There are a handful of constants I employ in all of my travels–everything else, I leave to chance: I always visit museums, ride the local transportation, learn to say “hello,” “please,” and “thank you” in the official language, and I always explore the markets. According to my husband, who has been dragged to countless farmstands, grocery stores, and open-air stalls around the world, no kitchen-related item is too mundane to peak my curiosity. (To that I say, “Have you seen the scrub brushes they use in Seoul?”)
Sussing out ingredients unique to far-flung corners of the world is my kind of treasure hunt, one which makes good use of my Kiva convertible duffle bag. This is why I check the mail every single day in January, desperately awaiting the arrival of the Saveur 100, a compendium on insider food finds from the editors of Saveur magazine–kindred spirits in all travel-related ingredient quests.