If you are a passionate foodie and particularly love street foods, chances are you would know who Mark Wiens is. A legendary food and travel you tuber and vlogger, Mark Wiens has more than 1.2 Million subscribers on his Food Channel on You Tube ‘Migrationology‘.
Amit Sengupta, founder of Blackboard talks exclusively with Mark on his epic food journey throughout the globe and his most passionate street foods, which foodie destination he would like to explore and much more. Read on…
Mark Wiens Interview (Blackboard Exclusive): The World’s Leading Food You Tuber and Vlogger talks about his epic journey, top 5 street foods in the world and much more…
Amit Sengupta: You are a global you tube icon as far as food and travel is concerned. Your beginning was not that flashy or ceremonious. You struggled real hard for about a decade to reach this place. Share with us your initial days when you thought of starting a You Tube channel on Food and travel. What led you to start a You Tube channel during those days?
Mark Wiens: Thank you very much, really appreciate your kindness. I started off blogging about food and travel, and I did that for about 4 years. Then I realized when you only take photos, people aren’t able to hear the sounds or understand the emotion as much as video would show, and so I started making very simple street food videos showing what I was eating. At that same time, about in 2013, I thought, video is not very popular right now, but I know it will only become more and more popular. And so that’s when, even with no video experience or background, I decided to make a personal commitment to make videos and not give up.
Amit Sengupta: How did you come up with the name of your tube channel? What was the motivation behind discovering food?
Mark Wiens: As I mentioned previously, it was first a blog, and I came up with the idea Migrationology because I didn’t want to just travel to a destination quickly, but I wanted to migrate to a destination, to deeply explore and learn about the food and culture. That’s still my aim and goal. However, I’ve started now also mostly branding as my personal name.
Amit Sengupta: You are one of those icons who love to devour street food. A person on the street can easily relate to you – you rarely associate with luxury hotels or food in fancy restaurants. From where did the love for amazing street food origin?
Mark Wiens: I grew up traveling frequently with my parents and we spent a lot of time in East Africa. During my growing up years I loved to eat street food snacks and I loved how you could see what was being prepared right in front of you before trying it. Later as an adult, traveling to Asia for the first time just magnified my street food interest because there was more variety and more quantity than anywhere else I had ever seen.
I love the atmosphere of street food, how you can talk with vendors and other eaters, and just the excitement of street food.
Amit Sengupta: South East Asian countries feature predominantly in your you tube videos particularly Thailand. What is the best part of living in Thailand as far as food and travel is concerned?
Mark Wiens: What I especially love about street food in Thailand is the vast variety of dishes and culinary influences available. Thailand is in a strategic geographical position with influences from China, India, Malay, and with a tropical climate where so many unique things can grow.
So for me, it’s the variety of tastes and ingredients that make Thailand such a great place to live, eat and travel.
Amit Sengupta: You have also visited India and done videos on Mumbai and Kolkata street food. Which Indian food do you think you liked most and why?
Mark Wiens: One of the ultimate things I tried many years ago in Old Delhi is fruit chaat, and I loved it so much because it was unexpected. He took chickpeas, lime juice, sulfur salt, and some spices (which all seem simple), and filled them into hollowed out fruits and vegetables. The result was a beautiful burst of flavor, salty and sweet and sour.
I loved the mandarin orange filled with this mixture, it was unforgettable!
Amit Sengupta: Which is the best street food you have had so far?
Mark Wiens: That’s a very tough question, but there’s this tiny village in Southern Thailand where my wife took me to a grilled chicken place she had been eating at since she was a kid. They grill the chicken, apply a thick coconut cream chili sauce on it, then grill it, add more sauce, grill it again, and repeat three times. The end result is pure coconut cream, that’s been caramelized and crispified onto the chicken, and it’s absolutely insane. The family has been making it for generations, and has never given up their recipe.
Amit Sengupta: Which ONE country you would like to visit to discover the street food?
Mark Wiens: For a country that I haven’t explored yet, probably Mexico, which has an incredible and diverse food culture.
Amit Sengupta: Which was the weirdest dish you have had so far?
Mark Wiens: There’s a dish called loo in northern Thailand that’s a soup made with raw pig’s blood and spices. You then eat it with slices of raw pig kidney and garnish with herbs and crispy cracklings.
Amit Sengupta: According to you, which are the TOP 5 STREET FOODS IN THE WORLD?
Mark Wiens: Pad kra prao (Thailand) – Choice of meat, fried with garlic, chilies, and holy basil.
Ayam taliwang (Lombok, Indonesia) – Grilled village chicken, topped with huge amounts of pure chili sauce
Adana kebab (Turkey) – Insane lamb kebabs
Nalli nihari (India) – One of the world’s greatest meat stews with bone marrow
Poke (Hawaii) – Poke is a Hawaiian style of cubes of raw fish marinated, and I grew up eating it as a kid, which is partly why I love it so much
Amit Sengupta: If there is one place where you would like to visit again to discover the food, which place would it be?
Mark Wiens: India! I don’t think the food can ever get boring in India, and there’s enough food and destinations to keep one excited to keep eating for a lifetime.
If you have loved reading Mark’s interview, don’t forget to leave your comments below and share the blog. Also tell us, which other iconic personalities i should interview.