A study into the holiday habits of 2,000 adults found a quarter lack the confidence or knowledge to try local specialties when travelling abroad. It was also revealed that even those who go self-catering trawl supermarkets for familiar goods to take home and prepare, rather than try their hand at native dishes. One in five even go so far as to take their favourite foods on holiday with them packing baked beans, bacon and even cheese in their suitcase. Incredibly more than a quarter admitted that the tried and trusted beans on toast was often their lunch of choice abroad, even when faced with an array of local produce to choose from.
The figures emerged in a study carried out by global holiday rentals website HomeAway.co.uk, who polled adults between the ages of 35 and 60. Andy Cockburn, Regional Director for HomeAway UK said: ''It's a shame lots of people have a fear of trying foreign food as one of the key ways to enjoy and experience different cultures is through their cuisine. One of the benefits of a self-catering holiday home is that it allows you to do this. That doesn't mean cooking for hours; local markets mostly have plenty of specialties you can just pop on a plate and enjoy."
The research showed that the top excuses Brits gave for not trying the local cuisine were that they were scared to try new foods and worried that they would get an upset stomach. One in six said that on their holiday they should be able to eat whatever they want and didn't like being forced to eat food they weren't used to just because they were in a foreign country. Nearly a quarter only look for familiar brands and products when they shop overseas and men were the main offenders with them more likely to not eat any foreign food when abroad at all. The most popular dishes for Brits to eat when they are on holiday are pasta, full English breakfasts, cheese sandwiches, and stir fries.
The research also revealed that Vietnam was the destination where Brits were most likely to dislike the native food and hunt down English options. Japan and India also ranked highly in the list of countries where Brits struggled to enjoy the local cuisine with Morocco, Singapore and Thailand not far behind.
Andy Cockburn from HomeAway.co.uk said: "People most self-cater to save money but what they don't realise is it would be much cheaper to shop local too, plus they might be surprised at what they find. We seem stuck on pasta, cheese sandwiches and stir fries, but by simply using local cheese and veggies instead, you're one step closer to the country you're in, and you'll save cash!"
Worst countries for food according to the HomeAway.co.uk survey