Things to do on a cooking & food holiday

Things to do on a food holiday


Our top activities

Taking to the streets

Street food epitomises food holiday ideals of sensing a country's soul - authentic, of-the-moment, plus giving cash straight to vendors. India's chaat (street snacks) include spicy potato treats like vada pav in Mumbai or sabzi in Delhi. In Vietnam, pho noodle soups vie with French-influenced banh mi – rice flour baguettes filled with coriander, pickled carrot, pork or chicken. China adores xiao long bao – hot minced pork dumplings with broth – while Thais plump for rad naa (noodles with meat and gravy), nutty satays or spicy tom yum soup.
Mexican tostadas are fried tortilla with guacamole, salsa or raw fish ceviche – also beloved in Peru, marinated in lime juice, salt and chilli. Argentina's BBQ treats include choripan sausage, while Brazil's African roots shine in acaraje (fried black-eye beans with salted dried shrimp). Turkey offers kokorec (spicy lamb sandwich), balik ekmek (fresh cooked fish in a bun) or midye dolma –mussels with rice, pine nuts and raisins. In Sicily, the bold try pani ca meusa (fried pork spleen bun), the less bold arancini (stuffed rice balls).

Spirits of place

Sharing national hooch is great for bonding with locals. Knock back artisan grappas like Poli and Capovilla in Italy, or marvel at Norway's 50+ food-friendly aquavits. Discover marvellous mezcals and fine sippin' anejo/reposado tequila in Mexico, or brave China's potent baiju! Or shout 'Kampai' ('Cheers') as you savour classy Japanese whiskies like Yamazaki – before or after delicious sake or shochu.
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Stay at home (but not yours)

Even better than eating with locals to learn a nation's foodie passions is staying with them. Sizzle up an 11-dish feast with a passionate Thai host or enjoy traditional cooking in an atmospheric Khmer stilted house. Learn about Chinese food with a Chengdu family or pitch in with the prep during a Mekong Delta homestay in Vietnam. In India, pick your own exotic ingredients – coconut, nutmeg, vanilla – and discover how they're used from the grower as you get into some cooking at an organic Kerala farmstead. In Europe, delve Italian regional dishes during cooking classes at an Umbrian organic farm after picking its plentiful seasonal ingredients. Or see another side of Provence while staying with a pair of relaxed French gourmands in a beautiful medieval village set just back from the chic Cote d'Azur.

Yes, chef!

After tasting dishes you love during a trip, nothing beats learning first-hand from a local cook how to prepare them yourself to keep the memory alive back home – and impress your friends! Many cooking and food holidays offer a chance to rustle up meals with your hosts on homestays or enjoy lessons in restaurants or atmospheric markets. Forget Master Chef – this is a stress-free pleasure!
Photo credits: [Taking to the streets: Maxime Guilbot] [Spirits of place: Norman Miller] [Stay at home (but not yours): Tim Lucas] [Yes, chef!: Jim Larrison]
Umbria cooking holiday, Italy

Umbria cooking holiday, Italy

Learn traditional italian cooking in a beautiful farmhouse

From €1190 7 Days ex flights
India small group holiday, a food adventure

India small group holiday, a food adventure

2 week discovery of the sights, sounds & flavours of India.

From £1260 15 Days ex flights
Vietnam small group holiday, a food adventure

Vietnam small group holiday, a food adventure

Exotic 2 week culinary and cultural tour of Vietnam.

From £1040 12 Days ex flights
South Indian food tour, Kerala

South Indian food tour, Kerala

Food & culture of Kerala

From £1473 16 Days ex flights
French Riviera holiday, walking, culture & cooking option

French Riviera holiday, walking, culture & cooking option

Experience real French culture and get off the beaten track

From €510 5 Days ex flights
Mexico small group holiday, a food adventure

Mexico small group holiday, a food adventure

Get an authentic taste of Mexico on this 8 day tour

From £936 9 Days ex flights
Turkey small group holiday, a food adventure

Turkey small group holiday, a food adventure

Exotic 2 week culinary and cultural tour of Turkey.

From £1050 10 Days ex flights
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