It used to be that people traveled to distant lands in order to see historic monuments or to have an adventure. Now, however, some people are heading to distant lands in order to eat historic food or have a culinary adventure. Food tourism is sweeping the world and is becoming something that everyone should know and understand. But what, exactly, is food tourism?
We’ve all seen the little tourist center at the popular vacation destinations. You walk in and the guide will help you to find the best lodging, shopping, and things to do in the area. These tourist centers are a great help to someone who is unfamiliar to the area and just wants to enjoy the sites. But what about people who traveled to the area specifically to try the cuisine?
Culinary shows have become the rage in most parts of the world. Shows like “Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares”, and “Top Chef”, are helping ordinary people to understand the ins and outs of all types of cuisines. Cookbook sales have gone through the roof, all because people want to attempt to recreate the dishes that they see on these television shows.
Reasons to Visit
Some people believe that instead of trying to recreate a dish, they should go to the country that is famous for it. Take, for instance, John. John enjoyed eating Chinese takeout from the local fast-food Chinese restaurant. One day John decided that he wanted to see what traditional Chinese food was like, so he hopped a flight over and spent a week traveling the country, trying different foods. It might sound a bit incredible, but this type of a situation is occurring more and more regularly.
One survey found that one in six of 150 million United States tourists took a food tour or tried a cooking class in another country while they were on vacation. Some of those people actually traveled to their destination spot just to try the specific cuisine. There have been people that have traveled to New York City in order to eat from one end of the Big Apple to the other, and those who have gone “down under” just to have a steak off the infamous “barbie”.
Planning a Trip
Food tourism is something that is becoming more commonly understood. But how would someone decide where to go, and what to see? It’s fairly simple, actually. Tourists should first decide which type of cuisine they would like to try. Start by figuring out which food they love the best and by doing a little research. Then, after the tourist arrives in the city, they should seek the advice of others. Ask the local cab driver or the hotel clerk where the best places are to eat. Don’t think that you have to stick to gourmet restaurants. Sometimes the smaller restaurants that are on the side streets are the best places to try traditional cuisine.