Foodies Live Healthier Lives

Foodies Live Healthier Lives

By Taste Vacations No Comments

The term “foodie” generally refers to someone who seeks out new food experiences as a hobby rather than simply eating out of convenience or hunger.  Not only are we at Taste Vacations foodies ourselves, but we down right celebrate foodie culture. We relish in the novel and unique, get excited by the decadent and unexpected, and live for the innovative and bizarre.   However, foodies sometimes get a bad rap from those that merely think of food as sustenance rather than an adventure for your senses. There is a general assumption that foodies tend to over indulge in all kinds of rich, calorie-heavy cuisines and therefore, might not have the healthiest of habits. But according to a study conducted by Cornell University, this assumption is completely wrong.

The researchers looked at the correlation between adventurous/non-adventurous eating and various health factors such as BMI, lifestyle choices, and psychological elements. They found that  those that are more open to trying different foods led healthier lives. Adventurous eaters had lower BMIs, and were more likely to be concerned about the healthfulness of food, be physically active, cook to connect with their heritage, and host friends for dinner, when compared to non-adventurous eaters

Check out this quick video by Cornell’s Dr. Brian Wasnik, co-author of the study and the director of Cornell’s Food and Brand lab:

So we say, keep your adventurous foodie ways! Keep exploring the new, the unique, and the weird – you’ll not only be saving yourself from the mundane and boring, but from unhealthy choices as well!

Looking for a “foodie” getaway? Check out our food tours to Peru, Tuscany, and Spain!

Taste Vacations Washington Wine Country Tour 1

Washington Wine Country Tour Featured in The New York Times

By Taste Vacations No Comments

The Taste Vacations Washington Wine Country Tour was featured in The New York Times Food and Tour News article by Ashley Winchester.  As with our other tours, the Washington Wine Country Tour offers unique experiences not readily available to the everyday traveler.  Winchester summarizes the Washington experiences in her article:

“Taste Vacations is offering a new tour of southeastern Washington’s wine country Sept. 27 to 30 led by a Bordeaux-educated wine expert. Travelers on the three-night, four-day exploration of Walla Walla and Prosser, Wash., will eat and drink their way through eight of the region’s more than 100 wineries. Highlights include three paired dinners (some hosted by the winery owners), a class in wine blending (with a personalized bottle to take home) and a walking tour of Walla Walla. The final night features a hands-on cooking class at Desert Wind Winery led by a personal chef.”

We have one spot left on this year’s tour for a female traveler – and have begun accepting reservations for 2016.  Won’t you join us?

Read the full article here.

Red Wine Bottle with Corks

How to Pack Wine for Travel

By Taste Vacations, Wine No Comments

You’re feeling relaxed and refreshed having just returned from a fantastic vacation filled with beautiful sights, delectable food, and incredible wine. You go to unpack your suitcase only to find that its contents have been tinted a deep shade of red due to the broken bottle or two that you had tried to unsuccessfully bring back home with you. Talk about a buzzkill.

Here are a few tips on how to effectively pack wine and to help avoid those unfortunate situations of broken bottles on the flight home:

  • Use wine-specific packing materials.  The Wine Mummy and similar products are specifically created to carefully transport wine or other alcoholic bottles in checked bags. Most have a layer of bubble wrap to help cushion the bottle.  We would also recommend using one that has either a zipper seal similar to a seal on a sandwich bag, or if it is a one-time use wine bottle protector, one that has an adhesive seal so that if the bottle does break, it doesn’t get all over your clothes.
  • Line the outside perimeters of your bag with soft clothing for additional padding. You should basically create a “nest” for your wine bottles and then pack the wine in the middle of the cushioning.
  • Use a hard-sided suitcase rather than a canvas one.  Baggage handlers are trying to load and unload planes as quickly as possible and are most likely not thinking about what you have packed in your suitcase.  Having a hard-sided suitcase will provide a little extra protection for when your luggage gets tossed around.
  • Purchase a wine-specific checked bag. If you’re planning on bringing home more than a few bottles of wine, you might consider purchasing wine-specific luggage, such as The Wine Check.  This type of bag includes a wine shipper box that is enclosed in a padded case.

Next time you’re either traveling to a wine region or you want to bring wine with you to your destination, plan ahead.  It will save you the heartache, the wine, and the dry cleaning bill from a broken bottle.

Washington Wine Tour

Sipping with Sarah – Washington Wine Country Tour

By Wine No Comments

Sarah Wolcott, the creator and guide of the upcoming Washington Wine Country Taste Vacations Tour, discusses Prosser and the Yakima Valley while enjoying a delicious 2014 Chinook Wines Chardonnay.

Sipping with Sarah – Washington Wine Country Tour

Chinook Wines is one of the eight different wineries that we will be visiting on the Washington Wine Country tour, occurring September 27 – 30, 2015. This tour visits Walla Walla, Prosser, and Benton City, including numerous AVAs. There are currently 3 spots left on this tour – book your trip today!

Peru Scenery

Trends in Food: Peruvian Cuisine

By Taste Vacations No Comments

Food trends may come and go, but we feel that one of this year’s biggest trends, Peruvian cuisine, is here to stay.  It’s no wonder given that Peru has some of the richest ecosystems and most fertile soil in the world (they yield over 2,000 varieties of potatoes!) that they would be recognized for having some of the most innovative and delectable dishes around.

Peruvian CuisineIn addition to Peru’s amazing ecology, the cuisine is also significantly influenced by the country’s history.  One of the most well-known Peruvian dishes is, of course, the guinea pig.  Guinea pigs are thought to have first been domesticated in 2000 BC in the region now known as Peru and Bolivia. Furthermore, Ancient Incans also had a steady diet of potatoes, seafood, and maize until the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 1500s.  The Spanish introduced chicken, pork, and lamb and demanded that the Incans begin growing European crops such as wheat, barley, beans, and carrots.  Over the years, Peruvian cuisine continued to evolve, mixing in other cultures’ ingredients from countries such as Africa, Polynesia, China, and Japan.

Today’s chefs add a whimsical and fun flare to the traditional Peruvian cuisine. For instance, Gastón Acurio, Peru’s most well-known chef and owner of Astrid y Gastón, Latin America’s #1 restaurant, serves a Peking Guinea Pig. The menu reads “Tired of being rejected by the world, the guinea pig decides to disguise itself as a Peking duck, dressed with rocoto and purple corn crêpe. It got a standing ovation from everyone.” Chefs like Acurio, and countless others, are the reason why Peruvian cuisine has come into the spotlight of the world’s foodie stage. With the complex flavors and ability to continually evolve, Peruvian cuisine doesn’t seem like just another flash in the pan.

Taste Vacations offers a Peru Food Tour (October 12 – 19, 2015) that dines at Astrid y Gaston. Guests on this trip will also enjoy exploring the town of Pisco (the birthplace of the delicious liquor), learn how to cook the perfect ceviche on the Peruvian coast, and participate in a Pachamanca, a traditional Andean underground barbeque.