Alienation is the occasional side effect of foreign travel—but unlike, say, intestinal upset, you can’t always just pop a Cipro and move on. The liberation of being away and unencumbered by the familiar is at constant odds with the sense that you don’t belong and you really know nothing. Eating is one of the most direct ways to get to know a city, but you can eat all the street food you want and it’s not going to help you understand it more than a home-cooked meal would.
To that end there’s Meal Sharing, a new social-networking site founded by Chicagoan Jay Savsani that aims to hook travelers up with hosts for home-cooked meals. Savsani, a web designer, was inspired by a meal he ate in Siem Reap, Cambodia: