With camera lenses now incorporated into most mobile phones, the number of photos of everyday items has skyrocketed. Among the leading subjects? Food.
There's something captivating about an image of a mouthwatering dish (it's one reason food television is booming). While you might not be able to taste or smell it, that photo sure does whet your appetite and can spur you to plan a trip. Likewise, when you're served a fantastic dish, whether at a fancy restaurant or street cart, it's gratifying to instantly preserve the memory with a photo-and share it through social networks.
So when we asked the Travel + Leisure community to upload food photos they've taken during their travels, we weren't surprised to find hundreds of delectable images pouring in. Selecting our favorites made our stomachs rumble with hunger, but we pushed forward. The resulting collection of food photographs runs the gamut from food prep to ready-to-eat dishes to fresh produce, so there's something for every taste.
As appealing as a dish can be, it isn't always the right place to focus. Some get more creative by zooming in on the preparation of food. A T+L reader photographed a cooking class in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where several students are working with pans, flames shooting into the air, presumably from the addition of alcohol.
Other travelers, by their choice of what to photograph, reveal an insatiable sweet tooth. If you're the same, you'll find yourself lingering a little too long over a photo of a Sacher torte-that notoriously decadent chocolate cake from Vienna. Like many foods, it's become an instant symbol of a destination.
From time to time, however, it's the strange or unusual quality that gets the shutters clicking. Who knows if you'll actually be daring enough to eat it yourself, but if you see a collection of skewered sea horses and scorpions perfectly arranged and ready to eat, as one reader did in Beijing, chances are, you'll at least snap a shot.
So take a look through our slideshow of food photos. Once you've finished dishing about your favorites, remember to share your own photos with us!