Grantourismo May Competition - Winning Entries

Theme: Food and Travel



By Corinne, from Gourmantic

Tasting the Mediterranean

Gourmantic I could be anywhere along the shores of Nice, Tangiers or Agrigento. The unmistakable blue of the Mediterranean always calls to me. Here, at Dar sur Mer, the view from the white-washed balcony of our holiday home puts me in a trance. The open sea shimmers under the midday sun with pin points of silver dancing over the water’s surface.

The small town of Safra is merely eight kilometres from the bay of Jounieh, north of the Lebanese capital. I amble along a narrow road that hugs the coast, looking for memories. To my left, glimpses of the sea drown the incessant claxon of impatient motorists. I cross into the adjacent village, Bouar, and I stop in front of a street vendor. A hand-written sign, Toutia, stands above a colourful array of freshly-caught sea urchins...

Continue reading on Corinne's blog




By Jessie Voigts, from Wandering Educators

Eating Anemones and Saving Face in Japan

Anemone During college, I worked for a year at an international exchange company in Japan. I was lucky enough to live with host families, and learned about Japanese culture – and myself.

Living with my first host family was a life-changing experience. I learned from my graceful host mother how to learn from and fit into Japanese culture, where form is everything. From my host father, I learned the importance of saving face.

My host mother was amazing – accomplished, beautiful, athletic. She taught me about shopping (Hermes, Gucci, Armani). Being with her was a learning experience in fitting in – although I completely stuck out, being tall, white, and red-headed...

Continue reading on Jessie's blog




By Ashley, from Smash and Sniff

A Memorable Meal: Yangtze River Harmony

Smash and SniffLoud sucking and gulping, juicy wet slurping and sharp burping stopped me dead in my tracks and had me reconsidering my first meal aboard the passenger boat. The jarring buzz of bodily functions bounced around a steady stream of sing-song Chinese conversation. I stood in the doorway scanning the dining room, the only thing vaguely familiar were the plates of brown gelatinous Chinese food I had come to fear. Hyperaware of my status as the only foreigner aboard, and overwhelmed by uncertainty, I retreated to my cabin.

Taking inventory of the edible contents in my backpack, I knew I would not be able to avoid the dining room for the full five day trip up the Yangtze River. Before boarding the boat that would float me past scenic views of the Three Gorges, I made a last minute dash for provisions. Running through the narrow side streets of Wuhan, I hunted and gathered snacks from street vendors and sidewalk chefs...

Continue reading on Ashley's blog  


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