Tuscany Off the Beaten Food Path

Tuscany: Off the Beaten Food Path

By Food No Comments

Tuscany has it all – beautiful scenery, delicious wine, and amazing cuisine. No wonder it’s one of the most popular destinations in the world for food and wine lovers alike.

A typical itinerary for a trip to Tuscany would include visiting the beautiful piazzas of Florence, eating as much gelato as possible, and drinking Italian wine at a cafe nestled in a small winding back street. This sounds like a truly enjoyable trip, but why not go a step beyond the normal tourist vacation? Tuscany has many unique experiences just waiting to be discovered by the intrepid foodie.

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Croissant Taste Memories

Food & Memory – What Makes Their Connection So Strong?

By Food No Comments

“We all have our food memories, some good and some bad. The taste, smell, and texture of food can be extraordinarily evocative, bringing back memories not just of eating food itself but also of place and setting. Food is an effective trigger of deeper memories of feelings and emotions, internal states of the mind and body.”

– The Harvard University Press on John S. Allen’s The Omnivorous Mind.

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Taste Vacations Sale

Don’t Miss Out – Sale on All International Tours!

By Beer, Food, Taste Vacations, Wine No Comments

Still haven’t booked your 2017 vacation? Now’s the time to explore Spain’s incredible wine, Belgium’s renowned beers, or Peru’s delectable cuisine.

Book an international Taste Vacation from now until February 15th and receive $300 off *

This includes our:

So what are you waiting for? Make 2017 the year you decided to Savor Your World.


*Cannot be combined with other discounts and does not include private or custom tours.

What's the best way to learn about a place? Its cuisine

What’s the Best Way to Learn About a Place? Its Cuisine

By Food, Taste Vacations No Comments

You can learn a lot about a culture  just by looking at its cuisine. Food not only tells you what meats, vegetables, and spices are naturally available in an area, but it also can reveal interesting details about a culture’s customs and history. For instance, you can learn about migratory patterns of different cultures and various trade routes that have made their way through a specific region by the meals that are being prepared there. Take a look at Peruvian cuisine.  It not only has distinct flavors that can only be found in Peru, but it also has prominent culinary influences from Africa and Spain. Many Peruvian dishes are an intricate fusion of all three.

Environmental factors have a large impact on cuisine. The amount of rain, sunlight, and heat an area receives in a year will significantly impact what vegetables and fruits will grow there.  For instance, grapevines prefer a temperate climate, with warm, dry summers and mild winters. Winters of sustained cold will kill grapevines and areas with high humidity promote vine disease. This is why wine is very much a part of French, Italian, and Argentine cultures where the climates align well with optimal wine grape environments. It’s not to say that you cannot grow grapes in tropical regions or regions with very harsh winters, but it typically is not a part of the traditional culture of those areas.

Religion may have the biggest impact on a culture’s cuisine. Buddhism considers all living beings to be sacred, therefore cultures where Buddhism is the prominent religion, the cuisine tends to be vegetarian- or vegan-focused.  In Islam, food preparation must follow specific practices such as ritual slaughtering procedures for meats, fasting during the month of Ramadan, refraining from ingesting pork and intoxicating liquor. And in Judaism, there are strict rules about what is considered kosher, meaning suitable or pure enough for consumption. Because of these various religious practices, a culture’s cuisine can be very much influenced by the prevalent religion.

We love to visit local farms to learn about how food is produced, to talk to the farmers, ranchers, and producers to understand their perspective, and to taste the local flavors directly at the source. Trying the local cuisines can be one of the best ways to learn about different cultures, and frankly, it is half the fun of traveling to new places!