Chew and see: gastronomic tourism in Russia has the richest potential

Chew and see: gastronomic tourism in Russia has the richest potential

Tourism is an individual matter. Some spend whole days exploring the ancient ruins of an abandoned city, others conquer the snow-capped peaks, someone loves to soak up the sun surrounded by palm trees. But what is equally enjoyable for beach lovers and desperate explorers and unstoppable climbers?

Food that makes the eyes close with pleasure, arot - chew more slowly to feel this taste for a longer time. Have you ever tried anything like it? Then gastro-tourism is just what you need.

Gastronomic or culinary tourism as a full-fledged direction has appeared quite recently - it is not yet 20 years old. The question is: has no one really thought of traveling and along the way to try the best local food in those places where it happens? Of course, they figured it out, iconically, they tried, but they were able to cover it all into some kind of unified structure, system and to understand the true essence, economic and cultural value only at the beginning

Culinary Tourism: The Hidden Harvest was published in 2006. Its author is Eric Wolfe, current head of the International Culinary Tourism Association. True, by the time his thoughts on the topic of gastro-tourism saw the light, the association had already been created and was actively gaining momentum.

At first, the English-speaking population did not understand very well what culinary tourism was, so the name “International Culinary Tourism Association” was changed to “World Food Travel Association”. Probably, this has become clearer, because the Association has received tremendous support in the world and has built a community for itself in more than a hundred countries.

Of course, the popularization of gastro-tourism is not only a matter of ICTA, but many other organizations. For example, in Russia there is a very young National Association of Gastronomic Tourism, which tries to solve the problems of developing this direction in Russia and supports market participants, the tourism business, and also acts for the benefit of the gastronomic tourists themselves.

This is all a story that does not give an accurate representation of what gastro-tourism is all the same. How to imagine the taste of the best Italian pizza with a soft izmozzarella crust, under which there is a delicate tomato paste with salted oil, sprinkled with piquant basil. Anikak. That is, you can imagine, of course. But this fantasy of ninety inches will not bring you closer to the history and traditions of Italian cuisine.

Actually, these problems are solved by gastronomic tourism: you go out, try national dishes and get to know this history, through this you become familiar with the culture of the country. Seriously, let's face it: if stranaN is full of sights like dilapidated catacombs of the X century, ancient temples and a couple of hundreds of monuments, there is no nitraditional dish, and in general a little bit decent cuisine, you are unlikely to wiggle out there again. Food is often what tells the place more than any guide or inscription on the stone.

Gilbert explains this well in Eat, Pray, Love. True, there food has downright healing properties, it was through it that the writer learned the culture of Italy in a new way. So there, food is in many ways the very culture of Italy.

Here is a statistic that will answer many of your questions about gastro tourism: who and why buys such tours and why is it popular.

Vodka and pancakes with caviar in Russia, cheese and wine in France, beer and knuckle in Germany, pizza and pasta in Italy, ouzo and Greek salad in Greece, pudding and ale in England, bourbon and pumpkin pie in the USA, sake and sushi in Japan. Ask anyone - everyone without hesitation will name a couple of dishes and drinks with which they associate this or that country. And only gourmets know how endlessly diverse the cuisines of the world are.

There are more and more such gourmets every year, and for them there is a whole industry in tourism - gastronomic tourism. It's culinary, it's also grocery. Numerous gastronomic tours offer to enjoy the taste of this world, absorb its culinary traditions, learn the peculiarities of this or that ethnic group, region through food, try your hand at preparing original dishes.

At the same time, the largest country on the world map, Russia, although fabulously rich in culinary delights of numerous cultures and nationalities, is still a newcomer to gastronomic tourism. It is not enough to have culinary traditions; this industry needs to be developed in the format of a public-private partnership, experts say. Together with them, "Profile" goes on a small gastronomic cruise in order to understand how culinary trips are prepared, what they are eaten with and what the aftertaste is.

Where to find delicious and truly authentic food is one of the main questions we ask experienced travelers when going anywhere. But sometimes it is food that becomes the main motive of the tour. “Gastronomy is a fashion trend, a hobby for thousands of people and one of the main motives for traveling,” says Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). "People crave new experiences in food as much as they seek them in other elements of culture: art, music and architecture."

Actually, gastro-tourism in Europe began to form at the beginning of the 19th century, says the director of the Institute of Restaurant Technologies Kadrina Aisitulina. “There are records of gastronomic trips dating back to 1810,” she says. But as an industry, gastronomic tourism has developed not so long ago and is still considered a new direction. First, it’s not just about food. Although, says Rina Veinis, an expert on gastronomic tourism and organization of gastronomic routes of the Russian-Dutch Sodruzhestvo Foundation, the main component here is really an emphasis on local cuisine and local products. But this industry is also called cultural and gastronomic, because in this way tourists gain knowledge about local culture, traditions, production of regional products, tastefully immerse themselves in the atmosphere of history, everyday life, and beliefs.

Secondly, gastro-tourism provides tangible benefits to the economy. Its promotion is carried out at the global level (both on the part of states and international organizations), but such globalization does not interfere, but, on the contrary, contributes to the preservation and development of local cultures. The entire industry, according to the second UNWTO Gastronomy Report, "is built around the quality and authenticity of national products and the territories in which they are produced." And at the same time, the prefix "gastro" in tourism is organically combined with the landscapes, history and culture of a particular region. In addition, it is a cross-industry platform for a wide variety of sectors of the economy, for a variety of businesses. And thus, regional economies are given the opportunity to grow.

In addition to the traditional problem of job creation, one more problem is being addressed - seasonality, because a culinary journey can be made at any time of the year, if it is not about fruitful festivals. The more attractive the gastronomic route, the greater the flow of tourists. And the modern traveler is not a bastard - he is well-read, educated, picky, he has seen a lot and longs for authenticity.

But the return on it is rather big, not without reason among the most popular travel posts on social networks are photos of local dishes. People and their stories about food make this type of tourism incredibly attractive. And the era of technology only contributes to the spread of such stories around the world. And despite the fact that the main global trend is innovation, authenticity and authenticity will always be in demand, the UNWTO report emphasizes.

Real Chinese food is different from restaurant food. The Americans learned about this thanks to the broadcast of Richard Nixon's visit to China in 1972

World History Archive/Alamy Stock Photo/Vostock Photo

Along with the birth of the industry, the institute of gastronomic ambassadors also appeared. Food has been a serious tool of diplomacy since ancient times. Aristotle, for example, spoke about the importance of joint meals of citizens - sissities, which contributed to the introduction of common values. And during a television broadcast of Richard Nixon's visit to China and a banquet held to celebrate it in 1972, Americans found that the real Chinese food was very different from what they saw in local Chinese restaurants. And thus, Nixon became China's first gastronomic ambassador to the United States.

Food has become the main reason for Chinese tourists to travel to South Korea. And the Korean government has put a lot of effort into this. Thus, the Ministry of Agriculture of this country in 2011 paid for the trip of young Koreans to different countries of the world, where they prepared bibimbap, a famous Korean dish based on rice, at various events and festivals. And the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism sponsored a 2012 trip to the United States of the Turkish Coffee Truck. Volunteers traveled to American cities and towns, poured coffee and talked about "the taste of friendship with a five-hundred-year history." The media effect was incredibly powerful. And this is not surprising. Many Muscovites and guests of the capital probably wanted to go to Vietnam and India after visiting the Vietnamese street food festival and the Indian cuisine festival.

Gastronomic tourism in our time is a new and popular type of tourism, which gives even more impressions than ordinary travel. What can reduce stress and make all tourists happy? Of course, food! On trips, you can learn a new culture, learn about unusual dishes, try them and even reproduce them for your family, already at home, and for such trips there are already gastro-tourism experts, such as . lub /. Now let's find out what foreign dishes you need to try on your travels.

If you are in Spain

Spain is full of delicious food to try. Each city and region has its own gastronomic characteristics. This list is just a good start for those new to Spain. Some of the dishes or products can be found even in the resorts, they are popular and easy to find.

1) Paella is a saffron rice dish with seafood, chicken or vegetables added. There are many different rice dishes in Spain, but paella is the classic popular and traditional Spanish dish. Residents of the country claim that there are already more than three hundred recipes for this dish.

2) Jamon - dry-cured ham of a white pig. It is considered one of the most expensive delicacies in the whole world.

3) Gazpacho - fresh vegetable puree soup. This dish is served cold, which is why the Spanish and Portuguese love gazpacho so much for its refreshing and cooling effect on a hot summer day.

4) Pisto is a stew that consists of tomatoes, onions, eggplant or zucchini, green and red peppers and olive oil. The dish resembles ratatouille and is usually served warm as a snack. It is often served with bread, a fried egg on top, or with slices of ham. Stew is also used as a filling for pies or for filling tartlets.

5) Chorizo ​​- spicy smoked pork sausage.

6) Sangria is an alcoholic beverage that is often considered wine. It is made on the basis of pieces of fruits and berries. Drink from 4 to 9 degrees of strength.

While in France

Coffee with herring, cucumber jam, cutlets "as for cosmonauts" and a Red Book shamayka - these are the smallest things that surprised the Rostov region with a tall culinary Areopagus, which came to the II gastronomic festival "Made in Don" ...

Our guests were popular authors of books about the past and present of Russian cuisine Olga and Pavel Syutkin, the country's best gastronomic journalist Roman Loshmanov, a columnist for the print magazine Gastronom and editor of the Gastronom website. u Olga Zakharova, organizer of the International Festival-Competition of Oriental Arts "Cult of Plov" Timofey Larionov and other wonderful gentlemen.

Our correspondent also did not stand aside and went with eminent Muscovites on a gastro tour - to spy, eavesdrop, etc. get fat.

When the fish is resting

I don’t know how in other regions, but we cannot go on gastronomic tours to a person with poor health. Because the main line of the journey is that the participants move from enterprise to enterprise and eat at each place. There can be five such places per day, and maybe more. This time, the main idea was to show the culinary experts that the Rostov region has its own brand of quality, which is based on the strictest criteria of the voluntary certification system "Made in Don" - and the products passed through its comb meet the highest international standards. All the factories that we visited had this distinction.

The first thing that surprised the guests was the Central Market. The plan was for an excursion, but as soon as the group crossed the threshold, the market took the guests into circulation. They were taught to taste butter from their hands, were given pickled plums to taste, and threatened to shove watermelons and dried bream with them.

- But you can't take pictures! - shouted the sellers in the fish department. - We have a Red Book fish here!

- But it still lies, everyone can see it.

- Who told you that I was selling it? Maybe she just lies there, resting?

We drove and ate The Made in Don gastronomic festival surprises guests

We drove and ate The Made in Don Gastronomic Festival surprises the guests

Guests left the market with packages and sachets. “In Moscow, everything is two and a half times more expensive, and even then it’s some kind of inanimate,” complained the residents of the capital. We have a gourmet paradise.

"There are rumors in Rostov that they want to make the market modern, fashionable, - I began our old song."

Italian cuisine is the main national attraction. “Dolce farniente” (translated from Italian “sweet doing nothing”) is about food as well: enjoying the moment, without haste and always with a glass of good wine. Traditional peasant Italian food is very simple, and this is the key to its popularity: fresh vegetables and bread, olive oil, delicate cheese and bright spices.

It would be unfair to talk about Italian cuisine in general, as each region has its own characteristics. The northern regions have always been famous for cattle breeding, so there is a lot of meat (moreover, it is often served in whole pieces), milk and cheese. The southern regions have always been rather poor, so meat in peasant houses was very rare on the tables, but here the most fertile soil, a lot of vegetables and fruits, and the local cuisine is replete with vegetarian recipes. In addition, this is where you can find the best seafood in Italy.

What are the gastronomic tours

Most food tours in Italy are for groups of 2 to 10 people. Short ones (3-4 days) involve getting to know the cuisine of one region, longer ones may include trips to neighboring regions of Italy or even other countries, for example, to France, to compare the culinary traditions of close, but very different provinces.

Tours are urban and rural. Urban cities offer haute cuisine, celebrity chefs and Michelin-starred restaurants. Rural tours have recently been in great demand, as agro and ecotourism are becoming an increasingly popular form of recreation. In this case, tourists visit farms, get acquainted with the recipes of traditional peasant Italian cuisine, participate in the collection of fruits and nuts, and learn the basics of cheese making.

The food tour program usually includes:

  • excursions to local attractions,
  • traditional dinner in a restaurant or at the house of an Italian family (usually more than one),
  • getting to know chefs,
  • tastings,
  • culinary master classes.

Tourists will cook real pizza and learn why it doesn't have to have a lot of toppings, learn the secrets of ripening the right Parmesan, learn how to make Italian coffee and choose the right wine for each dish.

Food for culinary master classes are included in the price. They are either already waiting for tourists in the kitchen, or the chef leads the group to the local market to choose everything they need on the spot (the latter is more interesting). The menu is usually negotiated in advance: meat, fish or vegetarian dishes, the issue is usually decided by the majority's choice.

The cuisine of each, even the smallest region, has its own characteristics, but there are several of the most interesting culinary provinces, where gastronomic trips are most often organized.

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