Food is undoubtedly a huge part of any trip.
But for some people, food is the only reason for the trip.
From a Puerto Rican highway famous for its pork to an Italian forest filled with white truffles, we’ve found some of the most epic foodie trails and destinations around the world.
Bordeaux wine is world famous and encompasses all wines made in the Bordeaux region of France, which is the largest wine growing region in France. Bordeaux vineyards cover almost 300,000 acres and produce over 450 million bottles of wine each year, and along with around 7,500 châteaux (wineries) and 60 kinds of Bordeaux wine, a trip here will keep your taste buds busy.
Some say that what Bordeaux is to wine, the Bregenzerwald Cheese Road in Austria is to cheese. Less road than an area comprising cheese experts spread across 22 scenic villages, the 'road' features gorgeous Alpine hiking trails meandering through dozens of dairy farms and cheese cellars, crossing roving pastures and passing real-live milkmaids. The road encompasses 160 local farmers, dairymen and cheesemakers that produce 60 kinds of cheese -- over 3,000 tons a year -- as well milk, natural yogurt and locally-churned butter.
Colombian coffee is said to be the best in the world -- UNESCO declared its mountainous coffee growing regions a World Heritage Site in 2011. The Eje Cafetero, or Zona Cafetera -- aka the coffee triangle -- is an ideal spot for coffee tourists to explore, named for the three coffee growing regions (Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío) it encompasses. Making up around 550-square miles of UNESCO's Coffee Cultural Landscape, the area makes up most of Colombia's Arabica, and is rife with coffee plantations, many of which welcome tourists with open arms. There's even the Parque del Cafe, a coffee theme park.
Spain is the world's largest producer of virgin olive oil, and 20% of the world's entire supply is produced in Jaén, Andalucia. Visit the Vía Verde del Aceite (Olive Oil Greenway) in the Sierra Mágina Mountains, where nine metal viaducts, designed by Gustave Eiffel, dozens of UNESCO World Heritage designated villages, and 34 miles of hiking and biking trails on a former railroad beckon. Essentially like visiting vineyards, a trip to the trail means getting to know olive growing culture: check out lush olive groves, visit farmhouses, see how olive oil is made, visit almazaras (mills where olives are crushed), and sample different variations alongside local cuisine.
A brightly coloured landscape of spice mountains beckons in Istanbul. The Ottoman-era Spice Bazaar, on Istanbul's European side, primarily sells spices, but also dried herbs and fruit, coffee and tea, sweets, and even caviar. Back when it was created, the market was the last stop for camel caravans travelling the Silk Route.
Germany is obviously beer mecca, but switch it up and try a lesser known brew. Kölsch, a super pale ale, is a beer brewed specifically in Cologne, Germany -- if it's brewed elsewhere, it has no business calling itself a Kölsch. No really, the Kölsch Konvention of 1986 has very rigid rules as to what can be considered a Kölsch and what cannot, and defines Kölsch as having to be brewed within 31 miles of Cologne. Create your own Kölsch tour by hopping around the 13 breweries in town that produce it, most famously Gaffel and Reissdorf.
Forget the New York pizza versus Chicago deep-dish debate, and head straight to the source. Naples, Italy, is the birthplace of this food staple, where references to flatbread date back to the 16th century. To ensure that all Neapolitan pizza lives up to its name, the Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana awards certificates of authenticity to pizzerias around the world that make 'real' Neapolitan pizza -- real involving many extremely stringent criteria to adhere to. Some of the best pizzerias in a town where you can hardly go wrong are Antica Pizzeria Port'Alba, Pizzeria da Michele, and Pizzeria Starita.
Two of Argentina's most famous exports go hand in hand: leather and beef. Asado, which describes Argentina's delicious grilled meats -- crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside -- is essentially Argentina's national dish. Like an American barbecue, it describes both the act of grilling as well as the social event, the camaraderie being as important as the meat. Try some famous Argentinian steak for a revelatory experience.
They don't call it a Belgian waffle for nothing. Waffles in Belgium are bigger, lighter, and crispier than their American counterpart, and loaded with whipped cream, fruit and chocolate. In Belgium, waffles aren't a breakfast food: they are snacks as well as a common street food, so grab one from a stall, and don't even think of using a knife, unless you want to out yourself as a tourist.
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