Sustainable Food Tourism is on the Rise
Go Off the Eaten Path for Authentic Local Experiences
Founded in 2013 by Aashi Vel and Steph Lawrence, California-based Traveling Spoon, www.travelingspoon.com, connects travelers with food experiences, from home-cooked meals to cooking lessons, with locals in their homes around the world. Experiences are 100% vetted and 100% private. Learn how to cook pasta from an Italian in her central Florence home, or grind curries from scratch on a family farm in Thailand. Traveling Spoon offers experiences in over 160 cities in over 50 countries around the globe while 65-75% of every dollar spent on a cuisine experience goes directly into the hands of locals providing the services. Here is how it works!
Food tourism has been an increasing travel trend for years now, until it has become one of the top travel trends to watch heading into 2020. Studies show that food serves to connect people with the land, its heritage and the people there. It is a diverse, dynamic channel for sharing stories, forming relationships and building communities. By combining local food and drink with travel, food tourism offers both locals and visitors alike an authentic taste of place while contributing to a sustainable economy and local economic development.
Traveling Spoon goes beyond the ordinary by offering authentic experiences that open travelers’ minds to new flavors, cultures, heritages and traditions around the world. Experience the joy of a homemade meal (and eat it the way the locals do) over conversation about food and culture. Learn about cultural and culinary traditions passed down through generations as you chop, grind and cook in a local kitchen. Explore a nearby market with your host, discovering local and regional produce before returning home to cook and eat together.
A Variety of Eco-Friendly Sustainable Experiences
For travelers looking for experiences with an eco-friendly and sustainability focus, many Traveling Spoon hosts have incredible food experiences geared for the eco-conscious. Take a Costa Rican cooking class on an organic farm outside San José. Hosts Gabriel and Mima are young environmental science graduates and entrepreneurs whose mission is to change Costa Rican rural development strategy through their organic farm. With one hectare (10,000 square meters) of land, Gabriel and Mima conserve and protect natural resources through sustainable agricultural practices and the implementation of integrated ecological systems. Travelers can visit their farm for a tour and a Costa Rican cooking class.
In Croatia, travelers can go fishing with an islander and take a Croatian cooking class. Visit the island of Preko and join host Anamarija for some shellfish collecting in the morning. Currently a marine scientist who teaches coastal ecosystems, conservation and biomimicry, Ana is passionate about respecting nature and approaches cooking and food with a very holistic mindset.
Or head to Indonesia and take a traditional Balinese cooking class on an environmentally-friendly organic farm. Unlike a typical Traveling Spoon experience that takes place in a home, this is a unique experience that takes place at an organic community farm and kitchen run by a group of locals interested in sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. Kadek decided to return to his village in Pejeng and founded an organic farm along with members from the nearby village. Their mission is to promote sustainable, organic farming that reduces waste.
Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten-Free Cuisine Too
Eating deliciously and with good health for vegan and vegetarian travelers has its challenges, but more and more travel companies are accommodating the needs for special diets. Here are a few of Traveling Spoon’s savory options for special diet travelers:
- ⊕ Traditional Tamilian saapad in earthen pots (Chennai, India): South Indian vegetarian food / all vegetarian (can easily be vegan, mostly vegan). Traveling Spoon has many vegetarian Indian cooks and many of their South Indian hosts especially are vegetarian.
- ⊕ Plant-based cooking with a vegan cookbook author (Limerick, Ireland): Entirely vegan meal with a cookbook author in her home in Limerick.
- ⊕ Seasonal, homestyle Japanese cooking and market tour (Kanagawa, Japan): Mostly plant-based cooking with optional market tour to meet local vegetable producers.
- ⊕ Traditional Balinese feast in a family village compound (Bali, Indonesia): Some of their delicious signature dishes like bregedel are vegetarian and can host an entirely vegetarian experience.
- ⊕ Heritage pasta making in a beautiful family home (Milan, Italy): This experience focuses on pasta making and Luca specializes in using really unique, heritage grains. They can accommodate all-vegetarian menus and can offer a gluten-free pasta-making course.
- ⊕ Bavarian super-bowls: Healthy, vegan bowls inspired by German produce and traditions (Munich, Germany): An all vegan experience gourmet seasonal vegetarian food in the heart of Cologne (Cologne, Germany)
By creating a community of fellow food travelers around the world, Traveling Spoon brings together the young and the old, families and friends, locals and tourists. From solo travelers to families with children to honeymooners looking for the unusual, this appeals to anyone with a love of food and desire to learn about different cultures through its food … off the eaten path!
Follow Up FactsFrom the budget conscious to the more affluent traveler, Traveling Spoon’s www.travelingspoon.com extensive array of experiences range from $18USD to up to $246USD per person. As a perfect gift for anyone who travels for food, the company now offers a gifting feature on its website. New 2020 destinations include USA (New Orleans, Savannah, Bay Area / Wine Country, and Alaska), Canada, Norway, the Azores, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, Sicily and Tequisquiapan, Mexico. Perhaps consider a private wine tour in the ruins of Pompeii, Italy, Heritage pasta-making in a beautiful Milan, Italy home, or Truffle hunting and tasting in Pula on the Istrian Peninsula, Croatia?