5 Ways to Experience Cultural Immersion via Food

5 Ways to Experience Cultural Immersion via Food

Everyone eats. Yet food is often what sets cultures apart from one another, so that to many, it’s what makes travel so interesting. There’s more to it than haute cuisine: immerse yourself in the culinary culture of your destination, and you’ll find a global feast.

Learn the secrets of making the perfect chocolate by taking a class from Swiss master chocolatiers. The Ecole Chocolat School offers an opportunity you will never forget: a six night stay in Zurich with a side trip to Schwyz, all while learning to make chocolate from the masters.  The experience in the hands-on laboratory will benefit you greatly as you learn more about making these delectable delights and satisfying your sweet tooth with irresistible Swiss chocolates.

Join award-winning Chef Bruce Robertson for an unforgettable meal at his home in the “Organic/Conservation” Village of Scarborough near Cape Town, South Africa. Chef Bruce sources all his ingredients from local farms and fishe and regales you with stories of his travels through Africa as the “Afro-Gastronaut” as he prepares it by hand while you watch. Don’t forget the wine pairings—one for each of the five outstanding seafood courses in a lunch that may turn into a full day of culinary exploration.

Perhaps the best way to get a sense of the day-to-day culture of your destination is to go grocery shopping like a local. What may be a banal chore at home is elevated to an examination of cultural and culinary differences. Stop at a corner store or stroll through a farmers’ market and pick up staples like cheese, fresh fruit, cold cuts, pickles, and bread. Then head to a park, the beach, or riverbank and dig in—a picnic en plein air is the best way to whet your appetite after a day of sightseeing.

Track Peruvian cuisine from farm to table on a private culinary tour by Butterfield & Robinson. Tour organic farms, join a local chef on a trip to the fish market, and take your taste buds on a whirlwind tour of ceviche, cau cau, and Chicharrones. Then head to the mountains to witness the preparation of Pachamanca—a traditional meal of meat, tubers, and vegetables baked under hot rocks.

For a true immersion into the best of Italian culture, spend part of a day learning about the Italian language, Italian wine, and how to cook excellent Italian food.  Absolute Italy offers an unforgettable experience in Florence.  After learning about Italian wines, through teaching and tasting, work with a professional chef to create a full Italian meal.  You’ll even learn the Italian vocabulary that is most helpful for traveling and dining. What better way to dive into Italy than by enjoying the language, fine wine and food?