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Culinary Tourism

¿What is culinary tourism?

Introduction to Culinary Turism

What is culinary tourism

What activities does culinary tourism include

Why is culinary tourism so sustainable

Where to experience Culinary tourism

What are the best culinary destinations in the world

How to plan your culinary trip

Introduction to culinary tourism

Since 1841, when Thomas Cook organized the first planned trip in history leading to the creation of the world’s first travel agency, there have been various motivations for humans to travel not associated with profit-making activities, in other words, different reasons for tourism: nature, culture, architecture, leisure, beaches, or spa tourism, to name a few.

However, it wasn’t until well into the second half of the 20th century that culinary tourism began to emerge, gaining traction in the early 21st century alongside the rise of wine tourism, Nouvelle Cuisine, and the popularity of exotic cuisines like Japanese. This spurred many food enthusiasts, not yet known as ‘foodies’, to travel to these destinations with one goal in mind: to indulge in culinary tourism. According to the World Tourism Organization, abbreviated as UNWTO, culinary tourism is ¨as a type of tourism activity which is characterized by the visitor’s experience linked with food and related products and activities while travelling. Along with authentic, traditional, and/or innovative culinary experiences, Gastronomy Tourism may also involve other related activities such as visiting the local producers, participating in food festivals and attending cooking classes.”

What is culinary tourism?

Culinary tourism is a journey towards understanding a region’s culture, tradition, and idiosyncrasy through its gastronomy. Food and drink, their production, and their transformation into recipes are deeply intertwined with a region’s character and its various cultural expressions, as well as its architecture and landscapes. This is why we often say that the best way to get to know a place is through its cuisine.

At Epicure Society, we aim to elevate culinary tourism to the next level, offering immersive experiences where our clients can become part of the culinary traditions of a specific territory. Guided by local experts, these experiences transform into unique and unforgettable moments

hombre haciendo pan al horno de piedra. Culinary Tourism

What activities does culinary tourism include?

Culinary tourism must incorporate various activities or tours that help us better understand the influence of cuisine in the region we visit. Thus, some of these experiences can be:

  • Winery tours (Wine tourism)
  • Visits to local markets
  • Cooking classes
  • Gastronomic festivals
  • Agricultural production tours
  • Visits to local artisans and producers: bakers, confectioners, beekeepers, etc.
  • Visits to fish markets
  • Dining at restaurants with a distinct value proposition
  • Going fishing with local fishermen.

Why is culinary tourism so sustainable?

Culinary tourism is much more sustainable than traditional tourism for the following reasons:

Preserves culture and tradition:

By showcasing authentic local cuisine, it promotes the conservation of a territory’s culture and traditions. This is because it drives economic activity around these practices, ensuring the preservation of ancestral knowledge and culinary techniques.

Supports local communities:

Culinary tourism boosts the local economy by encouraging tourists to purchase local goods and foods directly from merchants. Additionally, it provides an alternative income source through activities and experiences that highlight a producer’s work, assisting in the maintenance of artisanal practices often less profitable than larger, industrial productions.

Reduces carbon footprint:

Promoting the consumption of local and seasonal products, culinary tourism raises awareness about global consumption habits, many of which have high environmental impacts due to their carbon footprint.

Alleviates congestion from traditional tourism flows:

The immense popularity of some European tourist hotspots has strained the balance between local residents and visitors. This has resulted in housing price surges, increased administrative costs for cleaning and security, and the decline of local businesses. Culinary tourism helps divert traffic from these overcrowded circuits, thereby reducing the social impact on saturated destinations and promoting wealth distribution to lesser-visited areas.

mariscadora cargando con la pesca del dia

Promotion of rural tourism:

By highlighting and promoting local destinations and products, we encourage visits to less crowded villages and communities. This has a positive impact on the service economy of the areas we visit, such as rural hotels, guides, transportation, producers, etc.

Support for sustainable fishing, livestock, and agriculture:

Culinary tourism works directly with local fishermen and ranchers, promoting responsible practices in the food industry. This protects marine and terrestrial ecosystems, aids in species conservation, and maintains ecological balance.

Advocacy for sustainable cuisine:

Culinary tourism also helps advance sustainable culinary practices, such as using local and responsible ingredients and reducing food waste. By valuing and preferring sustainable cooking, it drives a positive environmental impact and raises awareness about the importance of consuming responsibly, thus preserving the traditional recipes of each region.

Where to experience culinary tourism?

Any region is suitable for culinary tourism, as every destination offers the chance to savor its culinary traditions, whether through producer visits or simply dining in restaurants. However, countries such as Italy, France, Spain, Mexico, Japan, and Peru, among others, have deep-rooted culinary and wine traditions. This makes them ideal spots for culinary tourism, given the rich food and drink culture spread across their various regions.

At Epicure Society, we aim to elevate culinary tourism with immersive experiences. Our guests can immerse themselves in the culinary traditions of a specific territory, guided by local experts. These encounters promise to be unforgettable moments, deeply rooted in authenticity and tradition.

What are the best culinary destinations in the world?

Asturias, Spain – Lush pastures that hide gastronomic treasures such as fabada, Cabrales cheese, and Pitu Caleya chicken.

Burgundy, France – Known for its prestigious wines, Burgundy offers unique tastings in its centuries-old vineyards, complemented by its traditional recipes and magnificent landscapes.

Puglia, Italy – With olive groves stretching to the horizon, Puglia is renowned for its orecchiette, tarallis, and olive oils, representing the flavors of southern Italy.

Piedmont, Italy – White truffles, Barolo wines, and a rich cuisine that reflects the seasons at the foot of the Alps. A region where tradition and terroir converge in every dish.

Catalonia, Spain – From mountain to sea, Catalonia delivers unique flavors and a diverse range of its rich culinary culture.

Basque Country, Spain – Tradition and gastronomic innovation come together in this unique land that invites us to get lost among farmhouses.

Tuscany, Italy – Bucolic vineyard landscapes and an unparalleled gastronomic culture make Tuscany a dreamy culinary destination.

Galicia, Spain – Seafood, heroic viticulture, and exceptional livestock farming in a land with so much to offer.

Cadiz, Spain – Unique wines, cheeses, and tuna, set among stunning landscapes, make this region an unmissable gastronomic destination for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

Mallorca, Spain – Ensaimadas, sobrasadas, wines, olive trees, orange groves, and so much more await us in this Mediterranean jewel.

Oaxaca, Mexico – The birthplace of mole and mezcal, Oaxaca is a feast of colors and flavors celebrating the indigenous richness and diversity of Mexico.

Lima, Peru – The gastronomic capital of America, Lima blends flavors of the sea and land, with ceviches and anticuchos that tell ancient stories.

Tokyo, Japan – A metropolis where tradition meets innovation, Sushi, Ramen, Omakase, Teppanyaki, markets, and product excellence await us in this destination that will change the way we view gastronomy.

How to plan your culinary trip?

When planning a culinary trip, the first thing you need to do is choose the right destination. We recommend selecting a destination with a strong culinary heritage. Once you’ve settled on a place, you’ll need to define the activities you want to engage in or the local producers you want to meet. Once you have a list of activities, you should get in touch with all the activity providers to schedule your visit. You also need to consider your mode of transportation within the area to get to various activities, as well as your accommodations. We recommend choosing lodgings that have some connection to local gastronomy.

Another option is to seek assistance from a culinary tourism agency. They can help you craft a unique and unforgettable journey, leveraging their expertise and network of contacts, ensuring you have nothing to worry about except savoring the experience.

“We must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness”
Epicurus of Samos

Ronda city Bridge

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