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11th January, 2019

Five unique culinary travel experiences for foodies

Food tourism is on the rise. In 2017 the World Food Travel Association reported that food is now the leading hook for travel.

Thanks to growth in vibrant food related pictures on visual platforms like Instagram, more people are inspired to tickle their taste buds by travelling further in the hunt for authentic cuisine. In fact, destinations are now repositioning themselves in the global travel marketplace, using food to tempt tourists.

Delicious food can be found in every corner of the world and travel is a way of experiencing those different cuisines. It’s the marriage of two passions; food and travel, coming together to create a delicious cultural experience.

Authenticity is worth travelling for

The UK is great for its internationally diverse food – a melting pot of cuisines, from spice-charged Indian and Thai food, to heartier cuisines like Italian and American and the lighter, sharing style of the Spanish and Japanese. But authenticity is sometimes compromised by availability of ingredients and demand.

Take Indian food for example, to Indian people, the word ‘curry’ does not exist. It’s a word that was created to describe a type of gravy (sauce) that the British would enjoy.

The formula is simple - if you want the real thing, you’ve got to go and find it. This has two distinct benefits; authenticity is guaranteed, and, you get to sample local delicacies, seasonal specialities and the culinary secrets that reside in that destination.

Food for thought

Food is a popular interest among our customers. The food section in our magazine presents one of the most visited sections online. Anything from hearty recipes to learning about delicious dishes from around the globe are regularly read and shared.

We also carefully consider the food experiences that are included in our holidays, from the diversity of dishes to catering for different dietary needs and beliefs. The food on our ships for example, is all freshly prepared onboard, with local ingredients sourced from the ports visited and on tours and stays, we always include local dishes to give you an authentic culinary experience. But it’s our unique foodie holidays that are our crème de la crème when it comes to whetting your culinary travel appetite.

Here’s a rundown of our five most unique foodie holidays:

1. Thailand Panorama

A woman in traditional boat selling her produce at the floating market

Thai food is one of the most alluring of Asian cuisines. It’s known for its punchy flavours, that harmoniously balances salty, sweet, sour and spicy notes.

On this cultural tour of Northern Thailand, you’ll visit a few colourful markets in Chiang Mai where you will buy local produce to make some Thai specialities. You’ll then take your fresh ingredients to a Thai cookery school, and learn to make a selection of Thai dishes, which you’ll enjoy for lunch.

2. Essence of South Korea and Japan

Putting the final touches to a platter of sushi

Sushi is one of the most beautiful cuisines in the world – it’s colourful, delicate and precise; a true reflection of the Japanese culture.

If you’ve ever wondered how sushi is made, you can find out on this tour. During your stay in Tokyo, watch a demonstration on how to make sushi and then have a go at making your own for lunch. Warning, it’s not as easy as it looks!

3. Africa’s Southern Soul Northbound

A pan on an open fire outdoors in the bush

African cuisine is very diverse, given the number of countries that are housed in this content. In the north it uses a lot of dry spices, fruits and nuts in its cooking, whereas in the south grilled meat, sauces and starchy vegetables are the staples.

During this southern African tour, you can enjoy a cookery lesson in Okavango Delta, Botswana, learning how to make traditional bush food.

4. Caucasus Calling

A spread with traditional Armenia bread, Lavash

Visit the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Armenia to find out how their culture and cuisine has evolved.

On our Caucasus Calling tour our culinary experience gives you the chance to help a local family with making the Armenian bread, Lavash, cooked in a traditional underground oven. You can also learn the secrets of preparing the traditional barbecue.

5. Alle Dolomiti

A well stocked wine cellar

Stay at the boutique Hotel Alle Dolomiti, in Trento, Italy and learn about the food in this alpine resort. Not only does the hotel not use fossil fuels, it also only sources its food locally and creates culinary delights.

On certain departures, you can get involved in Gastronomy Week – exploring the local food and wine of the region.

Salivating yet?

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.