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Cook on Vacation?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
It might sound crazy but I love to cook on vacation. I try to pick vacation spots that will offer a good amount of local color in food, different farmer's markets and specialties. For example, I've vacationed in New Mexico during the yearly green chili festival (which they put on EVERYTHING...I swear the kids eat peanut butter and green chili sandwiches). We also have a timeshare up along the coast (Avila Beach area) that offers a lot of fish and local fruit and veggies. Although we haven't gotten a chance to use it lately due to timeshare woes -- don't get me started on that stuff, ugh. Anyway I'm planning to sell or exchange the property for something different and I was curious what cooking locations others would suggest. I'm open to any US city with good ingredients.
post #2 of 5
Just about anywhere you go, nowadays, there are sources of fresh foods, local specialities, etc. We always plan our vacations to have either a housekeeping unit or campground, just so we can cook most meals.

We vacationed on the Outer Banks this year, for instance, and had plenty of choices re: seafood, fresh produce, etc.

One thing you can do is check the USDA listing of farmer's markets. It purportedly lists every FM in the U.S.

Another is to first focus on a speciality, then pick an area that has it. For instance, you would think Wisconsin for cheese and dairy; Virginia for ham, peanuts, and seafood; the Pacific Northwest for all sorts of great foodstuffs, etc.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #3 of 5
Don't get to vacation to places much where I would do my own cooking, I personally like the pampering and not worrying about dishes but I have done a few.

I remembered hitting up a high efficiency, kinda like a short term apartment, up in Hawaii with the family, I was about 6 years old at the time. Found groceries where super $ but we did stay in Honalulu which probably didn't help.

Another place was in the Florida Keys, got a nice little cabin by the shores. Hit up a local fish market grabbed some prawns and steaks, rained that evening but had just enough time to BBQ them, sat in with the windows wide open...it was a perfect way to end my 2nd cruise trip. I had gotten back from a 7 day East Caribbean and stayed a couple extra days to hit like half the Keys.
post #4 of 5
We spent a little time in Italy last year at my sister's time share there. It is a little dot on the map about 10 miles or so south of Sienna. I went into a local grocery store looking for some chicken broth for whatever I was going to cook that evening. Couldn't find the stuff anywhere. Not speaking any Italian I finally asked one of the workers at the store for pollo brodo. He handed me a chicken! I had to laugh. I ended up buying a bag of chicken wings and some aromatics and doing a quick broth. It was pretty good to.

I am so used to flying around my own kitchen and putting my hands on what I want when I want it that it is difficult for me to work in another (less well equipped) kitchen. I have been known to pack some knives and other essentials when going on vacation though.

post #5 of 5
I'm not as familiar with the southwest, although Northern CA has a lot of options as far as local color in food is concerned. Monterey for example, or Napa Valley -- more for the wine and cheese, of course, but they have great farmer's markets, too. Sorry to hear about timeshare troubles, I know they can be difficult to exchange with all the "dud" properties being sold out there. My aunt had a similar run in a few years back and actually had to HIRE Timeshare Relief to bail her out, no way of exchanging that swindle. So the best of luck to you. Also, have you thought about Gilroy? They're a major garlic farm area!
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