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Eat, Enjoy, Explore: The Booming Food Tourism

Food tourism has become an increasingly popular way for travelers to explore different cultures and destinations. It involves seeking out unique culinary experiences, from local street food to high-end restaurants, to learn about a place's food traditions and way of life. Food tourism allows travelers to taste new flavors, learn about the history and geography of a destination, and connect with locals. With the rise of food bloggers, social media, and food-related TV shows, food tourism has gained momentum in recent years and is now a significant aspect of the tourism industry.

Eat, Enjoy, Explore: The Booming Food Tourism

Food tourism, also known as culinary tourism or gastronomy tourism, involves travelers seeking unique food experiences to gain a deeper understanding of local culture, satisfy their taste buds, and broaden their palates. It is not limited to high-end dining experiences or fancy Michelin-starred restaurants. In fact, many food tourists seek out street food, visit local tavernas and cafes that offer authentic and affordable local cuisine, sometimes attend food tours or gourmet festivals, and take cooking classes. So, if more or less you nodded after every phrase, let me enlighten you - you are so into food tourism. But you are not alone. Food Travel Monitor research in 2020 shows that 53% of leisure travelers are food travelers. And I bet that after the covid-pandemic years, the interest in food tourism only increased, and tendencies show that it will grow even more. 

From 2012 to 2018, food tourism went from a niche interest to a total mainstream. It all started thanks to social media platforms and TV shows that featured top chefs, amazing restaurants, and epic food events. I would also include the legendary “Eat-Pray-Love” (2010) movie that boosted quite a lot of featured destinations and longer vacations. Suddenly, food tourism became a whole experience, with festivals, wine tastings, and other personalized offerings, plus a whole new batch of companies that specialized in food tourism. Nowadays each tour provider offers various gourmet tours or classes, depending on the destination you are heading to. It shows that people are no longer just eating food on their travels - they're experiencing it!

Some time ago, we prepared a short list of destinations every foodie should visit at least once. However, the trends are changing so I’d like to feature a few additional destinations that are absolutely stunning and delicious at the same time. 

Vancouver, Canada

With a mild climate and access to fertile coastal waters, Vancouver competes fiercely with other West Coast towns to claim the title of Pacific foodie paradise. From cooking classes to eclectic eateries, Vancouver has got it all. Make sure to check out the authentic Chinese cuisine and succulent oysters that are a must-try in this town! Best places to eat: the most delish lamb noodles you can only get at Xi'an Cuisine, Cantonese dim sum is famous at Yue Restaurant. If you're looking for a romantic date idea, grab a bottle of wine and slurp down some oysters at Blue Water Café. And if you really want to get the inside scoop on Vancouver's food scene, book a food tour and let a local guide take you on a culinary adventure to discover the best bites in town. Get ready to savor some seriously tasty Vancouver victuals!

food tourism- Vancouver, RatePunk

Lisbon, Portugal

The country is not only unbelievably beautiful but also has fascinating cuisine! You can start by satisfying your sweet tooth with some buttery and delicious Portuguese tarts -Pasteis de Nata- at one of Lisbon's many cozy cafés. And let's not forget about the national dish, bacalhau, which you can savor in a seaside town on the Atlantic Coast. However, if you're in the mood for something more intoxicating, why not tantalize your taste buds with some world-renowned port wine at charming quintas that look like they're straight out of a fairytale? Definitely, Portugal offers some of the most beautiful vineyards along the Douro, where you can sip on some fantastic wine and immerse yourself in the country's unique culinary traditions. So why not book a Portugal food tour or wine-tasting course and experience this amazing cuisine's irresistible authenticity and taste for yourself? However, I am unsure about your return because you might stay there longer than expected. 

Pastel de nata - Food Tourism in Portugal, RatePunk

Lima, Peru

Peruvian cuisine is a fusion of indigenous Andean ingredients, Spanish colonial influences, and immigrant contributions from Africa, China, Italy, and Japan. Some of the most popular dishes include ceviche, a seafood dish marinated in lime juice and served with corn and sweet potato; lomo saltado, a stir-fry of beef, onions, tomatoes, and french fries; and causa, a layered potato dish typically filled with chicken or tuna. Peru is also known for its use of unique ingredients like ají peppers, huacatay (Peruvian black mint), and cuy (guinea pig). Like any food tourism destination, Peru has a unique alcoholic beverage- pisco, a type of brandy made from grapes that is the base for the national cocktail, the pisco sour. Simply saying, tastes and flavors attract foodies from all over the world. After savoring delicious food, tourists are ready to explore the beautiful landscape of Peru. Or reverse. If you are interested in visiting Peru: go immediately. You'll definitely find affordable flights and the best hotel deal if you follow the guidelines. 

Ceviche- Peruvian food-Food tourism, RatePunk
Seoul, South Korea

Many first interacted with Korean cuisine while watching  Korean dramas on Netflix. It is widely known that Netflix boosted tourism and interest in this country. What kind of dishes do they have? Shortly saying: spicy or sweet as hell. The country's cuisine is characterized by a balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors and an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. The most iconic dishes are: kimchi (a fermented vegetable side dish that is a staple in almost every meal), bibimbap (a rice bowl topped with an assortment of vegetables, meats, and egg), tteokbokki (spicy rice and fish cakes) and bulgogi (a marinated beef dish). From Seoul to Jeju street food in South Korea is thriving: you can easily get tteokbokkii, hotteok (a sweet pancake filled with honey and peanuts), soondae (Korean sausage, mandu (Korean style dumplings), and lots more. If you are wondering about the intoxicating part... South Koreans love soju bombs: a shot glass of soju dropped into a pint of beer. 

Food Tourism - South Korea, RatePunk

Did I miss mentioning something, or maybe you haven’t found your favorite food-destination? Drop the comment below.  

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Mar 31, 2023

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