One of the specialties of Nine Muses Travel is recommending destinations known for distinctive cuisine, and I'm proud to be a member of Virtuoso's Culinary Travel Community having preferred relationships with excellent tour operators, hotels and cruises focused on providing delicious experiences for my clients - and maybe even some surprise extra amenities for you too. Here are six wonderful ways to thoroughly savor your next trip!
Article below by Lindsay Lambert Day can be found here.
Sure, a great meal is a definite vacation highlight, but if you’re a true foodie, then your travel likely revolves around food. Culinary-focused vacations can feature multiple Michelin-starred meals, hands-on cooking classes, truffle-foraging adventures, and more – anything that allows travelers to experience a destination’s soul through its cuisine. Several hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, and destinations around the globe specialize in culinary travel, and they’re ready to sate travelers with novel experiences and award-winning restaurants that give them a taste of their surroundings.
Dine with a local
Travelers looking to go beyond restaurants and food markets are seeking out opportunities to visit locals’ homes, cooking alongside them and even sitting down at their dining room tables to enjoy the fruits of their shared kitchen labor. Not only do these in-home cooking and dining experiences offer a true taste of traditional local life, but they provide income for host families who participate too.
Take a food-centric city tour
Figuring out where to find authentic food when you’re traveling can be overwhelming. The solution: Sign up for a food tour led by a reputable, local, and native guide. Many tours are themed – spicy foods, make-you-squirm dishes, and desserts only, to name a few – while others focus on loved-by-locals spots where you’re unlikely to see tons of tourists.
Actively participating in food sourcing
In the early days of culinary tourism, excursions such as truffle-hunting and visiting urban farms were de rigeur. Now, not only do people want to know where their food comes from, some even want to have a hand in harvesting, gathering, and sourcing the ingredients used to prepare it. Many hotels and tour companies offer experiences that will find you picking grapes in a vineyard alongside winemakers or planting crops in the company of local growers. These encounters allow food-curious adventurers to learn not only about specific ingredients and dishes, but about the local economy and environment too.
Use Instagram as travel inspiration
When it comes to choosing where to go next, tech-savvy travelers turn to social media apps for inspiration, especially photo-centric Instagram. Dreaming of eating your way through a specific city, or taste-testing multiple iterations of a certain dish to determine who made it best? There’s likely a hashtag for that – simply search #ParisFood or #cacioepepe to see what we mean.
Swap a classic destination for an off-the-radar one
While perennial favorites such as Italy, France, and Spain are forever top of mind, culinary adventurers are increasingly heading to more far-flung destinations where the cuisine isn’t quite as well known. Pasta and paella are as alluring as ever, but more and more, travelers are craving the flavors of places with distinct culinary cultures, such as Southeast Asia, Scandinavia, South America, India, Morocco, and Mexico.
Book a specialized food itinerary
More than ever, people are mindful of the foods they choose, whether for health benefits, cultural or religious restrictions, or because of allergies and intolerances – and restaurants and food suppliers around the world are responding in kind. Nowadays, you can seek out and sign up for specialized culinary experiences – vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free, for example – that allow you to taste localized takes on tailor-made treats. Be sure to disclose your food restrictions to make sure your trip goes off without a hitch.
Contact me to dig into all the culinary adventures you're craving!