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Skills as a side dish

Any food lover will tell you that food tastes better when you’ve helped to prepare it.

“Anything that gets you meeting local people and learning about their food and culture is a terrific way to discover a destination,” says food and travel writer Joanne Sasvari.

Author Jessica van Dop DeJesus agrees. “By experiencing cooking classes, going to locally owned restaurants and staying at farms, travellers get to learn more about a destination. And they directly support the local economy.”

In these spots, you’ll do more than eat well. You’ll have a chance to learn something about the people and the culture, too.

Tour the market

istanbul spice market
Engin Akyurt | iStock

Check with your hotel concierge or a restaurant chef to find a tour. Many food-focused guides take guests through the markets. Which offer insight into local produce and spices and the people who grow them.

Looking for markets to try? Check our the Mercado de San Juan in Mexico City or Granville Island in Vancouver, B.C.. We also recommend the spice market in Istanbul; and Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao in Bogota, Colombia.

Go back to school

A young famoly tries making local cuisines at a chocolate
Martin-Dm | iStock

If a dish you love is iconically tied to a destination, it might be something you can learn to make yourself. Eat local cuisines, and build your cooking skills.

For classes to try check out the chocolate making at Läderach in Lausanne, Switzerland. Or gelato school in Bologna, Italy or jerk chicken in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Stay at a farm

A group of friends perpare the table to eat local foods
TommL | iStock

You can’t get much closer to the origins of food than a farm stay. van Dop DeJesus says more and more tourists are jumping at the chance.

“Travellers are looking for more authentic experiences. And, staying at a farm allows you to learn about the local culture from a unique angle: food production,” van Dop DeJesus says.

Where to visit: the female-owned and vegan-friendly Finca Victoria in Vieques, Puerto Rico. 

Or try a wine-focused farm experienc. Complete with opportunities to hike the mountains and dine at the on-site restaurant—at Weingut Buschenschank Gästezimmer Strohmeier-Trobi in Styria, Austria.

Start exploring

Speak with CAA’s experienced travel consultants, who will help you plan your own culinary adventure. Plus, they can help make sure you have the right travel insurance to protect your trip. Visit us online to get started.

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