Joe Yonan’s March 31 Travel story, “Where’s the food?,” got me thinking about my own memories of eating while traveling. Whenever I plan a trip to a new city, the first thing I do is find out which restaurant has a passionate chef cooking at the top of his or her game. I want to see important cultural landmarks, but what I remember is the meal that I ate after my dutiful pilgrimage.

Food offers a traveler a way of being a part of the culture that seeing art and architecture never can. We ingest the essence of the land and its people; it literally becomes a part of our bodies. It is the ultimate embrace of the other, and its transformative power can never be underestimated. I will keep seeing new sights and hearing new sounds as I travel, but most important, I will keep devouring the world as I explore it.

Robyn Zimmerman, Olney