Archive for September, 2010

Culinary Travel For A Unique Vacation

September 15th, 2010 No comments

We all have to eat, and when on holiday this is often fun. Having a break from the kitchen is vacation in itself. Culinary travel opportunities take this idea and enlarge on it, adding flavors and aromas which may inspire future grocery lists and marathon cooking sessions.

Particular countries come to mind in this context, though there are always more. Sites in Europe often appeal with their historic connections between food and culture. These same locations, such as France, Italy and Spain, provide the right locations for growing not just fabulous foods (like olives and grapes), but also making world-renowned wine.

This means that food is only one potential part of the gastronomic experience. Wine is frequently another for locals and guests alike. Guides and villagers will teach visitors which wines go with what foods, exploring the sensual nature of food and drink.

Italian culinary tours are located in towns such as Umbria, Apulia, Tuscany and Naples. Italy may be famous for pizza and pasta, but there is more to their meals than just these staples. Moreover, the way Italians cook their pizza and pasta often shows up Western ways: the creation of bold flavors often involves a short list of simple, but fresh ingredients like olive oil, authentic mozzarella cheese and fish caught close by that very day.

The French have a reputation for taking food seriously. The thing is, nationals seem to savor food; make a celebration out of simple meals. Presentation is important, not just taste. Many fine restaurants around the world have been inspired by the French way, where a meal is as much about the visual as taste. In rural areas especially, eating according to the season and what is grown locally are two important factors impacting the household menu. Eating becomes a social context into which strangers are thrown to find they have at least one thing in common with their hosts, even if language fails them.

Spain is known for tapas, a series of appetizers made from all kinds of ingredients. Find items comprised of bread rounds, olive oil and herbs. Experiment with marine flavors such as calamari. Though regional variations apply, countries like Portugal and Greece also benefit from the warm weather to produce beautiful tomatoes and eggplant. As in the case of Souvlaki, lamb is of particular importance to the Greek diet.

When exploring regional foods, consider these options. One is the group tour. In Madrid, for example, join a walking group moving from one tapas bar to the next to sample foods and wines with advice and education provided by someone passionate and knowledgable. Some of the higher end tours offer groups with gastronomic experts and sommelier. Private tours provide tourists the same amount of expertise with more attention for a far higher cost.

Tour styles can focus on food, but for any trip running several days, even the heartiest eater may need something else to stimulate him. Culinary holidays frequently combine elements such as hiking or history. Ideally, the three would combine as a group embarks on a strenuous hike, arriving at a high quality restaurant with a lengthy story to tell.

Thinking about traveling the world and want to combine your love of food and travel? Then visit the Michelin Food and Travel experience, providing unique culinary travel experiences and culinary tours to help you plan the food vacation of your dreams.