Maybe it’s because I’m hungry, but it seems to me that food and travel are pretty much intertwined today. If you look at recent travel trends, food tours seem to be all the rave. Culinary travel destinations, agriturismo in Italy and Spain (basically staying on a farm) and cooking classes have been around for a while but it seems there’s a big push to include food as part of the culture when you travel. Food, culture, travel—got it? Good.
So I was pretty excited to hear about MealSharing.org — a website founded by some serious travelers who realized that home-cooked meals while traveling are as great a place as any to meet new people. I had the chance to meet with Ainara, one of the founders, here in Berlin. The basic premise is this: local hosts announce an event to host a meal, and travelers nearby can join. Unlike other similar websites which allow for the exchange of money for food-related events, Meal Sharing is meant to be a global community of people who get together, learn from each other, and share home-cooked meals. Without the transfer of money. It’s essentially the Couchsurfing for food.
Ainara invited me over for a meal where, rather than get a sales pitch about Meal Sharing, we actually just simply enjoyed a meal together. And a delicious one at that:
Meal Sharing – the place where travelers & locals can connect over a meal
We spent a few hours swapping travel stories—everything from Germany to India, Brazil and Barcelona. The premise of Meal Sharing is really great because it connects people who love cooking with those that love traveling. A win-win if you ask me. And it’s not too far off from what I’ve been doing all along with some friends here in Berlin this winter. We were regularly hosting dinner nights where we’d share some meal from our home country. It was a fun way to connect our past lives abroad to the new ones we’ve created here.
Meal Sharing is one of those websites that I really love the concept and hope that it’ll pick up. I’ve created a profile and hope to connect with locals on some of my upcoming trips to see if anyone’s hosting any meals. And no, I wasn’t paid to say anything about this company. I really just love the premise. I’ve been an advocate for Couchsurfing for years and this is just taking the now-nearly-flawed idea to a whole new level. And a tastier one at that!
Learn more about Meal Sharing or to set up your own profile to host or attend meals here: www.mealsharing.org/about