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
Wow. Ridiculously excited to try this out. Need to acquire a kitchen first. But then, I’m having meals every night!
The kitchen is required to host, but see if you can join someone else’s meal and then you don’t really need the kitchen. Bon apetite Sarah!
Traveling, meeting people, and enjoy a good meal – that sounds pretty fantastic to me. I’ll have to check out that site.
Let me know if you end up joining an event Alouise!
Yes, what a simple but brilliant idea! I hope this will pick up and more people join. Looking for some meals in Morocco… :)
Hope you find something in Morocco – you could always start hosting and see if it catches on
This is great! I just created a profile too, i love the idea!
Glad to hear it Rebecca. Guten appetit!
Hmmm… there was a site like that a few years ago – very similar, no money involved, just a site where you could find folks all over the world that would have you over for a home-cooked meal. Shoot, I even joined and put up a profile.
I don’t know if it’s still around, as I’ll be darned if I can remember the name of it. In any case, yes, a great concept – hope it takes off and flourishes.
This is an excellent idea! I’m going to check it out, especially because I’ll be starting my own travels soon as I head over to teach English in Spain in about 6 months! Thank you Adam!
I completely love this! I think I will be creating an account. I’ve done this kind of thing with friends before, and the idea of connecting with other travelers this way is really wonderful. It gives me global community warm and fuzzies.
This is a great idea! I just recently couchsurfed with a man from Turkey who made me lots of home cooked meals and it was amazing. I loved the cultural exchange!
That sounds like an awesome experience in Turkey, Aryn! Definitely agree that food allows for some of the best cultural exchanges :)
What a great idea! Before traveling I’ve always liked having friends around for dinner, cooking together and sharing new tasty meals. The fact that now it would be possible to do it while traveling sounds awesome to me.
Need to sign up right now! Thanks Adam for spreading the word :)
Glad to hear it Franca!! I love having dinner parties myself.
O.m.g. I love Couchsurfing and I love food. This is kind of perfect. Thanks for the heads-up, Adam!
Happy to share it Edna! Let me know if you end up participating…
that caprese salad looks so yummy! my friend and i got really lucky when we couchsurfed, and our host not only showed us around italy but also cooked us a couple meals!
mealsharing sounds pretty awesome. since i recently started cooking, i am always wanting people to come be my guinea pigs.
Yeah, I’ve found some of my CS hosts to be very kind as well and often share meals with them. I really like the concept for Meal Sharing though where it’s not centered around staying with a person, but just meeting people over meals/food.
This sounds (and looks!) fantastic!!! I adore food, and love CouchSurfing, so the two together? Perfect! Although as I type, my host here in Williamsburg is preparing a mushroom risotto with pisco sours to drink!
Let me know if you try it out Tom! I loved the idea as much as I love CouchSurfing as well!
[…] of Adam Couchsurfing for Food Adam details a new social networking site- one that connects hungry […]
Adam, what a great idea. I am doing some research into social travel networking through the likes of Couchsurfing (or meal surfing!). I would be very keen for anyone who has used this type of concept, to share their experiences. Contact me through Twitter: @LiezlHesketh or via email
Hi Liezl, I’m sure you could reach out to the Meal Sharing folks directly and they could help you out with your social travel networking project.
Good luck and bon apetite!
[…] it up with leftovers. Viola! Lunch and dinner are taken care of. I wish we could have partaken in this communal concept of meal sharing. Maybe next […]