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Insights From Taking a Food Tour While Traveling You Might Not Get Otherwise

One of the highlights of foreign travel is tasting the local delicacies. However, there’s a world of difference between trying a few hand-picked or safe dishes and taking a food tour.

Food is central to almost every culture. It’s the one activity that all of us partake in, and it is often central to home and social life.

There are certain insights from taking a food tour while traveling that you might not gain without taking direction from someone in the know.

Where You Eat Matters

The best food, or the most authentic, isn’t necessarily prepared at Michelin-rated restaurants.

It’s found at the local favourite where the average person eats. If you go to a place that’s popular with the residents, you can be sure that the food is authentic, tasty and affordable.

Don’t overlook food carts and street vendors, which often prepare the most popular dishes of the town or region.

Preferences Are Often Determined by Age

Overall, 42 percent of culinary tourists are looking for an organic food experience over the 18 percent in search of gourmet travel. That difference also breaks down along age demographics.

According to statistics, 52 percent of millennials are searching for authenticity. They’re more open to adventure and unique food experiences.

Forty-two percent of older food travelers enjoy authenticity, but with a more touristy, mainstream bent. They’re more hesitant to try new things, preferring the familiar over uniqueness. 

Sometimes, It’s Better Not to Ask

The whole idea of food tourism is the adventure of learning more about world cultures and traditions.

However, sometimes it’s better not to ask what’s in a particular dish unless you have an issue with food allergies.

Nothing ruins that taste of something you might otherwise enjoy more than finding out the main ingredient is something an American palate might not ordinarily classify as “food”. Just eat, drink and enjoy the local flavour.

Culinary Tourism is Helping Local Economies Around the World

Adventure food tourism shows like those hosted by the late Anthony Bourdain have a lot to do with this phenomenon.

Being exposed to places and cultures that are somewhat off the beaten path has led many viewers to explore these places themselves.

This has opened up parts of the world that don’t normally see a lot of tourism dollars, providing a foundation for new industries and investment.

Themed Tours Are Big

In an effort to stand out, emerging culinary tour companies are focusing in specific niches. This also makes it easier for the traveler to locate tours that cater to their particular tastes and interests.

Vegans can find tour companies that specialize in vegan travel. Those who are interested in the gourmet tastes of Europe can find a tour for that.

Into Asian or Middle Eastern cuisine? There are tour companies that can take you right to the source.

Cozymeal is an example of one such food tour company that can take you on tours of San Francisco as well as various other cities. They have themes that vary depending on the city.

Food Tours Don’t Just Center on the Restaurant Experience

There’s more to food enjoyment than just dining at a few local restaurants.

Good tours offer a truly immersive environment by visiting local farms and farmers’ markets, bakeries, and food stalls that are part of the life of almost every city and village.

According to the World Food Travel Association (WFTA), food tourism is a booming industry.

Most tours are arranged and conducted by dedicated foodies who incorporate the local flavour in all of its aspects into the total experience.

Consider what one may be able to tell about your family, culture and history by sharing a meal in your home.

A well-conducted food tour can provide you with a unique insight into other cultures that’s difficult to find any other way.

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