One of the best parts of travelling to faraway lands is sampling the local cuisine. Aside from eating the food, one of the best activities to partake in overseas is learning how to cook just like the locals do. Many people overlook local cooking classes while travelling. And that’s a shame because they are missing out on some of the best experiences you can have in a new country. Here are 7 reasons why you should sign up for cooking lessons during your upcoming vacation.
Learn About the Culture
Every destination’s culture is closely linked to its food. After a cooking class, you are certain to come away with a whole new appreciation for the country you are visiting. Take a cooking class at the beginning of your foodie trip to gain a better understanding of your destination’s cuisine. Your instructor will normally give you tips on how to decipher local menus, which makes eating at restaurants all the more enjoyable.
Experience Local Markets
Many culinary classes include a local food tour of markets and neighbourhoods led by culinary tour operators. Wandering through a market on your own is interesting, but going with a food travel guide takes the culinary trip experience to a whole new level. When you travel and cook, you get to learn about the daily lives of the locals. You get to see what spices are integral to the country’s cuisine, and sample new and exotic fresh fruits and vegetables. Spend a few hours with a local chef and you’ll become a pro at bargaining tricks in no time.
Meet Other Foodies
Most travellers you’ll meet at a cooking class are rather interesting people. They are there because they want a unique cooking experience, as well as insights into the local culture. More often than not, you will end up in cooking programs with amazing groups and even make lasting friendships with other traveling foodies.
Meaningful Interaction with the Locals
It can be difficult sometimes to have meaningful interactions with the locals of a country you are visiting. They are either serving you food or passing by on the street and you rarely have their undivided attention for long. A cooking trip offers the perfect environment to get to know a local and even ask them questions about their country.
Support and Preserve a Culture
When you take a cooking class in a new country, you are supporting the local culture, which is a powerful thing. Instead of spending money at western food restaurants in tourist traps, you are demonstrating that you are interested in your host country’s food and want to learn more about it. The locals will really appreciate your effort in taking the time to learn about their cuisine.
What Better Souvenir?
Culinary travel adventures enable you to learn how to make a fantastic dish, without having to memorize the recipe by heart. This is because most cooking classes provide you with a cookbook, for you to recreate the meals at home. What better souvenir of your world food tour than learning how to make a delicious dish that you can cook over and over again! Moreover, there really is no need to buy your family and friends trinkets. Instead, treat them to a delicious home-cooked yet exotic meal. Trust me, they’ll appreciate that over the fridge magnet any day.
Eat to Your Heart’s Content!
It’s impossible to leave a cooking class without feeling stuffed as if it was Thanksgiving Day. On your cooking trip, be sure to always leave with your belly full. This way you are certain of getting your money’s worth every step of your culinary journey.