September 22, 2019

Culinary Tourism Offers Alternative to Typically Hectic Vacations

A cooking class taken with a friend while traveling in Chiang Mai, Thailand took place in a serene nature setting. Slowly grinding spices for curry under the instruction of a well-known local chef was a nice break from the traditional tourist scene. It’s possible to embark on a global food tour without spending a fortune on expensive restaurants.


The Yarmouth Clam Festival, held every summer in Maine, offers family fun and mouth-watering clam recipes cooked to order. Similarly, Disney’s annual food and wine festival held at Epcot Center features food and drink from around the world. Other destinations host food festivals as well, including the town of Houlton, Maine, which hosts a Potato Feast Days celebration every year, complete with mashed potato wrestling.

Street Food:

Explore local food carts for a culinary travel experience on the cheap. My husband and I have enjoyed pad Thai in Bangkok for less than a buck, and fresh coconut milk in Cambodia for the same price. Those visiting the New England city of Boston, have many food truck options at their disposal, as do visitors to Miami. With regards to Middle East travel, I’ve nibbled on falafel and hummus while strolling through the souks of Israel, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and others. Former New Yorker Lisa Maxbauer, a writer and Twitter outreach representative for FIRST for Women magazine, recommends the Foods of New York walking tours to anyone visiting the city. The tours of Chelsea Market and Greenwich Village are excellent and provide servings of the city’s history along with succulent food samples, according to Maxbauer.

Area Specialties:

Research regional specialties to make the most of your travel food dollars.  I sampled honey schnapps and cream cakes on the shores of Slovenia’s Lake Bled as an affordable alternative to a full dinner out, and snacked on snails in Beaune, France. Krista Bjorn of Rambling Tart, a food-themed travel web site, recommends bangers and mash (sausages with mashed potatoes) for cheap grub in Scotland. She’s also a huge fan of New Zealand’s mince pies and Canadian poutine, a dish of French fries topped with cheese curd and gravy.

Photo Credit: Pictures of Travel Places