Cooking & food holidays advice

Tips from our friends around the world

An Italian immersion

Marina Caldera from our Italy supplier Agriturismo Podere le Olle highlights local Umbrian temptations in her cooking and food holidays advice:
“Everything that surrounds us in Umbria is related to food, and each village has specialities of which they are proud. Our area is famous for extra virgin olive oil and Orvieto wine, plus norcineria - cured pork meats. We also grow all kind of beans that are cooked with spelt and barley to create delicious soups. And we have a very specific pasta, a sort of rough spaghetti called umbrichelli. A traditional recipe is umbrichelli all' aglione, a spicy tomato sauce with lots of our very tasty red garlic! Another speciality is wild boar, either stewed or cooked with tagliatelle. The village of Cita della Pieve is the place for saffron, while Fabro is famous for white truffle.”

Keeping it local

Ilaria Grieco from our Spanish supplier Eco hotel El Geco Verde highlights lesser-known local produce in her cooking and food holidays advice:
“Authenticity stems from making wonderfully flavoursome dishes from modest ingredients, learning typical plates such as maimones, migas con remojon and natilla. Cordero Segureño (lamb reared at altitude here in Granada) is an incredibly sweet and tender speciality. The dry mountain air also makes for superb cured meats. Try saffron-infused Relleno or Morcilla, a sausage blended with chillies, onions, pine nuts, breadcrumbs and rice. Every rural household has its own has its own curing loft and closely-guarded recipes.”

Getting together
round the fire

Nacho Gonzales a guide for our supplier Intrepid on their Real Food Adventure Argentina has cooking and food holidays advice on the ways food bring visitors and locals together:
“Having a food experience in Argentina is about the moments you share with the people. The food is fantastic, but strongly linked with relationships. We spend hours choosing ingredients, making the fire for asado (barbecue), preparing, cooking, eating and relaxing after - always with a nice wine in our hands! We solve the world's problems as we eat. In a restaurant, in someone's house or in the middle of the Patagonia, food unites us.”

Marketplace marvels

Soontareeporn Hombuayai, a guide for our supplier Intrepid, on their Real Food Adventure Thailand picks out a unique local market in her food holidays advice:
“I think the Mae Glong railway market is the most exciting in the world - people sell their produce on the actual train tracks! Everything is put on tables with wheels which will be easy to move when the train comes: live catfish, prawns and squid fresh from the sea, and dry seafood whose smell you will have to get used to! There is a warning about five minutes before a train, then everything is like chaos - the vendors move their stuff off the tracks quickly, and everyone must find the space on the trackside to stay safe. As soon as the train has passed everything is placed back to normal and the market starts again!”

Humble pleasures

Animesh Khandkar, a guide for our supplier Intrepid on their Real Food Adventure India picks out two humble Indian items in his food holidays advice:
Chai is the most popular drink across the country, from pedestrians to the prime minister. The calls of chai vendors at stations are a good wakeup call if you're on a train or bus! The best is always available on a roadside stall - never in luxurious hotels. Vada pav - deep fried potato fritter in a bun with coconut, tamarind and garlic chutney- unites the two extremes of Mumbai. Bollywood celebs and people from Dharavi – Asia's largest slum – both enjoy this mouthwatering snack at the same roadside stalls. There are thousands of stalls but I think the best is one near Standard & Chartered Bank close to the Flora Fountain.”

Quelle ambiance!

Benoit Couvreur and Corinne Benoit from our French supplier The Frogs House highlight wonderful mealtime ambience in their cooking and food holidays advice:
“Imagine sitting in a colourful medieval old town, surrounded by ochre Italian- influenced architecture…a small tavern, packed with locals, talking loud and queuing to get home-made specialities...Thyme, olive oil, garlic...the smells of Provence are coating the little plaza. No individual tables, just long, wooden ones with benches around. The wood oven is burning, spitting socca platters one after another...salt and pepper are ready...wondering what socca is? Just come and try...” [Can't wait to find out? Discover the identity of socca here!]
If you'd like to chat about cooking and food holidays or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team.
01273 823 700

Tips from our travellers on cooking & food holidays

travel like a local

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful cooking & food holiday advice that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday - and the space inside your suitcase.
Come with the will to enjoy the simple things in life - Sylvia Azem

Consider carefully how busy a trip is. I enjoyed this but my travelling companion got a lot more tired than she expected - Sarah Memery

As long as you are flexible and prepared to get involved with what is on offer, then there will be something for everyone to enjoy - Louise Harris

Go with the flow! In India, you have to be flexible, changes to itineraries are unavoidable, just see it as an opportunity to see something spontaneous. Pack a small torch - few street lights and uneven pavements make returning to hotel after dark an adventure! - Mary Souster

The Umbria trip is a great choice for solo travellers, the warmth and hospitality with such a relaxed and informal approach makes for a great combination! Don't miss Orvieto! - Yvonne Stark
Photo credits: [An Italian immersion: Martin Thomas Photography] [Getting together round the fire: nwhitford] [Humble pleasures: Miansari66 ] [Suzanne Smith review: Paul 012] [Joanne Wilkins review: GunnarBach]
Written by Norman Miller
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Photo credits: [Page banner: Brooke Lark]
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