9 ways to create cultural connections through food

Sizzling street food. Spice market tours. Life-changing tapas and noodles galore. Terrible food trips always packing a punch, delivering divine flavors while showcasing the world’s most captivating culinary traditions.

This year, we’re encouraging hungry travelers to make meaningful cultural connections through food. And we’ve got a range of fresh food tours and experiences to help you do just that.

1. Eat like a monarch in Hue, Vietnam

Each Intrepid Real Food Adventure includes at least one plant-based meal. This helps to reduce the CO2 emissions of our tours and focuses on fresh local vegetables. On our Vietnam Real Food Adventure we have introduced a unique experience where travelers can have lunch in the beautiful home of a chef descended from Vietnamese royalty. You’ll also get some practical cooking tips and share homemade herbal tea while learning about the yin and yang philosophy behind Vietnam’s flavorful cuisine.

2. Explore Mexico’s culinary capital with a local chef

There’s Mexican food (yum) and then there’s Oaxacan food (double yum). Thanks to its vast array of tempting local ingredients and the diversity of its culinary influences – many of which originate from local indigenous communities – Oaxaca is the ultimate destination for those looking for the perfect Mexican meal. On our renewed Mexico Real Food Adventureyou can now join a local chef on a food market tour and get insider tips as you learn to make traditional dishes such as mole and tlayudas.

3. Bridge the generation gap in Vienna

City trips are a tiring business. On our Highlights of Central Europe trip, stop by one of Vienna’s most innovative cafés to recharge with a hot drink and a large plate of home-baked cake in the cozy surroundings of the living room. If your sweet tastes ‘just like grandma made it’ – it’s probably up to the pensioners in the kitchen. Vollpension employs the elderly to bake their best recipes – while satisfying hungry customers and helping to tackle loneliness and poverty among the older generation.

4. Taste underrated wine in Tbilisi, Georgia

For oenophiles (translation: wine lovers), there is nothing better than trying a region’s wine on the very soil from which it came. But that doesn’t mean they have to limit their travels to big-hitters like France, Chile and Australia. Georgia is one of the world’s oldest wine regions and its traditional winemaking techniques are recognized by UNESCO for their cultural significance. On a Real food adventure through Armenia and Georgia you’ll have the chance to sample a locally made beverage or two at a woman-owned winery in Tbilisi.

5. Visit Palestine’s sustainable brewery

After wolfing down a ton of hummus, falafel, knafeh and more Israel and the Palestinian Territories, you’ll want something refreshing to help wash it all down. Enter Taybeh Brewing Company. Run by the Khoury family since 1994, it is the only brewery in the State of Palestine. Their sustainable business is powered almost entirely by solar energy and exceeds industry standards when it comes to water conservation. Oh, and their lagers are also very nice. Join us on one Real food adventure through Israel and the Palestinian territories to give them a chance.

6. Eat like a local in the Balkans

We have rustled up a generous serving of new food experiences in our 2023 Real food adventure through the Balkans. On the North Macedonian side of Lake Prespa (also shared by Albania and Greece), you’ll taste fresh local apples on an orchard tour and learn how to make antipasti before digging into a traditional lunch in the village of Dolno Dupeni. And you’ll get to practice your pronunciation of ‘živjeli’ (cheers) with a local family in Croatia’s Konavle region while tasting their homemade wines and liqueurs.

7. Stop for lunch at a cafe staffed by heroes in Agra, India

On our trip through India’s Golden Triangle, Intrepid travelers have the chance to stop for a plant-based lunch at Sheroes Hangout in Agra. This social enterprise cafe employs female acid attack victims, helping to break down stigmas, raise community awareness and support these brave women. There are no fixed prices as it is a pay-what-you-feel system. All donations go to the campaign to put an end to acid attacks across the country India.

8. Learn to cook new dishes with a family in Costa Rica

The pandemic was tough on food companies around the world. For Javier and Dora, a long-married couple from Quepos, on Costa RicaThe Pacific Coast meant they closed their successful market stall – but they didn’t give up. They started rattling up plates to sell from their house during the hardest months. And now they offer cookery courses – that is, travelers on our side Costa Rica family vacation with teenagers can learn to cook authentic Costa Rican dishes with the professionals, from the comfort of a multi-generational family home.

9. Buy sweets that support disadvantaged women in Borneo

In 2015, a powerful earthquake shook the Malaysian state of Sabah, with most of its impact on and around Mount Kinabalu. Villages at the foot of the mountain were badly affected, with many buildings damaged by tremors. One of these communities is Kampung Kiau, where today travelers can stop by Everything Pineapple, a community-based project that supports local women to help rebuild their livelihoods and grow the local economy. Save room in your rucksack for their delicious homemade pineapple jam if you’re with us Classic Borneo trip.

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