The ABCs of Food Tourism – Delicious Gastro Tourism – 26 Foods to love!

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They keep pouring wine. Along with this comes a beautiful box of food that includes the most impressive charcuterie board outside of a restaurant. The thing is it was a restaurant. As the tourism and food industry re-invent themselves we are seeing food tour guides and food tourism boards get more and more creative. For example last fall I received a goodie box from Quebec Maritime showcasing local treats, wine and tour suggestions.

Food Tourism is about trying food you would not normally eat: alligator jerkey sticks
The French Market/Food-Court in New Orleans has many offerings including alligator jerky to authentic pralines

Communal Table

Food tourism is large in-depth with food-related-activities that involve behind-the-scenes insights, cultural/regional highlights and often hands-on cooking classes and market visits, culminating in partaking in food or drink. It can involve restaurant or bar hopping for an evening of food and fun. Or secret community dine such as in Paris’ Le Dîner en Blanc, French for Dinner in White.

This event is anticipated by thousands of people to wait to find out the location of this communal table event which has become an annual foodie tradition that began in Paris over 30 years ago. You can attend this event in over 80 cities worldwide. In Canada, this wonderful dinner in white has been hosted in Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton, Halifax and Vancouver.

Street Food

You don’t have to be all fancy-schmancy to enjoy food. Consider a street food tour in Bogota or a pub crawl in Dublin. Food tourism or gastro-tourism has become a staple in many cities throughout the world. When I was in Colombia a few years ago, there were quite a few food tours in Medellin when I visited.

Street food tours are very popular throughout the world. Make sure you do your due diligence (read reviews, travel blogs and check out YouTube also) for the best options in the cities you are visiting.

Food Tours

Just this week on Instagram, I saw a post from Taste of Prague, a Czech food tour company running since 2011. When the pandemic hit last March, their business came to a halt. Knowing hospitality was going to be one of the most affected industries, tour owners, Jan & Zuzana Valentanto, jumped action, creating a series of virtual dinners with local chefs called “Eating Alone, Together”.

The sole focus has been on supporting local restaurants, while giving Prague residents access to delicious food, via delivery.

So we come full circle to my original point. Although our choices for dining-in remain limited, there are still many options to support restaurants locally by ordering in. Whether you are a winery, chocolatier or a cheese foodie, food tourism remains a viable option. Just have a look outside the box for some great ideas.

Insider’s Tip: check out James Blic and his wife Yoli are the best on YouTube. They vlog at Spain Revealed and it has AMAZING videos on life in Spain as an ex-pat married to a Spaniard, food tours throughout Spain. Check out their EPIC Barcelona Food Tour (10 AWESOME Stops!)

Cooking Classes

Although I have taken cooking classes in New Orleans and in Barcelona, last spring my daughter and I took a baking class with Pastelaria Batalha in Portugal. It was a baking class offered on-line with the baker based in Lisbon. We made delicious pastel de nata. Hosted by Zara & João, they will walk you through the process of creating this national treasure! I cannot recommend it enough!

Pastelaria de Batalha
My daughter and I took a baking class on-line with
Pastelaria Batalha in Portugal

Our very first cooking class was with BCN Kitchen in Barcelona. That day we made traditional crusty bread with tomatoes, potato pie, paella and crema Catalan (the Catalan version of creme brulee).

The ABCs of Food Tourism

In March, I will be posting The ABCs of Food Tourism on my travel Instagram account @DPROtravel. I will be highlighting some of the best food experiences I have had both at home and abroad and in doing so hope to shed a spotlight on these delightful gastro-tourism experiences.

Today we start in New Orleans for a bowl of Andouille Sausage Gumbo. We mad this as at The New Orleans School of Cooking. It was a highlight of our stay in the Big Easy.

A – Andouille Sausage Gumbo from my Cooking Class in New Orleans, Louisiana
B – Beignets at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans
C – Charcuterie Board at The Wilbur in Ocean Springs, Mississippi
D – Deep Dish Pizza – Uno in Chicago, Illinois
E – Eggs Bennedict from Anchor Grill in Orange Beach, Alabama
F – Fried Fish from La Perseverancia Market in Bogota, Colombia
G – Guanabana from The Ultimate Guide to Fruits and Juices of Colombia
H – Hush Puppies from Hattie’s in Saratoga Springs, New York
I – Ice Cream in Paris at Le Drugstore on the Champs Elysee
J – Jamon Iberico from the Step-by-step Guide to Jamon Iberico
K -Popcorn KERNELS – on the Pain Perdue (caramel french toast) from Zinc in The H Hotel, Midland, Michigan
L – Lobster Roll from The Springs Restaurant in London, Ontario
M – Muflatta Sandwich from The Napoleon House in New Orleans, Louisiana
N – Pastel de NATAL – virtual cooking class from Pastelerie Batalaha, Lisbon, Portugal
O – Oysters from everywhere in the south
P – Paella from San Miguel Market in Madrid, Spain
Q – Queso from a cheese boutique in Paris, France
R – Rasberry Tart from the Oxygen Lounge in Midland, Michigan
S – Southern Food from Southern National in Mobile, Alabama
T – Tuna Poke Salad from Rumfish in St. Pete Beach, Florida
U – Uvas – Grapes in Spanish learn more with the Ultimate Guide to Fruits in Colombia
V – Vegetables from Farmer’s Markets in Southwestern Ontario
W – Whiskey Lader in Killarney Ireland
X – el Xampanyet the best tapas bistro in Barcelona – authentic, busy loud
Y – the Yard Milkshakes in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach
Z – Zatarains – Shrimp and Crab Boil in Louisiana

Be sure and keep checking back throughout the month to see what delicacies are next.

The best beignets in New Orleans are from the Ritz Carlton
The best beignets in New Orleans are from the Ritz Carlton
Check out the picture I took on @DPROtravel Instagram
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Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for DownshiftingPRO.com and other online media outlets.