If you’re researching a holiday in India, you’re probably learning that the travel forums are full of questions about ‘Delhi belly’ and hygiene concerns. We asked our India Specialist Karl if there’s really anything to worry about.
‘Refrigeration in India has really improved in the last twenty years, and caution is not as necessary as it used to be. A lot of regional cuisine is vegetarian - food hygiene is easier with vegetables than it is with meat. When we arrive in India, our friends there serve us locally produced yoghurt, which introduces the local ‘good bacteria’; eating it from day one really seems to help avoid the gastric issues you might otherwise experience when suddenly switching to very different cuisine and climate!
On any Selective Asia holiday, your private guide is invaluable when it comes to suggesting places to eat, including reliable street-food stalls; having a guide on hand typically alleviates any anxiety our clients may have about trusting their own gut, if you’ll excuse the pun. If you are keen to explore the streetfood scene but feel nervous about doing so, we can arrange a culinary-focused guided walk with a specialist food guide, who will know how to pick out the best eats and treats.
Exploring different foods is a significant part of visiting India, and some of the lodges and havelis we’ll send you to are situated deep in the countryside. You might worry that the remoteness makes them less reliable, but these are family owned properties that grow their own food, and pride themselves on their cookery skills, preparing and sharing dishes that have been handed down for generations. We’ve eaten some simply extraordinary meals whilst inspecting these places.
When you are exploring without your guide, the meals you’ll find in hotels and restaurants will typically be fine - in fact, although much is made of the ‘authenticity’ of street-food, in India you are just as likely to dine on excellent traditional cuisine in a hotel or sit-down restaurant.
If you like to drink alcohol with your meals, this can be an issue, as it’s not always readily available in standalone restaurants, and even in hotels. But rest assured that there’ll be so many interesting distractions and delicious flavours that a bit of booze shouldn’t be missed!’