STREET FOOD!!!

Hey you guys,

How are you all doing?

So here at Expat.com, we thought we'd let our hair down this Friday and went on a trip around the world to taste the street food... Well, we wish... but because we cannot do that wrote about street food around the world (and we're well hungry now!!!).

You can find our piece on our magazine or you can simply click on this link: Is good street food enough to make you consider a destination?

I mean, of course, one wouldn't choose their expat destination on the food they do but wouldn't the world be a better place if we could ?  :P

Anyway, how's the street food where you are? Let us know!

Have a great week-end all!

AL!

I have one rule with street food - Buy it to take away.
Food poisoning can be a problem here (Indonesia), usually mild, but the best way to avoid it is not using the supplied plates and utensils.
Hot, freshly cooked food is unlikely to be the source of the bug, but poorly washed dishes are a good bet, especially as many are washed in a bucket and the places have no running water.
I leave a set of plastic cutlery in the car and order the food to take away so I don't use their dirty plates. Problem solved.

I don't plan trips around street food, but when it's one of the highlights in a certain destination, I make it a point to try them out. Always come with meds though because you never know :p

Whilst living and working in Bogor Indonesia I got street food from a cart who had permission to be in the housing compound. Always used my own plates and utensils, never got sick.

I don't eat that much street food where I live, in Bangkok, but I don't completely avoid it either.  I like roti the best, and buy fruit most after that.  There's kind of no need to buy things like pad Thai (fried noodles) on the street because there are hundreds of food courts in this city all selling similar versions.  Grilled meats or hot dogs are probably the most common thing you see here, but the range is really broad.  Small, informal cafes are set up on streets that aren't so different than food shops, just out on the sidewalk instead.  My kids and I eat fried chicken sold from a local market that's similar to a version sold on the street too.  They put way too much msg in any version that you buy, but it's all probably relatively safe.

It makes news that Bangkok is getting rid of that, removing sidewalk vending of street food and other items in order to make space for pedestrians on sidewalks.  It's true, but it's not as if they've removed most of it, only from a few or the most prominent areas.  Most locals (expat locals, I probably hear from most online) tend to see the step as a bad thing, since the sidewalks can be congested but it's part of the local culture.

Fred :

Hot, freshly cooked food is unlikely to be the source of the bug, but poorly washed dishes are a good bet, especially as many are washed in a bucket and the places have no running water.
I leave a set of plastic cutlery in the car and order the food to take away so I don't use their dirty plates. Problem solved.

I found, in my extensive travels (incl. Indonesia, Thailand, China, India, etc.), that people who bring their own utensils get sick more often than me (who eats everything and doesn't care at all). My theory is that paranoia makes you sick. But it might also be that I just have an iron stomach.
The only two times I got really sick - in China (most probably rat poison in the dish) and India (a buffet that probably stood there warm for too long) - it was in proper restaurants (and I was well again in a day). I got a far worse stomach upset (a week of streptococcus infection) from a raw cucumber in Greece.
For me, trying the incredible diversity (and availability) of street foods is a major aspect of any travel and I certainly don't want to miss it!

Wait 'til you see the pictures of why I keep a spoon and whatever with me.

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.p … 42#3273532

I too have a cast iron stomach and got sick after eating at a supposedly good restaurant in Brazil. Never been sick from eating street food.
When buying from a street vendor I do watch the cooking process and am not averse to asking for longer cooking time.

Man, the street food I had all over Malaysia during my exploratory visit last May was awesome and I come from a foodie capital that is San Francisco.  Did not have any issues with the street food.  The only issue I had was probably from some non fresh crab I ate at a locals sea side restaurant. 

I just love how a street (Jalan Alor) can seem normal during the day with traffic and all is then shut down completely at night for street food galore.  I mean, we are talking many blocks worth right??? Talk about competition at its finest.  Amazing!!! 

My niece's fiancee, Mr. White Bread, All-American, recently was in Singapore on a pass through for work.  I was concerned he would hate the food over there since he is all meats and potato.  Just like me, couldn't stop raving about the street hawker food  over there.  Shocked the heck out of me!!!

It wasn't from a street vendor but I had an amazing dessert on Jonker Street in Malacca that I keep a pic of it on my phone to remind me that this is a must the next time we are back there.

One of the best things about Taipei is the food. It is everywhere and affordable. There are night markets in almost every neighbourhood filled with people who do little more than walk from one food stall to the next. Pizza is impossible to find, but Chinese and Japanese food are in abundance.

There is an issue with gutter oil, though that is easy to solve. If this stall has a long line and that stall has no customers, go to this stall. There is likely a reason.

There are also restaurants everywhere. Street food is not required, but is the Taiwanese version of fast food. Ironically, American fast food like McDonald's and KFC are not considered fast food as they are expensive and slow by comparison.

European regulations have killed the street food, but very happy to find quality and affordable delicatesse broadly on Asian ccountrys

paulopereirra :

European regulations have killed the street food, but very happy to find quality and affordable delicatesse broadly on Asian ccountrys

No, European regulations did not "kill street food". That is a totally untrue statement. It was never popular in most countries and is more popular than ever, having become a fad in recent years in Germany and many other countries. And yes, there are hygiene and food safety regulations, thank goodness.

I would rather say: High labour costs have killed street food in some European countries.
In Asia, where the difference between rich (customers) and poor (street peddlers) is still bigger, it thrives.

TominStuttgart :

... And yes, there are hygiene and food safety regulations, thank goodness.

All this talk of street food reminds me of a blog-post of mine I wrote five years ago, which gave a passing mention of my youthful travels with a girl I'd met at a Youth Hostel in Greece. We were always too wary to eat street food, preferring to take our chances with the local restaurants. Here's how I remembered the experience sixty years later...

During our backpacking days in the Middle East in the ‘60s, not being able to understand the languages of the region, and travelling poor, Linda and I used to inspect the pots bubbling away in the slum restaurants’ filthy kitchens. As a rule of thumb, and all else being equal, we would choose from the pot furthest away from the cockroaches and rat-droppings. Looking back now, we suspect that what we ate then was probably healthier than the food the agri-businesses palm off on the world today. What a sad judgment that is, on the modern way of life.

I like the Brazilian skewered street assados and pastel de carne. "Kilawen nga kalding" is very good in Ilocos Sur, PI

I agree with you. And I avoid plastic bags.    :)

Street foods are mostly traditional food for the home town, village, cit, country, etc. Street foods are cheap and delicious, but most of them on street as it's called street food so while preparing food in open environment is dangerous for health to eat, it's might containing some small virus which can make you sick even not that serious but still you can encounter with Cough, Flue, Throat pain, etc. My advice avoid to eat these food until you are not sure it's clean.

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