“I think food, culture, people and landscape are all absolutely inseparable.” - Tony Bourdain
“I’ve always loved how food preserves a memory” – Piolo Pascual Food tourism – also known as culinary tourism – is all about discovering different destinations and cultures through their local cuisine. Typically, this type of travel will include food-related activities like cooking classes and tastings. But you might even decide to explore the farm to table journey of one item – like chocolate. Wine tours can allow you to explore your favorite tipple while discovering all about the terroir where it is grown and made.
There are many places around the world that are known for their food and offer plenty of options for food tourism. You may have already visited some – and come home raving about what you tried! For example – who has been to Italy and come home determined to make the perfect sauce? OR source the best gelato in your hometown? Have you come home from Mexico, determined to try making your own tamales? Well that is food tourism…light.
Serious culinary travel involves time spent digging deep into the food and beverage culture of a place. Besides the most obvious choices of France, Italy, and Mexico – there are plenty of other destinations to consider for your next culinary adventure: Thailand: Thai cuisine is known for its unique blend of flavors, which combine sweet, salty, sour, and spicy elements. Thai food also features a variety of fresh herbs and spices, including lemongrass, basil, cilantro, and galangal. Thailand is also famous for their street food culture. You can find delicious and inexpensive food on almost every street corner! Japan: Japanese food culture is deeply ingrained in the country's history and traditions. Japanese cuisine is known for its emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients and its delicate balance of flavors. Japanese food is so much more than sushi (although you could do an entire vacation focused on sushi classes and fish markets). Japanese cuisine varies by region, with each region having its own unique specialties. For example, the food of Hokkaido is known for its seafood and dairy products, while the food of Osaka is known for its street food and savory dishes. Greece: Why not blend your love of ancient history with a culinary tour in Greece? Greek cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients, such as olive oil, vegetables, and seafood. Traditional Greek dishes include moussaka, souvlaki, and tzatziki, and Greek food is also famous for its use of feta cheese and yogurt. India: A trip to India is sure to include the Taj Mahal. But how about combining that with a food tour? You can focus on cooking classes or learning all about the spices of India. Indian cuisine is diverse, flavorful, and often spicy. Curry, biryani, and tandoori dishes are just a few examples of the many delicious Indian dishes that are available. There are even tea tours where you can learn all about your favorite chai and how it’s made. Better yet, bring the recipe home and make it there! Food travel offers a unique and memorable travel experience while giving the traveler the chance to really immerse themselves in the culture of a destination. Food is memory – and what better way to remember your adventure than to learn how to create that food at home?