The Right Culinary Trip
Do you want to immerse yourself in learning a country's cuisine or finding that perfect vineyard that harvest and produces the best wine? Do you want to indulge your taste buds in the finest foods created before you? Or maybe you want to be involved in the preparation of a diners delight? Well, to get you pointed in the right direction, here are some things to consider when choosing your culinary or wine trip.
First, think about whether you want to learn how do it yourself or just want to experience some sensual delights. Some trips will expose you to different markets, restaurants, and festivals, but if you’d like to duplicate the tastes you discover on your journey, consider a trip that includes classes and tasting as well. Pay as much attention to the accommodations and side excursions as to the eating and drinking. You’ll want to make sure your time is well spent between lunch and dinner.
If you decide to go the school route, your biggest consideration revolves around whether you think of yourself as an amateur or a gourmet. Culinary vacations often focus more on the hows and whys than on following a recipe. (That, the theory goes, you can do at home with a cookbook.) These sorts of demonstrations may be fine for an experienced chef, but the rest of us may find a hands-on approach essential for learning the minutiae of fine cooking. So inquire how involved you’ll be in the kitchen and choose your trip accordingly.
Which brings us to the final consideration: time, and whether you have enough of it. A week to 10 days is plenty to sample a country’s various cuisines. It’s fine if you want to immerse yourself in the intricacies of a specific region’s cooking. But if your goal is to do both, budget a full two weeks. It may put a dent in your vacation days, but the payoff will be worth it: a more refined palette and a rested soul.