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Family travel five: Locales that offer food for thought

  • LOS ANGELES TIMES / TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

    From warm beignets to spicy Cajun or creole-style seafood dishes, the city of New Orleans offers a wealth of enticing fare. A family walks down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter at dusk.

Add a mouthwatering twist to your cultural exploration. Here are five culinary adventures to consider.

1. New Orleans

The kids will learn about more than just local cuisine when the family ventures to this coastal city that continues to survive against the odds. Snack on tasty beignets for breakfast. Savor po’boys or gumbo for lunch. Stroll through the French Quarter or visit the Louisiana Children’s Museum to restore your appetite for dinner. Then sample from the wealth of Cajun or creole-style seafood that will be served with a smile in this friendly southern city. The adventuresome in your group might opt for alligator on a stick. Enjoy the flavorful food with the sound of local jazz as your backdrop.

Contact: neworleans.com

2. Super foods in Peru

Teach the kids about super foods while sharing the amazing history of the Andes people. This country is home to grainlike and nutrient-rich quinoa and purple spuds, both considered sacred and said to have been cultivated for Incan royalty. The color in the antioxidant-laden potatoes comes from the same enzyme that gives blueberries their healthy hue. Mix these Peruvian diet staples into your menu when planning a trek on the Inca trail en route to Machu Picchu. The water quality in Peru has not caught up with other aspects of the tourism infrastructure, so stick to bottled water.

Contact: peru.travel

3. Artichokes in Albuquerque, N. M.

Some go straight for the heart; others enjoy dipping the leaves in tasty sauces. Learn how to eat artichokes every which way at the Artichoke Cafe, a charming dining spot set in this southwestern city’s historic east downtown neighborhood. Gather additional local intel by visiting the National Hispanic Cultural Center as well as the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Taste the local New Mexican cuisine, combining native chilies, corn, beans and squash, at one of many restaurants you’ll find in Old Town, Albuquerque’s 300-year-old city center.

Contact: artichokecafe.com; itsatrip.org

4. Barbecue in Kansas City, Mo.

You won’t want to visit this Midwestern town without savoring a dry-rubbed, slow-smoked slab of barbecued ribs. Rich with history and local culinary tradition, the smoky goodness has been attracting travelers since the early 1900s. According to the Kansas City Barbeque Society, there are more than 100 establishments blending a mouthwatering combination of flavors and styles. Among the favorites: Wabash BBQ, BBQ Shack, Gates Bar-B-Q, and Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue.

Contact: visitkc.com

5. Eat ocal, experience global

Larger U.S. cities are often home to cultural enclaves where small, family-owned restaurants dish up healthy servings of authentic favorites, combined with a bit of history from the homeland. When traveling to cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco or Miami seek out dining options in Little Italy, Chinatown or Little Havana, respectively. There, you can introduce the clan to more than just a good meal.

Contact: littleitalynyc.com; miamiandbeaches.com/neighborhoods/little-havana

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