The economy and personal finances being what they are, many people have no big travel plans scheduled for this summer. The newest way to put a positive spin on the situation is to do a staycation instead. The idea is to enjoy yourself without straying too far from homem exploring area attractions and taking advantage of local natural and cultural resources.
I hate to say I told you so—well, actually, honestly, I kind of enjoy saying it—but that’s exactly what I’ve been advocating since Cleveland Ethnic Eats was first published in 1995. I’ve always wanted readers to see my book as a sort of culinary road map showing you where to go for quick low cost food adventures that offer a taste of the world right here in our own community.
More than ten years ago, a friend and early fan of the book, reported to me that he’d decided to visit every place listed. He planned outings each week for himself and his wife. When a market was on the itinerary, he checked cookbooks out of the library, and went armed with recipes so he could purchase ingredients to make an authentic ethnic meal. He said the experience made them feel like international travelers, only it was cheaper and they got to sleep in their own bed every night. He couldn’t have given me a bigger, better compliment.
So if you find yourself with leisure time, try to do some ethnic eats exploring like my friend. Dip into the exotic and unfamiliar. Venture into neighborhoods different than your own. Talk to the people you meet there. I have no doubt you’ll come back with some great stories, and isn’t that part of what holidays are all about. Maybe you’ll even share some of them here.