When most people think “cooking vacation,” they think of Italy and France. And those countries have been out top destinations for the past 28 years! But we have many other amazing destinations that you can try on our tours, and some of them might be a bit unexpected.
Whether you are traveling solo, as part of a couple, or with a small group of family or friends, we have many alternative destinations to tempt the wanderlust in everyone.
Alternative Destinations for a Your Next Vacation
The late Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef and culinary traveler extraordinaire, dubbed Croatia “the next big thing” back in 2012, when he was blown away by the beauty and amazing gastronomy of this unexpected destination. Croatia is a narrow coastal country about the size of West Virginia. Despite its small size, it is geographically diverse, ranging fro the coast to the mountainous interior. This makes its gastronomy equally diverse.
Croatia boasts such amazing meccas of European culture as Dubrovnik, Split, and Zagreb, as well as gorgeous Mediterranean islands, beautiful natural attractions like the Krka National Park and Plitvice Lakes, and a wealth of charming medieval towns.
Visit Croatia and try the seafood-based dishes like Brodetto, a type of fish stew, “Black” risotto, made with squid ink, and the mussels dish called “Buzara.” Don’t forget to try “peka,” a dish – which can be meat, seafood, or vegetable-based – made in a wood fire under a a large terracotta or iron lid. You will find oysters and scallops along the sea, and truffles and Boskarin (a type of oxen) in the interior. There is literally something for everyone in this small coastal nation.
You can visit Croatia with us in our Croatia cooking vacations and wine tours on the Dalmatian Coast, or we can design a completely custom tour for you!
Probably everyone has heard of Peruvian ceviche, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the gastronomy of this South American country. It is a destination rife with fresh fruits and vegetables, which you can explore at the many markets, and full of international gastronomic influences. You will find culinary traces of pre-Incan civilizations, as well as of the Spanish, African, Cantonese, Basque, Japonese, French, and Italian immigrants who brought their own food traditions with them to Peru. The result is one of the most diverse and breathtaking food scenes in the world.
After you’ve gorged on the amazing food (and a pisco sour cocktail or two), you can explore the many cultural sites. The riuns of Machu Picchu in Cusco are one of the most important archeological sites in the world, but Peru is home also to the Chachapoyan ruins in the north, as well as to many bustling cities and villages.
Check out our travel trends for 2023 – including Peru!
You can visit Peru with us on one of our culinary vacations. Just contact us to get started!
3) Puerto Rico
The last of our featured alternative destinations is Puerto Rico – the US territory located just to the east of the Dominican Republish in the heart of the Caribbean.
Puerto Rico is known for its beaches and fun island life, and you can experience plenty of that on our Flavors of Puerto Rico cooking vacation. In addition to such island staples as rum and coffee, you will find traditional island dishes made with plantains, rice, meats, and fish.
Try the delicious fried finger foods like empanadas, chinchorros, and bacalaitos, as well as grilled meats and seafood. Two dishes you can’t miss on a Puerto Rico food tour is mofongo, made with smashed plantains, and lechón, or whole, spit-roasted pig.
What is there to see in Puerto Rico? Besides the beautiful beaches, you can visit Old San Juan with its quaint colonial center and old fort. Or head to the El Yungque tropical rainforest, or to the interior to see the mountains and waterfalls. Puerto Rico, like our other alternative destinations for a culinary vacation, has something for everyone!
Check out more amazing things about our Puerto Rico culinary tour.
By Peg Kern
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