Ideas for the travelling foodie

The rising popularity of prime time cooking challenges and the rock-star status of the world’s celebrity chefs has made one simple fact abundantly clear: we love to eat!

Out of 160 million U.S. tourists nearly 1 in 6 made culinary activities an important part of their travel plans. Food takes us straight to the heart of any culture’s unique traditions and provides a create insight into daily life.

More and more of us are learning how to grow fruit and vegetables in our gardens at home, and our travel experiences are likely to have played a huge part inspiring us to do that. Whether it’s volunteering on a local farm, browsing street markets, taking culinary themed day trips or exotic cooking classes, travel is a great opportunity to rediscover the joys of cooking.

Escape to an organic farm

Anyone longing for an unbeatable outdoor escape should consider volunteering on an organic farm or vineyard. In operation since 1971, WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms – is an international organization connecting travelers who wish to volunteer on organic farms with farmers looking for volunteer help. From working the fields on a banana plantation to pruning vines and picking grapes in a vineyard, a wide variety of opportunities are offered in more than 100 countries. In exchange for their efforts, “WWOOFers” receive free food and accommodations. Through participating in the local harvests, you also gain a greater understanding of locally sustainable practices of living and eating.

A farm shop

A farm shop / Flickr photo by Pat Dalton

Explore the local market

Many of us head to the sidewalk stalls in search of souvenirs, but street markets are also great places to eat. From the savory smoked reindeer sandwiches on hand at Helsinki’s Kauppatori market to the mellifluous mint tea at Cairo’s Khan el-Khalili and the delectable döner available in Instanbul’s Grand Bazaar, the world’s food markets offer some of finest fare and best brews. It helps to keep in mind that locals know best, so pay particular attention to where they decide to snack.

Night market in Lanzhou, China

Night market in Lanzhou, China / Flickr photo by AdamCohn

Taste it on a tour

You may not yet be able to afford that scrumptious sojourn in Tuscany or Provence, but that doesn’t mean your taste buds should suffer. Many cities offer affordable day trips and all manner of culinary excursions, from wine tastings and cooking classes to restaurant outings and street market tours. Fancy a Tajine Cookery Class in Marrakech? or a home cooked meal in Brunei? Consult the local paper or an experiential day tour site like Urban Adventures for listings of local events and tours but be sure to reserve your space by booking ahead.

Floating market in Thailand

Floating market in Thailand / Flickr photo by MacKensie!