Love Food? Adore Travelling? Then follow your tastebuds in the ultimate globetrotting trend of 2016.
If your ultimate holiday is as much about the dining options as the destination, then a food tour could be your dream trip!
Butterfield & Robinson President, Norman Howe says following your nose and taste buds when touring the globe is a rapidly growing trend!
"We’ve definitely seen an increase in appetite for our food-focused tours over the past few years," says Norman. "I think more and more people want to know where food originates from and how it’s produced, and have started combining this interest with their love of travel - whether it’s touring a cider house in Basque Country or learning how to make fresh pasta in Italy.”
Why Take a Food Tour?
Walk the streets of any European city in the early evening and you’ll pass cafes and bars overflowing with tourists nibbling the local cuisine and sipping glasses of beer and wine. But that’s where the culinary experience ends for some. “Food tours, on the other hand, are designed to fully immerse travellers in a destination’s food scene,” Norman explains. “Guests get to taste the freshest market produce, meet artisanal producers, participate in cooking tours, discover the best street food and learn the subtle changes in regional cuisines.”
Furthermore, Norman believes the local culture of a destination has as much to do with a region’s food as its geography and people, so a culinary tour is the ultimate way of delving into your destination. “Experiencing fresh and flavoursome local fare, meeting local experts and learning new cooking techniques provides an authentic journey to understanding your new surrounds," Norman says. "It’s these experiences and new skills that will continue to inspire you once you’ve returned home.”
Which Food Tour Should You Take?
It’s not as simple as click and book when it comes to a culinary tour, cautions Norman. For the foodie experience of your dreams, there are three essential factors to consider:
- Remain open minded. You might not be familiar with the local cuisine but that’s what food tours are all about - discovering new culinary cultures and learning what flavours you like and dislike.
- Ask yourself 'why?'. It’s easier to know where to go when you know why. If you want to improve your knowledge about wine, for example, check out trips around Burgundy - the traditional home of French wine.
- Do your research. "There are so many great tour options out there," assures Norman. "You’d be silly to book the first trip you think ticks all the boxes!"
Can Kids Come Too?
Absolutely! Foodie tours are perfect for families, Norman says. Here are his three essential tips when food touring with kids.
- Book a trip which includes activities designed to help keep children entertained. "Whether they enjoy cycling, hiking, horseback riding, canoeing or cooking, there are tours to cater for everyone."
- Encourage your kids to draw and list things they’ve seen and exotic foods they’ve tried in a travel journal, or get them to take photos of the dishes on their smartphones if a journal is not their thing. "You never know, it might also encourage them to try new and different foods!" Norman points out. Journals and photos are also a great way to ensure kids can share their experiences with their classmates back home and create an educational element to their adventure.
- Whether you’re doing a food tour in Peru or Italy, antibacterial wet wipes or hand sanitiser is essentials Norman says. "A wipe of the hands or a squirt of sanitizer before tasting something can kill a few germs and prevent little ones from catching common bugs."