MyCityCuisine: Find Tasty Traditional Foods From All Over the Globe

Food & Wine — By on April 16, 2012 at 6:00 am

By Isabel B
Special to The Lost Girls

“What should I order?”

How many times have you asked yourself that question on your travels? I certainly have—in the Argentine Pampa, near the favelas of Rio, on a stroll through the souks of Marrakech, while visiting the Spice Market of Istanbul, in an Indian specialty restaurant in Mumbai… I can’t even count the times.

Sometimes, I had the help of a local host who kindly accompanied me to a restaurant. He or she would advise me on the regional treats. After spending too much time listening to translations that still didn’t tell me what the dish actually was, I would give up with an “Oh, just order for me,” leaving it all in the local’s hands.

And no doubt, each time, I was surprised. In Mexico, I was served an all-too-spicy burrito. I told my local friend that I was very sensitive to chili, and apparently what I had been served was still the “non-spicy” version. In Argentina, I got an empanada filled with meat, despite the fact that I had clearly said that I was vegetarian. “So, you mean ham counts as meat?” was the response. Um, yes.

Other times, the locals hit my taste mark right in the middle. In Turkey, I was served a delicious eggplant appetizer, thanks to a local from Istanbul. In Spain, I tried merluza, a grilled white fish for the first time, also thanks to a local expert.

But what happens when you don’t have a local to help you out? You’re on your own, I always thought.

But recently, I found a new tool that came to my rescue: A new wiki project launched a year ago, MyCityCuisine finally fills the void of information about local cuisines. It prides itself on being “the only comprehensive source for providing information on local dishes from all over the globe.”

As a wiki, it grows thanks to the collaboration of international food lovers. Not only can you look up dishes from all over the globe, but you can contribute your own knowledge, too.

Food and travel have always gone hand-in-hand. Finally, there’s a resource that combines them both for all to see—and taste, at least virtually!