What gift should you offer the food traveler in your life or perhaps yourself?
If you find yourself short on ideas to find yet another gift for a food traveler, relax, we have you covered.
The good news is at Authentic Food Quest our mission is to explore local flavors on our travels and help travelers do the same.
Over the past three years, we explored local flavors in South America, Southeast Asia, part of Europe and the U.S.
This comprehensive food traveler gift guide will help you and the food travelers in your life prepare for their next food adventures.
1- Food Tours & Cooking Classes
There is no better way to experience local food than with locals themselves. When traveling to a foreign destination, taking a food tour or a cooking class is a great way to meet locals. It is also a wonderful way to start a trip and better understand the food culture and local specialties.
With Authentic Food Quest partners, you can be sure to find the perfect gift for local food experiences.
Context Travel keeps surprising us with new and delightful food tours. With small groups and expert docents, they bring a unique knowledge to their tours.
After Paris Chocolate and Pastries tour in France and Chinatown Food Tour in Bangkok, this year we experienced a food tour in Lisbon. We enjoyed tasting the iconic foods of Portugal and learning about Lisbon history as well.
Don’t feel limited by these three cities though, Context Travel has tours in Europe, Asia, North America and South America. Now Context Travel offers gift cards where you can specify the amount you want to offer.
Taste Buzz Food Tours – Las Vegas
In the US, we spent a few months in Las Vegas and we were surprised to find a thriving food scene beyond the Strip.
With the Downtown Las Vegas Food Tour led by Taste Buzz Food Tours, we learned about the history of the city in a fun and entertaining way. We enjoyed it so much that we went on the Las Vegas Strip Food Tour to find about the local dining gems within the strip food scene.
Cooking Classes with Cookly
This year we partnered with Cookly as Cookly Ambassadors. We are excited to bring you this partnership with a website that offers authentic cooking classes in many culinary destinations around the world.
Referred to as the “Airbnb for cooking classes”, you can book authentic cooking experiences directly on their website. You can also choose to offer a Cookly gift card which starts at $25 dollars.
For additional resources on food tours and cooking classes, feel free to browse Authentic Food Quest Resources. You will find additional information about other food tours and cooking class partners we’ve worked with in the last three years.
2- Unique Ingredients For Tasty Travels
This year we feature emblematic ingredients from trips to Portugal and South Carolina, USA.
Portuguese Olive Oil – While in Portugal, we were amazed by the high quality and abundant use of olive oil in Portuguese cooking. We learned that olive oil is a vital ingredient in Portuguese cuisine and it is found on every dinner table and used throughout.
Carolina Gold Rice – Carolina Gold was once the most popular rice grown in America, but it nearly disappeared in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Thanks to efforts of researchers and the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation, production of Carolina Gold has been restored. While in Charleston, SC, we tried this native rice and were amazed by its incredible vibrant nutty flavors. It’s no surprise some have called Carolina Gold the world’s greatest rice.
Grits are one of the essential ingredients of Southern cuisine that we discovered in South Carolina. They are used in iconic dishes like shrimp and grits and are eaten morning, noon or night. Make your favorite grits recipe using Palmetto Farm’s “non-GMO corn that is stone-ground the old-fashioned way.
For more ingredients and other unique ingredients we’ve discovered on our travels, feel free to browse the Authentic Food Quest Store.
3 – CookBooks for Food Travelers
Seven Fires Grilling The Argentine Way
While in Argentina, we had the pleasure of meeting Francis Mallmann in Buenos Aires. He shared insights about the fascinating Argentinian grilling culture.
His book: Seven Fires Grilling The Argentine Way remains the most popular cookbook amongst Authentic Food Quest readers. It provides the Argentine grilling techniques, tips and recipes from Argentina’s most famous chef.
While in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, we were introduced to a delightful seafood restaurant from chef, Heidi Vukov. Heidi is a 2018 Chef Ambassador in South Carolina. While eating at her restaurant Hook N’ Barrel, we were offered her cookbook Bonjour, Y’all!
In this book, Heidi combines her love for cooking and baking. You find traditional Southern recipes with a touch of European flair from Heidi’s origins.
When we wrote about the delicious Portuguese cuisine, we often referred to Tia Maria’s recipes for information about the dishes and ingredients.
Her cookbook Taste Portugal: 101 easy Portuguese recipes is perfect for the beginners in Portuguese cooking. The recipes are simple and focus on the traditional local foods.
Enjoy the most popular Portuguese dishes from Caldo Verde to Pasteis de Nata.
This year we also visited Austin and took the opportunity to eat our way through the best Texas Barbecue.
We had the chance to experience Franklin’s Barbecue famous savory brisket and sausages, referred, no less, as the best barbecue in the world.
The owner Aaron Franklin in his book, Franklin Barbecue: a meat-smoking manifesto tells the nitty gritty of his barbecue process and the Central Texas BBQ style.
You get to learn his own story and how he got started in 2009. Now, about 9 years later, he has become the most celebrated pit master. And, Franklin Barbecue has been awarded at all the major barbecue venues and magazines.
A wonderful guide to follow in the footsteps of Franklin and make the best barbecue at home.
4 – Authentic Food Quest Books & Food Trails
One of the best parts of travel is discovering and eating the local and authentic foods of the region. What’s even better is having guides and food trails that highlight the best local foods, drinks and desserts and where to have them. By taking the hassle out of doing all the research, you are free to enjoy more of your travels.
Authentic Food Quest Argentina
Authentic Food Quest Argentina, our first food and travel guide book, is filled with local Argentine food experiences and travel tips to help you get the most authentic experiences in Buenos Aires, Mendoza and the wine regions, Patagonia and the Lake Region and the Andean Northwest.
Authentic Food Quest Peru
Released in May 2018, Authentic Food Quest Peru, invites you to discover the major cuisine types in Peru, along with descriptions of the authentic dishes, desserts, beverages, street foods and unique produce. Find where to eat like a local in this culinary journey through Lima and Cusco.
Authentic Food Quest Food Trails
Authentic Food Quest Food Trails are self-guided food trails that take you off the beaten path on your travels and allow you to experience a city through food.
For an overview of the local and authentic dishes, desserts and drinks not to miss, along with a downloadable map with addresses and hours of operations, download your PDF guide today.
The Food Trails are available for download at Authentic Food Quest Store.
If your looking for inspiration for your next trip, discover new tastes and flavors with Authentic Food Quest Food Trails.
Lisbon in 100 Bites
Are you traveling to Lisbon? Want to eat like a local?
Zara Quiroga, Portuguese native and food writer has put together a delicious e-book, Lisbon in 100 Bites to help you make the most of your travels. Divided into Appetizers & Snacks, Main Dishes and Desserts, you’ll find many of our local favorites included.
Download your PDF copy of Lisbon in 100 Bites.
5- Food Travelers Products
Travel Tracker Map by LANDMASS
In Austin, we attended TravelCon, the first Travel Media conference, and had the opportunity to meet with Landmass. That’s where we first learned about their Travel Tracker Map.
As a map lover, I fell in love with this map at the first sight. I thought it would make a perfect gift for food travelers.
It is a well crafted map which allows you to plan for your next travels while keeping memories of the countries you already visited. As you scratch off the places you’ve visited, you uncover the map’s bright colors. Scratch off each country and it’s corresping flag as you make your way all around the world.
This is definitely my favorite gift for this year and I trust it will make for a beautiful food traveler gift.
Having clean and potable water while traveling cannot always be guaranteed. In many countries, safety and accessibility to clean drinking water is a luxury.
We were recently given a LifeStraw Go water bottle we love how light and convenient it is. This water bottle protects against bacteria, parasites, chlorine and organic chemical matter such as pesticides and herbicides. While improving the taste of water, the BPA free bottle is perfect for hiking and ensuring safe water while traveling internationally.
One aspect we love about LifeStraw is that it gives back. When you purchase one LifeStraw bottle, one child gets one year of clean water.
The Compass Rose line of packing cubes have a one-of-a-kind colored and numbered system allowing you to pack in one of five unique ways. You can pack by weather, clothing items, family member, outfit or destination.
When you purchase Compass Rose packing cubes, you get four packing cubes that are the perfect width for carry-ons, and an efficient stress-free travel experience.
6 – Accommodations
Live with Locals via Airbnb
When it comes to accommodations choices, we always start by searching Airbnb places. For us, Airbnb continues to be the best way to live and eat like a local.
We make sure to stay in a home where there is a kitchen we can use. That allows us to cook and try many local products.
On our last European trip to Portugal, we shared a Portuguese meal with a family in Lisbon and had a remarkable time bonding over local dishes and shared experiences. This experience would likely not have been possible if we were not staying with locals.
Immerse into the Local Culture while House Sitting
Over the past three years, we have been house sitting many times while traveling within the US.
What we enjoy the most is living like locals and getting to know the local food scene.
To find house sits, we use the Trusted Housesitters platform that connects owners with house sitters. They offer house sits all over the world and you’re sure to find a destination of your liking.
Give yourself or the food traveler in your life the gift of traveling and exploring local flavors. Embrace the local food experiences and travel deeper. Connect with the locals and above all else, have fun and eat well.
Savor the Adventure!
Disclosure: Please note, we get a small commission from purchases made using our links at no additional cost to you. This helps us continue our quest for authentic food around the world. Thank you for your support!
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Claire is a culinary explorer and the engineer brain behind Authentic Food Quest. Together with her partner, Rosemary, they created Authentic Food Quest to inspire people to travel deeper through authentic food. Through food, they believe, people can have more meaningful connections on their travels. Take the quiz and find out your Food Traveler Profile.