A Delicious Holiday
Thinking about my past holidays, I clearly remember eating Nepali Dhal Bhat, Austrian
Kaiserschmarrn and Italian pizzas, but also wandering around French farmers markets. When talking about foreign countries, its typical food always comes to mind quickly and travel guides often have a separate section listing typical dishes. Eating different (often typical local dishes) is an important part of my holiday. It could be just to try something new, but often it is to get to know local cultures better through food. Holiday activities related to food are also called ‘food tourism’. When the activity itself serves to experience a certain culture better this could also be labelled ‘culinary tourism’.
The question remains how responsible food tourism is as a holiday activity. On the one hand, it could be argued that providing food tourism is often a very good way to increase the wealth of communities. However, the use of resources for food tourism should not result in shortages in local food supply or overexploitation of natural resources like fish stocks and land because of overproduction. But taking this into account food tourism can be very responsible as eating food is something people are doing anyways anyway.
Therefore I will give you some tips to make the most of your holiday as a culinary tourist:
1. When doing a city trip, tour guides often organise food tours for free. Locals will show you the best places where to get the typical food or drinks at your destination.
2. Follow a cooking class to enjoy the most delicious dishes back home as well. While
learning to cook, you will find out that there is lots of cultural and historical background
linked to a particular dish.
3. Visiting a local market is always a good idea. You will definitely encounter food that you are unfamiliar with, but locals are often very enthusiastic to explain what you’re looking at.
4. Last but not least: check if there are certain types of food that you should not eat if you want to be a responsible tourist. For example, eating whale in Iceland might be not the best idea. Google is your best friend when in doubt.
Ellis, A., Park, E., Kim, S., & Yeoman, I. (2018). What is food tourism?. Tourism Management, 68, 250-263