More people than ever before are now taking culinary tours to countries all over the world to explore the food and culture on offer. These food-based trips do not focus on dull classroom lectures, but instead offer lively, constantly changing journeys into the heart of a particular culture in order to find out what makes its cuisine unique.
Professional culinary tours such as those offered by Culture Bites highlight regional and national dishes and drinks, at the same time showcasing the historic and contemporary influences that make a nation unique and vital. Participants also learn to create dishes and drinks wherever they go, adding to the pleasure of the experience.
In Europe, tours of Tuscany are particularly popular as they offer insights into one of the world’s most celebrated food cultures, along with guided visits to its many vineyards and historical sites. Viticulture enthusiasts can learn about the agriculture, production, bottling and storage of well-known wines such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano, Chianti and Brunello di Mantalcino. They can also discover culinary connections to famous scientists, artists and members of the nobility by taking private, guided tours of museums and heritage sites.
In Asia, Japan draws plenty of food loving travellers who not only want to taste the country’s famous sushi, but are also keen to understand why Japanese people love seafood so much, and how they produce and prepare it in restaurants. On the cultural side, ancient traditions like the Japanese Tea Ceremony are explained and demonstrated on a cultural food tour, with expert guides leading the discovery so that participants can refine their knowledge and further their passion for Japanese culture and cuisine.
Further south, you may want to know how Singapore’s key position in trade has influenced the dishes served at the country’s many hawker centres. It takes true understanding to explain such nuances and that’s why food and culture tours work so well. Such knowledge is best learned through tasting the dishes prized by locals, many of whom speak English, Tamil, Malay and Mandarin.
In countries like Thailand and Vietnam, hands-on experience is key, and travellers can delve onto the kitchens, bakeries, micro-breweries and wineries of these two ever-evolving culinary capitals, with seasoned chefs on hand to explain the culture and seasonings.
It’s this kind of one-to-one culinary guidance that makes a food and drink tour special and memorable. It’s also what makes such journeys an addictive alternative to standard travel itineraries.