Enrich Your Life - Travel as a Foodie

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You're a  "foodie" if you enjoy the culinary and cultural aspects of a variety of foods from around the world, and you appreciate fresh ingredients and the artistry of creating fantastic dishes. The act of eating has evolved to a whole new level with TV shows, websites and travel tours, all organized around appreciating food.  The shows include Food Network's Iron Chef, Bravo's Top Chef, and the Travel Channel's Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.

Foodie culture has created "culinary travel,"  travel to different regions to sample food specific to that area and sourced locally.  The wide variety of places to go  include food tours, guided tours of open markets, visits to unusual farms, and visits to specialty food shops such as gourmet patisseries or  local butchers.

The Travel Channel suggests the following events and tours for food lovers:
  • Galway, Ireland: International Oyster and Seafood Festival. More than 10,000 attend this September festival every year to enjoy live music, Irish culture, and of course -  oyster-schucking. The festival began in 1954 as a hotelier's idea to bring tourists to Ireland's West Coast during the fall, which is typically an off-peak season. Since this is a slower season for traveling, you can find reduced airfare and lodging while still enjoying the country's seaside cliffs, green hills, and old stone castles called keeps. Click HERE for more information.
     
  • Waterbury, Vermont: Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory. Tours of this iconic factory are offered year-round and include a film about Ben and Jerry's history, seeing the production rooms first-hand, learning about the art of ice cream making, and the best part - samples! During the summer season, guests are also allowed to visit the cows at the Ben and Jerry farms and welcomed to enjoy a picnic on the pasture. Click HERE for more information.
     
  • North Carolina: BBQ Tour. Real foodies know the difference between North Carolina and Texas BBQ. The sauce used in this state's version is vinegar-based, resulting in a tangier sauce than the thicker, tomato-based varieties. BBQ lovers flock to North Carolina to check out several of the 24-hr restaurants and BBQ pits that offer everything from ribs, to brisket, to pulled pork. Click HERE for more information.
     
  • Wisconsin: Cheese Making Tour.  The state of Wisconsin produces arguably the best (and the most) cheese in America - so if you're a cheese lover, you would definitely enjoy visiting to watch the process first-hand. Visit the city of Durand to see the Eau Galle Cheese Factory, which produces more than 9 million pounds of cheese every year and offers visitors guided tours and samples. There is also Widmer's Cheese Cellars, which boasts being Wisconsin's only factory that still uses real bricks to press their cheese, and the Pine River Dairy, which produces more than 250 varieties of cheese and also teaches guests about the butter making process. There are countless quality factories around the state to visit, so plan on making several stops during your stay. Click HERE for more information.
     
  • Naples, Italy: Pizza Fest. If you want the best pizza in the world, foodies know to go right to the source - Italy. Naples is home to Brandi, the world's first pizzeria, which opened in 1780. During this month-long event (typically in the fall), take in the coastal scenery while also enjoying pizza competitions, pizza making demos, gourmet master classes, and learn how to make an authentic Neopolitan pizza. Click HERE for more information.
For other foodie vacations, and to sample different types of regional fare, The Huffington Post lists the following cities as some of the tastiest places in America:
  • New Orleans, Louisiana. "NOLA" boasts an ecclectic mix of cultures that result in a distinct array of dishes found only in this state. If you crave excellent Creole food, king cakes (made popular by Mardi Gras), or French bignets, New Orleans is where you'll find the best. Click HERE for more information.
     
  • San Francisco, California. Foodies who love the idea of local ingredients will appreciate San Francisco's gourmet offerings. The city is known for its top-quality olive oils, which are produced within the region, as well as its fantastic bakeries, local take on pizza, and coffee-making tours. Click HERE for more information.
     
  • Providence, Rhode Island. When it comes to fresh lobster, mussels, and clams, New England automatically come to any foodie's mind. Aside from offering some of the country's freshest seafood, Providence has also created its own version of the pizza - rather than baking it, they grill it over an open fire in order to create more blisters on the crust, resulting in a deeper, smokier flavor. Click HERE for more information.
     
  • New York City, New York. No other city in America has as many cultures, food trucks, and luxury 5-star restaurants as the Big Apple. From a truck on the edge of NYC and the Bronx serving authentic arepas 24-hrs a day, to an authentic midtown Irish pub, to Iron Chef Moritmoto's sushi restaurant downtown, there is something here for everyone. With hundreds of restaurants and well-known street vendors, a culinary vacation here will require a bit of planning so that you can fit all of your top picks into your itinerary. Click HERE for more information.
     
  • Chicago, Illinois. Home of the deep-dish pizza, Chicago has a fast-growing ethnic scene that is putting the city on the culinary travel map. You can also check out one of their many chocolate tours as well as a visit to a local brewery. Click HERE for more information.
     
  • Seattle, Washington. While the East Coast may be known for their lobster and shellfish, the Pacific Northwest is home to the country's freshest salmon, fantastic wines, and wonderful organic produce. Visit the historic Pike's Place Market to see endless stalls of locally-made jewelry, art, flowers, fresh produce, and the famous fish counter. For an upscale treat, you'll love Chef Howie's Seastar Restaurant, and coffee lovers should also make their way to the original Starbucks. Click HERE for more information.
     
  • San Antonio, Texas. Being in close proximity to Mexico has given San Antonio's local fare a tasty mix of American and Mexican influences. Known for their prickly pear margaritas, fish tacos, and enchiladas, the city claims that no visitor ever leaves hungry. Enjoy some authentic Texas BBQ while you're there as well. Click HERE for more information.
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Posted November 29, 2012
I definitely recommend going to Seastar in Seattle! Best crab cakes in the world! :)

by MISSL, NY
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