Today’s post on Culture with Travel is by Luke Doyle
If you associate days with colors, if words have a textural resonance with you, or you believe that you can “see” music, you may be blessed with synaesthesia: a perceptual phenomenon in which stimuli of one category are experienced through an apparently unrelated sense.
One in ten of us have synaesthesia. And as you can imagine, for those who do, going on vacation can mean a tide of new sensory connections are made. The smell of the ocean conjures cloud-shaped images in your mind, or the Cyrillic lettering of exotic train stations come in colors that nobody around you can see.
For the remaining nine out of ten of us, we have to rely on our imagination to think up these colorful connections. Luckily, the people from Expedia are on hand with a stunning new set of images that capture a visual interpretation of the taste of national cuisines from seven culinary hotspots!
Barbeques are popular the world over, but no single place is associated with the outdoor grill as much as Australia. The laidback culture and warm climate make for a barbeque invite like no other.
The complex textures of shrimp or kangaroo meat are eased down with smooth, spicy sauces and the scent of burning charcoal is in the air, as you listen to the waves lapping the shore not so far away.
Ethiopian cuisine gets its colorful appearance from the range of brightly-hued sauces that typically accompany wat and tibs – stews served on fresh, bouncy flatbread.
It’s a multi-sensory treat that will also answer the cries of your belly after a long day touring the historic mosques and shrines of a city like Harar.
If you asked a room of people what country they most associate with good food, likely they’d mostly say this place. France is a must-visit for foodies and culture fanatics, and you need to experience the rich, smooth, and delicate flavors of French cuisine on location to fully appreciate the French kitchen!
Note also the autumnal colors of France’s synaesthesia image: the browns and crispy yellows of the nations famous pastries, sauces, and of course champagne.
It’s no surprise that a synaesthete would experience the word ‘Hawaii’ as an avalanche of bright, exotic colors and warm, soft textures.
When you visit, you’ll be treated to all kinds of light but flavorful dishes such as kalua pork, squid luau, laulau, and lomi lomi salmon – a peppery fish dish that rolls off the tongue.
While Indian food can be tasted in many cities around the world – wherever the diaspora have settled or well-meaning curry enthusiasts lurk – you’ll never quite get the same range or authenticity as you will in Mumbai, Hyderabad, or Calcutta.
The rhythm of the rice grains, the crunch of the poppadom, and the tang of a dal bhat soup, all make an appearance in the full-on assault of surprising textures and flavors we associate with Indian cuisine.
Natural herb flavors and satisfying carb splurges of pasta and pizza make for a cheesy tower of taste in Italy.
Al dente pasta, prosciutto or parma ham, and sun-ripened fruits and vegetables are on the menu. And you’d better know you’ve not experienced pizza until you’ve tried it in Pisa, Napoli, or Rome.
Japanese food is both powerful and delicate.
Sushi, one of Japan’s most famous exports, is just a gateway snack: if you appreciate the raw smack of the fish and the shocking rejoinder of the wasabi, you’ll want to delve deeper into seaweeds, stir-fries, and colorful, sticky candies.
The Japanese even have a word for the crunching of delicious food: Saku-saku. How synaesthetic is that?!