One of the great joys of travel is discovering the cuisine of the destinations you visit. You can learn a lot about the history and culture of a place through its food and drink.
One of the Biggest Travel Trends of 2023
Immersive Food Experiences
A recent survey revealed that nearly half of the travelers surveyed will be looking for more immersive and authentic cultural experiences this year – and one of the best ways to discover a new culture is by tasting their traditional fare or experiencing their drinking rituals. For example, at Conrad Punta de Mita, guests can visit an on-site agave tasting studio, which takes participants on a journey to really understand the region through the tastes and flavors of tequila and mezcal.
People are taking advantage of the flourishing, native culinary options, and agricultural products of a destination, whether sampling local fresh seafood or produce from a farm, restaurant, or participating in a culinary walking tour; uncovering the deeply rooted historic ties and traditions of a destination such as craft beer, vineyards, or curating trips around local harvests.
To provide more deeply immersive experiences, it is anticipated that a number of destinations, hotels, restaurants, and other food & beverage venues will include heightened offerings, including cocktail classes at world class bars and cooking classes with world class chefs.
Immersion of a destination’s cuisine will also include immersion of the culture, the people, and the history.
Photo: BTS & friends touring Moët et Chandon in Épernay, France.
Served in a Highball glass
Shake & strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with ginger ale. Add the garnish.
Original article from CNTraveler
Nestled between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean sea lies Spain, a country whose culinary scene has been making international waves for decades. Part of what makes Spain’s gastronomy so outstanding is the physical makeup of the country—a range of autonomous communities with varied traditions and regional delicacies— but it is also the longstanding tradition of food as a vehicle for socialization and celebration. Of all of the beloved foodie customs in Spain, aperitivos might just be the simplest, most treasured of all.
Aperitivos, or small bites of food intended to whet the palate before larger mealtimes, have long been a cultural fixture of many European dining scenes. Spain, however, does things a bit differently than its neighbors. Traditionally served before lunchtime, Spain’s longest meal of the day, aperitivos are a festive way to turn an average meal into a prolonged social event.
Whether you want to incorporate this beloved tradition into your mealtime rituals or simply seek culinary inspiration from the masters, consider this your official guide to the Spanish aperitivo.
Traditionally enjoyed in an informal setting, like at tall tables or on bar stools, aperitivos run the gambit in terms of what can be served. The main requisites are that each bite is small and flavorful so as to not fill one up, but to prepare the appetite for the meal to come. Typical Spanish foods like marinated olives, pickles, or patatas bravas drizzled in a slightly spicy red sauce and aioli are some of the more popular aperitivos.
A small dish of high-quality, hand-carved Jamón Ibérico, slices of chorizo sausage, and a few triangles of Manchego—Spain’s celebrated sheep milk cheese that comes in several flavorful varieties—are also standard aperitivo choices. For those who appreciate seafood, shellfish like cockles and mussels are other possibilities, as well as the highly celebrated Spanish conservas, or briny tinned seafood for which Spain is famous.
It would be remiss not to mention the holy grail region of Spanish aperitivos, Basque Country. Here, pinchos—small, aperitivo-like snacks—are often served atop bread at bars and restaurants, held together with a toothpick. Gildas, a pincho of pepper, olive, and anchovy marinated in olive oil, is a bright and flavorful pincho.
What to sip with aperitivos
It isn’t an aperitivo if it isn’t served with a drink, whether it be a glass of cava, a Fino sherry, or a young red wine. Spanish drinking culture is as refined and exciting as its culinary scene, so you have several options when it comes to finding a great companion for your aperitivo.
Whether you favor white, rosé, or red, Spanish wines are always a winning choice when looking for just the right match for your aperitivo. Wines in Spain are made with dozens of different grape varietals, so there is a flavor profile to match every taste and occasion. A fresh Albariño from Galicia, a seductive aged Tempranillo from La Rioja, or a provocative Garnacha rosé from Aragón will perfectly accompany any Spanish dish. Then there’s the typical sangria, wine mixed with soda and fresh fruit, which is a perfectly refreshing choice in the warmer summer months.
The history of chocolate can be traced to the ancient Mayans, and even earlier to the ancient Olmecs of southern Mexico.
By the late 19th century and early 20th century, chocolate companies were mass-producing a variety of chocolate confections to meet the growing demands.
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