When I think back to trips I have taken, I may have a little trouble remembering the names of streets or places I have visited, but I have a perfect memory of the spicy tacos al pastor I had in Mexico, the comforting glühwein (mulled wine) I drank in Germany, the succulent paellas I ate in Spain and the rich pastries I enjoyed in France. In case you haven’t already guessed, I’m a foodie! As we get into the feeding frenzy of the festive season, you may be interested in hearing about food tourism.
What is food tourism?
The World Food Travel Association defines food tourism as “the pursuit and enjoyment of unique and memorable food and drink experiences,” food travellers as those who have “participated in a food or beverage experience other than dining out, at some time in the past 12 months” and food as an important or primary motivational factor for travel. 49% of respondents to a recent survey would meet those criteria.
Are you a food traveller?
Food travellers love to get off the beaten path and find authentic places: local or regional markets, local agriculture, typical cuisine, famous restaurants, etc. If it’s not the real thing, it’s not worth the trip! Food travellers are even happier if the dish they are served comes with a story. They enjoy getting together for a drink, a chat and good food. They’re interested in the farmer who produced the meat, the story behind the restaurant, the chef’s wife…
Food travellers also want to take part in cooking classes, pick fruit or mushrooms, go on tours of vineyards and participate in tastings. They are eager for new experiences and information.
The food traveller in Hipsterville
Huh? The word “hipster” refers to new neighbourhoods that have trendy cafés, restaurants and microbreweries, artists’ studios, boutiques and bars. In these neighbourhoods, you won’t find any tourist knick-knacks. No “I love …” T-shirts, fridge magnets, shooter glasses, tacky postcards, etc. Food travellers get around a lot and know the difference between a tourist trap and a true foodie experience. What’s more, food travellers are connected to social media and more likely to take pictures of their meal and to share them on their networks.
Food trip boxes
I recently discovered a really interesting food travel concept from a Montreal company, Food trip to… , which delivers boxes of tantalizing treats from different countries around the world. Each box contains:
- Seven food products
- Four authentic recipes for a meal for six people
- A souvenir from the journey
- Cultural content on the country
- A music playlist
It’s a good gift idea for any foodies on your shopping list. I’ll certainly be buying some for the foodies on mine!
Unfortunately, when you travel and try local cuisine, you may contract food poisoning. If you experience vomiting, bloody diarrhea, cramps and stomach aches that do not improve with time, you may want to seek medical attention. It may be helpful to have travel insurance with medical and hospital coverage. It’s also very important to purchase travel insurance before you leave to go on a trip.