Culinary tours are an exciting new way to learn about a country’s culinary secrets and to discover how to make centuries-old delicacies.
Food lovers, as well as amateur and even professional chefs, have discovered the appeal of culinary holidays, in which experts make learning a country’s cuisine and culture a hands-on, inspiring adventure.
Japan’s cuisine is a world unto itself, which is why operators like Culture Bites have recruited experienced chefs, filmmakers, architects and local culture buffs to guide travellers through the many intriguing elements of the country’s cuisine, as well as the varied facets of its proud and sophisticated culture.
Some people simply wish to learn the art of making sushi from a local expert, while others want to know about every aspect of shun – the seasonality of food – in order to know when is the best time to eat certain vegetables, herbs and meats. A Japanese culinary tour offers all this and more, and depending on the length of the trip can take in a large number of locations, allowing participants to taste a wide range or regional dishes.
A trip to Kyoto, Japan’s former capital, might enlighten visitors regarding dishes like yudofu, or boiled tofu, which is a hotpot of simmering tofu surrounded by fresh vegetables in a kelp-based broth. If the tour includes Osaka, participants can learn to make Takoyaki, which a man called Tomekichi Endo is said to have invented in 1935. These tasty dumplings contain slices of baby octopus, pickled ginger, green onion and tempura crumbs, melded with a batter like that of pancakes. Of course, there’s a special sauce that goes with it too, completing the learning experience.
As visitors enjoy the sights of Japan they will also learn why and when rice is served, or which noodles – udon or soba – are used in which dishes. From the selection of delicate mushrooms to distinctive seasonings like indigenous rice wine, Shōchū, participants will see how each Japanese dish is a treat to make and an even bigger one to enjoy at table.
Whatever the choice of culinary tour in Japan, be it a few days or a few weeks, visitors will be amazed by the thoroughness and ease of the journey. Personalized planning allows the operator to match your budget with comfortable accommodation, to select your choice of cities and stops, and of course, to arrange time with an experienced chef for shopping and cooking lessons.
Cultural destinations and national landmarks, specialty shops, private kitchens, everyman street food stands and the best restaurants and bars – all these enticing aspects are available to choose and enjoy. Even better, the enjoyment continues long after participants return home as they entertain guests and family with their newfound knowledge of Japanese cuisine.