What is a Blue Zone and Why Should You Go There on a Greece Culinary Tour?
Here at TIK we’ve been talking a lot recently about our new cooking vacation itinerary with celebrity Greek Chef Diane Kochilas on the island of Ikaria. What could be better than letting Diane and her husband introduce you to Greek Island life and wonderful Greek cuisine? How about learning to live longer at the same time?
Ikaria is our only “blue zone” cooking vacation. What is a Blue Zone? It’s the fancy term for a handful of small pockets in the world where people have been shown to live demonstrably longer lives. There is one in Japan, one in California, another in Costa Rica, one on the island of Sardinia… and one on Ikaria.
Scientists have studied these so-called Blue Zones for commonalities and have identified a number of factors they think contribute to the inhabitants’ long lives and good health (there is very little heart disease and dementia in these areas as well). Among the factors they pinpointed were diets high in fresh vegetables and legumes, regular physical activity as part of everyday life (think of the life of a farmer or fisherman, whose very subsistence requires his physical work), and an active social engagement in both family and community life.
I’ve been many times in the Nuoro province of Sardinia, the first “blue zone” identified, and it is true that there the men are small, wirey, and strong, and seemingly a hundred years old (I have heard it has the highest population of centenarians in the world). The food is hearty but all fresh and from the earth, none of it processed.
Spots are going fast for our cooking vacation on the blue zone island of Ikaria with Chef Diane Kochilas, so book soon if you want to travel this year! And while we can’t promise it will lead to a longer life, we can promise a week of fun, laughter, amazing food and wine, and a cultural experience you will never forget.
By Peg Kern
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Browse all of our culinary trips.By Peg Kern