Have you ever crossed the city to have a gastronomic experience in a typical regional restaurant? If the answer is yes, we can say that you, like us, are a Food Traveller.

As food enthusiasts, we often depart with the Food’n Road for gastronomic journeys around the world to explore typical foods and culture of different countries. Of course, during our research, we engage in activities that provide us with experiences and learnings, many of these activities are considered as food tourism.

After all, what is food tourism?

There are many different definitions of what food tourism is, and there is a discussion about the difference between food tourism, gastronomy tourism, and culinary tourism. At Food’n Road we use the term food tourism in a comprehensive way according to the following definition:

Food tourism is composed of activities that provide experiences of consumption and appreciation of food and beverages, presented in such a way that value the history, the culture and the environment of a particular region.

by Food’n Road

Exploring the cuisine from destinations has always been associated with moments of leisure and travel, but the concept of food tourism has evolved to encompass activities beyond the plate. These are activities that also value the relationship between food and society and reflect a regional identity.

This change is great because it creates the possibility for people to approach food at different levels of the value chain and have more personal and authentic experiences.

Far beyond the plate

Food tourism is much more than a list of restaurants and is not only related to high-cost activities with refined gourmet perception. It is also not only focused on agritourism. Nor does it require major movements. It is related to all activities that use food as a means of connection between people, places and time.

Below are examples of activities that we list and are considered as food tourism:

  • Take a street food tour;
  • Tasting of local dishes and beverages;
  • Follow product routes of a particular region (e.g. Travel on the Brazilian coffee route);
  • Eat at traditional restaurants;
  • Share meals with local people;
  • Participate in gastronomic events and festivals;
  • Visit local markets;
  • Learn about the production of food by visiting farms and artisan producers;
  • Participate in cooking classes;
  • Visit exhibitions that explain the history of local cuisine;
  • Gastronomic expeditions with chefs and specialists.

The list is huge. During our travels, we have found several models of these activities. It is a creative market because it encompasses different representatives of the food, beverage and hospitality industry. We’re talking about: restaurants, farms, markets, artisan producers, hotels and hostels, street food vendors, chefs, galleries and everything that’s related.

Read More: Activities of Food Tourism

What are the benefits and why we support!

The more we travel to explore food culture, the more we conclude that food tourism with a focus on cultural immersion is a strong ally for economic and social development for the locality, besides being unique and memorable for the traveller.

We believe that this type of tourism, when done in the right way, built together with the local community and respecting its identity, is a tool for the change of two scenarios that concern us: the negative impacts of tourism and the detachment between people and real food.

Not always tourism is associated with sustainable development, especially when attracting tourists who are not aware of the consequences of their demands and behaviour in the local community. The scenery is quite different when we are talking about a tourist who seeks to understand and relate in a more personal and respectful way to the local culture and environment.

To shape (and attract!) these tourists, one needs to connect them with the destination and is there a better way to connect than through the food?

At Food’n Road, we want to be agents of change, engage people to reflect about food beyond the plate. We understand that every reflection starts with reliable information and is intensified with good experiences. Thus, food tourism is an excellent tool to initiate this change.

Do you work with food tourism? Check out our blog for industry professionals.