How to blag free food while travelling

I thought it was about time I posted something a bit more useful than my usual ramblings, and really what could be more useful to a traveller than knowing how to score some free food?

In Asia it’s not really an issue as everything is so cheap, but in Australia unless you’re happy living on instant noodles and $5 pizza, eating is expensive.

Don’t worry though, finding free food is easy, if you follow my simple two-step process:

  1. Befriend an Italian
  2. Pretend you don’t know how to cook

Of course if you genuinely don’t know how to cook, you won’t need to pretend making this essentially a one-step process – even better!

So how does this work? Well the key is in every Italian’s conviction that as a nation, they are the best cooks, and it’s their duty to share this great food with the world.

My first taste of this phenomenon was in Brisbane, when after spending the day at a Koala sanctuary with an Italian chef, I casually mentioned that I’d made pasta with a bunch of leftovers, including tomatoes and peaches (actually really tasty).

He was so horrified by this flavour combination that he immediately vowed to cook that night and show me the true Italian way of making pasta. It was of course excellent, and as an added bonus he also made a courgette and parmigiana omelette because he was still hungry afterwards, which I also got to share – win!

The other great thing about Italians is that they love to cook in bulk. So when I recently sat down at a table with three Italian guys and showed them the microwaved meal of beef and vegetables I had (it was late at night, I just arrived in a new city) they were quick to offer me some of their giant pot of pasta – generosity is definitely another big Italian trait, thanks guys!

I don’t actually spend all my time trying to scrounge off other people, and I’m more than happy to cook for myself, but should you be in need of a good meal this is a tactic I would highly recommend.

Sorry for the lack of pictures to illustrate this post, was too busy eating to think about photos, but will make up for it with a post full of australia highlights soon!


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