People have different opinions of what a good trip is like. Each individual traveler has a specific idea of the perfect trip in his/her head. Many people like to wander around in nature and breathe in the fresh air, while many love to go sight-seeing and visit different historical touristic spots.
Some people travel to become acquainted with different cultures and traditions in different parts of the world, meet new people and try new things. Many travelers just need a change of the environment to relax and become energized for the start of a new week. Because of the difference in touristic preferences, in recent years, many different types of tourism have emerged and new models of tourism have been designed to suit various tastes, budgets and personal preferences.
In this section, you will be introduced to a relatively new but popular model of tourism which is a favorite amongst the travelers all around the globe.
What is Food Tourism?
Food tourism or sometimes known as culinary tourism is a type of tourism in which the travelers experience unique and exceptional local cuisines. In this type of tourism, different events are attended to have a full culinary and food related experiences and better enjoy the food and beverages of a particular city, country or region.
These events can have a variety of types, dependent on your destination. In below, some of the important events crucial to food tourism will be further explained:
One of the entering and educational events of food tourism is attending a cooking class. In these kind of event, usually one or a few of the most well-known and delicious dishes of a city or country is prepared and a lesson is carried out to teach the attendance about the preparation of food in a particular culture.
In Iran, food preparation is of utmost importance, as the ingredients for our dishes is usually unique in the world and the dishes take quite a while to be cooked and prepared compared to European or American dishes. Here in Iran, we prepare food with love and enjoy the process of cooking at the same time. Cooking can be considered a hobby, as the tasting, colors and smells are quite enchanting.
Learning the specific techniques of preparing special foods like Kebab, Dizi or stew is crucial for learning the food culture of a particular country and it has one more benefit as well: You can prepare the dishes you have tried out during your travel at home and enjoy the experience for a lifetime.
In Iran, the use of fresh, locally grown and raised ingredient affect the final taste and aroma of a particular dish and most importantly, is possible! Almost all the ingredients used for Iranian traditional food are produced in the country and every city has the responsibly of producing a specific ingredient.
As an example, high-quality cow or sheep meat can be found in Mashhad, while the best quality rice, tea and citrus fruits can be found in northern cities of Iran, such as Sari, Gilan, Rasht and Mazandaran. Shiraz has famous bitter oranges and pomegranates. Golab, a watery extract of rose used to cook famous Iranian desserts such as Shole-Zard is produced mainly in Kashan, and each year on a particular season, tourists attend the procedure of producing Golab from roses, as it is a highly entertaining, educational and beautiful experience.
In this type of event, tourists visit the farmlands and different production spots in the country to see the locally grown produce in the spot. The experience is highly educational and pleasurable, as seeing the fresh produce and how it is prepared can change your perspective towards the final food you are consuming at the end of the day.
In produce visits, the food is usually even tasted and the quality is assessed by the visitors. In Iran as an example, the preparation of rice is a particular event, and visiting a rice field is a unique experience worth trying.
Every country has a variety of different traditional dishes that are served in the traditional restaurants of that country. These types of places are usually different from fast-food chains or street foods, as they higher end and serve better quality food.
These places are usually filled with families and groups of friends. Traditional restaurants in Iran serve all types of Iranian food including stews and rice, Kebab, Dizi, chicken and rice, fish and rice etc. If you want to get familiar with Iranian food culture and main every day dishes, visiting these places is the perfect choice.
In traditional restaurants in locations like Farahzad, Darband and Darake you can enjoy the fresh air, flowing water and mesmerizing green environment filled with plants and trees. It is a popular theme to naturalize the place as much as possible in traditional restaurants in Iran.
In these type of places, you can enjoy tea with Nabat candy after your lunch or dinner and try Hookah as well. In these places, you can familiarize yourself with the manners and food traditions of our beautiful country Iran.
Last but definitely not least, this will be the most fun part of food tourism during your travel time. Street food is a part of every country and city. No matter where you go, you can see salesmen in the street preparing food, beverages and snack inside a van or a trolley to sell to people passing by.
Trying these type of foods can be a unique experience, as it can be combined with a fun night out in the streets and a tour around the city. As you walk around in the different cities of Iran, specially our capital Tehran, you can see hundreds of tiny spots selling all kinds of mouthwatering food. In Tehran, dependent on the season and weather, you can find unique stuff to buy:
Baked Beans and Labu
In fall and winter, you will see a lot of trollies in the crowded parts of the city selling baked beans and Labu. Labu is baked beetroot which has a sweet, sour and salty flavor and its roughed color makes every tourist curious for a taste. Baked beans is served with lemon juice, thyme and salt, and it is very appetizing. Both dishes are served hot and ready to go, and it is the perfect choice for a cold winter day, as a nutritious and filling snack.
Balal is a snack popular all year round. It is corn on the cob grilled in a coal grill and it tastes amazing with salt and lemon juice. Corn on the cob is usually boiled in water in other countries, which makes it loose its taste. Baking it on a coal grill give it a barbeque tasting aroma and juicy texture.
Cow’s grilled liver is a delicacy in Iran. It might sound unpleasant, but you will love it if you try it just once. The texture is very delicate and the aroma is very pleasant. It’s eaten with bread, fresh vegetables and lemon juice. It is one of the foods you must try visiting Iran.
Falafel is another Iranian street food you have to try. It is eaten in a form of sandwich and it is very popular amongst youngsters and students because of its affordable price and delicious taste. It is deep fried balls prepared with mashed chickpeas and flour. Every five to six deep fried balls is put in a sandwich and seasoned with different types of sandwich fillings.
Ash is another popular street food in Iran. It is usually served during winter time because of its warmth. It is a thick soup made with vegetables, lentils, reshteh and sometimes meat. A bowl of Ash can change your mood and fill you up whenever you need energy throughout the day.
Iranian snacks are usually filling and satisfying, and people sometimes eat them as lunch, dinner or even breakfast!
Food tourism is relatively new, and has been introduced to travelers in the beginning of 2000s, but has become more popular and extremely demanding all around the world, with the expansion of social media and tourism services.
The reason behind its popularity is quite clear. Every individual consumes at least three portions of food and drinks throughout the day and as a result, travelers are forced to try at least a couple of different traditional and local dishes during their travel time.
Why Food Tourism?
Many travelers and tourists spend hours of their travel time on finding different types of foods, snack and beverages and are after new ways of enjoying their meal.
Therefore, almost every traveler is experiencing some type of a food tourism at one point. Why not get best of your time and money when you can? By trying food tourism, you can make sure you have seen and tried every new local dish there is and have not missed out on anything.
Numbers support the seemed frenzy for food in tourists and travelers. Sixty percent of leisure travelers share the picture of their food on social media while on a trip. Eighty one percent of leisure travelers learn about food and drinks during their trip, while eighty one percent believe that eating and drinking helps in understanding the local culture.
Over two third of travelers bring back food or beverages from their trip. Eight three percent of travelers believe that food and beverages help create a lasting impression of the destination. A significant ninety three percent participated in a unique food activity while traveling in the past two years. Based on the numbers, it is quite clear that food and beverages are an important part of any leisure trip, and people enjoy participating in food involving events.
Trying out food tourism has many benefits. By participating in a food tourism you can get familiar with new tastes and textures you have never tried before. Trying out new flavors help you get used to new experiences and develop an open perspective towards different, new and exotic things you may face during a trip.
Not only that, getting involved in the process of food preparation and produce in a country, and observing and imitating the eating manners and habits of a new land, helps you become familiar with the culture and traditions of that country. Getting to know new people with new behaviors is a crucial goal of any trip and many travelers enjoy facing exotic new cultures that freshen up their minds.
Is Food Tourism Suitable for You?
- Are you a foodie?
- Do you love food and food preparation?
- Do you enjoy spending your free time in different food stores and restaurants?
- Do you get excited about new aromas, tastes and flavors when you face a exotic dish?
- Are you up for visiting farms, produces and the production cycle of a particular ingredient?
- Are you a cook?
- Do you enjoy watching food critic programs, cooking shows and foreign food safaris?
- Do you follow tasters from around the world?
- Do you like being familiar with food culture and educate yourself about the local culture of different countries?
If your answer to any of the questions above is positive, then food tourism is the perfect choice for you. Do not hesitate to try new experiences, events and dishes if you are in love with food, because many of the experiences are extremely unique and happen once in a life time.
Why Choose Iran for Food Tourism?
Iran is a country famous for its exotic yet delicious food. Every city in Iran has a different unique dish that is well-known by the common people. This gives the tourist the opportunity to try the dish of every city as they are traveling across the country.
In Iran, the dishes might sound and look unfamiliar at first, but many tourists have been hugely surprised by the taste of what they have been offered only after trying it. Many of the foods prepared in Iran cannot be found in any other country in the world. This gives Iran an advantage when it comes to choosing a destination for food tourism.
Furthermore, most Iranian people choose dining or lunching out as a type of leisure activity and spend thousands of dollars on food on a regular basis. Because of this, restaurants in Iran keep upgrading the quality and uniqueness of their food, services and environments to appeal to the most picky eaters and customers in Iran.
In Iran, youngsters and families spend their free time in cafes, restaurants and street, eating and having a good time after a busy day. This is how we get to spend quality time with each other and relax, getting ready for a new day.
The reasons mentioned above makes Iran the perfect destination if you plan to try out food tourism for your next trip. Iran Traveler Services welcomes you to Iran and suggest you to travel to our beautiful country, with colorful and fresh locally grown ingredients, tasteful and exotic dishes and high quality restaurants.
It will be a unique, never seen before experience to visit Iran for its culinary culture and food traditions, as it is one of a kind around the world. We offer varieties of different food tourism packages that suits every need, taste, preference or budget. With Iran Traveler Services, you can be sure to enjoy the time you spend in Iran.