad and sometimes unusual wines. So roam through the Finger Lakes in New York, the budding wineries of northern Virginia or the picturesque vineyards in the Czech Republic's Moravian half. You probably won't find anything worth storing in a cellar, but you will find some decent drinking wines.

Flickr user SauceSupreme
9. Rendang in Indonesia
This is a simple stew of beef, heavily seasoned and cooked in coconut milk for hours, until the liquids condense and the meat begins to fry. Similar to some Indian curries and very intense.

8. The 'Balti Triangle'
Formed by the English city of Birmingham and its neighboring villes, the Balti Triangle takes its name from from a Brit-Indian chicken curry concoction. It's a lesson on how immigration changes local tastes. Though Balti Houses have spread around the country, Birmingham is still home to the original--and dozens more.

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