Savoring sushi on a food tour in Tokyo; Linda Cooper
As a traveler, you get to explore the fascinating places, people, and cultures of the world - along with, inevitably, its many delicious cuisines. Everyone has to eat, and for many eating is a huge part of the travel experience - as well as a tasty way to gain a literally tasty insight to the destinations they visit. What´s more, most destinations have local tour operators which specialize in introducing visitors to the wonderful culinary experiences and heritage of their towns, cities, and regions: the essence of "slow food" and "slow travel." And here are five things that visitors can get out of them:
Enjoying Fresh, Seasonal, Locally Grown Foods
Each country has its own particular delicacies - some of which you may not find at home, or just pale imitations - and often available seasonably (for example, calçots, the charred green onions of Spain's Catalonia region, available only in winter and early spring). Food tours can introduce you to great seasonal foods that nurture your body and the environment. Additionally, these local foods can be even more delicious as they are picked at their peak ripeness and served to you filled with flavor. Plus, they are packed with nutrients because they don’t sit too long on the shelves.
Supporting Local Economies
Food tours on a local level are a great way to experience new foods. What’s more, they are an awesome way to support the local economy. As you explore veggies and fruits grown by farmers you are majorly supporting their hard work and the local economy. Some local food tours can aslo help support certain destination growth as they focus on a particular neighborhood or town. Local farmer’s markets are another great place to explore locally grown foods and support local growers, vendors, and artisans.
Spain´s artisinal jamón serrano cured ham; withlocals.com
Taking Advantage of Coveniently Planned Itineraries
Independent travel involves a lot of planning. If you love to stay organized and create itineraries for all of your trips, that’s great! You can do research and put together your own foodie itineraries. If on the other hand you don’t like planning your own tours, you’re in luck, because food tours already have planned itineraries. All the planning is done for you and someone else is in charge of getting you through the town and teaching you about the new foods and flavors. Plus, you can sift through various different itineraries and see which one suits your likes best, or even explore all of them.
Scoring Personalized Insider Tips
Another great benefit of discovering hidden gems is that you can learn so much about food and its preparations. Each culture has its own unique ways of cooking with the same ingredients, and this is a perfect opportunity to upgrade your skills. On food tours, your guide can make recommendations for restaurants and activities that you can additionally explore in the town. Since they are locals, they are filled with great ideas and knowledge on hidden gems, amazing places, and delicious foods to try. So, talk to the guide during the food tour and you will see how much you will learn.
Learning More about History and Culture
You could go on your own to museums and read online about a certain place, but local guides have much more valuable info. While on a food tour, your guide will show you amazing places on the way and share local anecdotes and historical facts including the background and cultural context of various dishes and ingredients. You may also meet some local chefs, restaurant owners, and food producers and vendors who can also provide fascinating insider knowledge.