|We never travel without this kit.|
Sampling local specialties is the best - and certainly the tastiest - part of travel. One of the easiest ways to do this is to visit a farm market. With that in mind, my husband and I usually travel with two string bags, both purchased 30 years ago at Tellus Mater in Madison, Wis.
We routinely travel with a few other essential items, including two Opinel folding knives purchased from La Vaissellerie in Paris, and a corkscrew from The Main Course in Fish Creek, Wis.
A cutting board, two small plates and a few spoons and forks round out our traveling food kit. We look for hotel rooms with microwaves and refrigerators; a wet bar is a bonus. Checking out a few local restaurants is fun, but dining en suite is cost-effective and after a long day, relaxing.
We not only enjoy outdoor and indoor markets, but also local grocery stores, especially Italian markets, like Fraboni's, and cheese shops, like Fromagination, both in Madison, Wis.
Many locally-owned specialty shops offer sandwiches or deli fare; this option is usually affordable and offers some imaginative pairings. One of my favorite places for sandwiches in Wisconsin is the Fish Creek Market in Door County.
When traveling in France, we often buy a sandwiche jambon (ham sandwich) and share it. Desperate once on a stormy night, we stumbled upon a wonderful veggie sandwich at Boulangerie Versavel (never mind the brusque counter staff), near the Bastille in Paris. We cut it in half and enjoyed it in our minuscule but charming hotel room a half block away.
I suppose a Swiss Army knife and a cutting board would offer us the same convenience when we travel, but this is the approach we've taken. It has enabled us to eat like locals and save money for more travels.