Culinary experiences are known to be a huge part of travel as it lets you explore the culture, history and authenticity of the land through its flavours and local produce. Gaining popularity lately is the concept of a food tours which can range from a seven-course meal consisting of local delicacies to a walk across a city’s most popular eateries. Food tours are a great way to discover the local ingredients of a place and learn about the history and customs related to food from a professional guide.
You should definitely consider booking a tour the next time you are visiting Europe as the stops and the guide help you discover places you wouldn’t have otherwise and have a gala time with like-minded foodies.
A few food trips you should consider while in Europe include:
The other side of Florence Food Tour (Italy)
Tuscany known for being the birthplace of Renaissance is probably the only place in Italy where people devour soup and bread with more pride than a bowl of pasta. Rated as the best food tour in Italy, this four-hour long walk across Oltrarno will let you discover the authentic Italian cuisine through 8 stops. Along with food and wine tasting, you will learn to make cantucci (Italian cookies), savour the native varieties of salmon while revelling in the happy-go-lucky bohemian vibe that the entire region exudes. On this tour, you will also get a taste of frozen-delight, gelato, sample Lampredotto (cow stomach sandwich) and wash down all the food with aged wine called Chianti. This tour also allows you to sample the Tuscany cheeses and the delicious fennel-infused salmon, Finocchiona.
Cost: 75 euros/adult Tour timings: Monday- Saturday,10.00 am
The New Parisian Palate: Modern Tastes of the Marais (France)
This 2.5 hour long tour led by a competent food writer or a chef along the side streets of Haut Marais which is one of Paris’s most happening culinary hubs is definitely worth your time. This trips guides you through Bobo which is short for bourgeois-bohemian and through a real experience of hip cafes, bistros and boulangeries, you will be able to imbibe the stunning and relaxed Bobo culture.
This food tour allows only six people per group and focuses heavily on giving you a tour of wine bars and old-world markets. The real essence of Bobo is discovered by snacking on smoked wild salmon and Iberian ham whilst your love for desserts will be satiated at one of the stops which is to the best chocolate-maker in the region. Other stops include Candelaria which boasts of delicious tacos and an extensive cocktail bar, Nanashi which serves amazing bento boxes and Popelini which is known for its authentic Parisian choux pastry. In this trip you will also be educated about the history of French food and taken to the best markets.
Cost: 129 euros/pp Tour timing: Tuesday-Friday, 10 am and 3pm
Jordaan Food & Canals Tour (Netherlands)
Winner of a Food Trekking Award 2017, this food tour in Amsterdam allows you to explore the city through an intricate network of canals, heritage buildings and spectacular restaurants. The 4-hour trip helps you forget the conventional stops in Jordaan and unearths for you the Dutch food traditions and anecdotes about the local culture. The best part of the tour is that you get a private boat trip along one of the UNESCO world heritage canals where you are part of an amazing tasting which consists of Dutch spread. Other stops in the guided tour lets you wash down Gouda cheese with cider and locally crafted beer, visit the 400-year old Cafe Papeneiland, devour Amsterdam’s best meat sausages, savour herring “the real Amsterdam way” and indulge in tasty Dutch desserts.
Cost: 106 Euros/adult Departs: Tuesday-Saturday, 10.30 am
East End Food Tour (England)
Accredited as the Best Food Tour by Food Trekking Awards, this food Tour across the East End neighbourhood helps you get out of the rut of being a tourist and lets you discover the real city instead. The four-hour long offers eight authentic food tastings across markets, shops, bakeries and pubs. This food tour solely aims to give you a completely fresh perspective of London and the food served here through age-old secrets about the cuisine. Led by local guides, you will also experience the flavour of the place through your visits to Roman burial grounds, synagogues and witness crazy street art. During the course of this food tour, you will sample the amazing bacon sandwich at the award-winning restaurant, Saint John Bread and Wine and also attend an amazing cheese tasting session. It would be almost criminal to miss out on the British classic, Fish and Chips and what better place to have it in than Poppies. Other than that, you also have the chance of indulging in the delicious bagels, eating authentic puddings at rustic and ancient bakeries and savouring beer at the typical British pubs.
Cost: 69 euros/adult Departs: Monday-Saturday, 10 am, 10.45 am and 11.30 am
In case you plan to try out one of these tours do make it appoint to double check the cost and timings as they are subject to change.
However what is a fact is the best culinary experience or local flavour is not always mentioned in the Michelin guide book, it maybe unknow to your hotel concierge since its tucked away in a remote alley and or in a not so frequently visited side lane. It may not have the posh and chic look but it will be loaded with authenticity and character, after all what’s a cuisine without the story- Every dish has a story and try to find that out in your next trip
How about reading; Crazy careers in food industry you didn’t know existed
Written byNiharika Nandi
Niharika Nandi is a media trainee who loves exploring the fields of photography and baking simultaneously. She’s a self-proclaimed professional bathroom singer and believes that caffeine runs through her veins. This adrenaline junkie loves to pen down a million thoughts gushing through her mind at any instant and is very vocal about LGBTQ rights.