Food is one thing that holds families and cultures together. It’s a bigger part of most cultures other than ours since everywhere else it enjoys such a long history, and also because food factors more largely into everyday life.
If you’re a food lover, consider making it a focus of your travels. You’re enjoying a culture and its activities, so why not take the extra step and learn something you can bring home?
Cooking classes on tour
Several of our tours involve stints at cooking schools, like Vietnam Culinary Journey, where you travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City visiting to several cooking schools to learn regional cuisine. It’s a wonderful way to gain insight into a culture while learning something practical.
Travel to Bangkok for our Thailand Master Cooking Tour and journey across the country, learning regional differences in cuisine, visiting markets and learning from the experts. But cooking classes form just a small part of the entire food picture. Here are some of the other ways that food can factor in:
Find it where it grows
Few of us could be enticed to travel to a Saskatchewan corn field, but if you happen to be walking the footpaths of Andalucia one fine Spanish morning and you come across a lemon grove, you might be intrigued by the way earth is mounded up around tree trunks, water drip-feeds the roots and charmed by a friendly (if incomprehensible) greeting from the stooped, sun-darkened man tending his orchard.
American students sometimes travel to France just to help out with the grape harvest. With a basket on their backs they sweat, work and laugh from dawn to dusk alongside your rural vineyard worker, a foul-smelling Gaulloise planted firmly in the corner of her mouth. When the crew stops for lunch, everyone breaks bread together. But even if you’re only cycling by vineyards in Burgundy or wandering past grove workers getting in the olive harvest in Santorini, it gives a real appreciation of where our food really comes from.
How it’s prepared
The next step is preparing food … and drink. If you have ever had a tour of Cognac, the village in France’s Charente department, you will know that there is a mystique and an elaborate tradition built around distilling, casking and sampling cognac brandy. The same goes for spicing and curing Italian pancetta, or flame-roasting eggplant and combining it with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and spices to make the Levantine middle eastern dish, baba ghanoush. Sure, food prep can form part of cooking classes, but food is often prepared right there in front of you in market stalls, smaller restaurants and food shops around the world. Dive right in and discover!
How food is best enjoyed
We’ve often heard that food is best enjoyed freshly made. Tapas made in a Barcelona restaurant and hot-out-of-the-oven croissants at a Lyons café validate that dictum. But enjoying fresh food is not all restaurant, café or street stall-based, even for travelers. Try delicious puri bhaji from a busy eatery, eat at a roadside dhaba, where food is cooked in clay pots in India, or an authentic parilla—huge slabs of meat roasting on spits stuck in the ground — in rural Argentina.
Natural wonders, historic sites, markets and festivals, food and drink — you can truly experience different cultures–from Burma and beyond! The world’s best travel experiences are all here. We have over 4000 small group trips or our experienced adventure travel specialists can build one just for you. This is all we’ve done since 1972. Adventure Center. We’re here to get you there.
Our adventure travel specialists in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton would love to help you; call us toll-free 866.338.8735 or find us at adventurecenter.com for more information.