Cultures of the world can be savoured, meal by meal.  Today many tour operators are including culinary adventures across the world, one dish at a time, meal by meal, spice by spice, moment by moment.

Food unites us all as it becomes a universal language that we can all speak. We are able to enjoy a tour of global flavours taking in home hosted meals, enjoying regional specialties while bridging the gap of new language, people and cultures.  There is a worldwide bond in sharing the table and its bounty with others.

A home hosted cooking lesson in a 16th century Umbrian farmhouse can give us an introduction to Italy’s more than 300 varieties of pasta. In the bucolic scenery of southern France we may savour some of the best cheeses in Europe while exploring a variety of vintages. Many of us already employ a bit of the French cooking world as we “flambe, saute, and julienne” our own recipes.

Portugal’s Duoro Valley (you can easily explore this area by river cruise) allows us to indulge in sweet port wine, while Spain offers up her famous tapas and paella.

A Moroccan spice market is a tapestry of sights, sounds and tastes and gifts us the pleasures of the tagine, dating back to the 9th century.

The famous Irish Guinness, first ran from the taps mid-1700, and who today doesn’t enjoy the treat of Irish coffee birthed in Kinsale.

Smorgasbords, rich butter and delicious breads are a draw in Sweden. My recent trip to Iceland has left me with the delectable taste of the same … and continuing longing for their luxurious butter and hearty rye and seed bread. A cooking lesson in Amman, Jordan allowed me to make some lasting Middle Eastern friendships while learning to cook from a gentleman who had actually cooked for the King.

Who doesn’t like Swiss chocolate or the indulgence of dripping, cheesy raclette? The cuisine of Vietnam shows us how to balance the yin and yang and the five elements of fundamental taste, while in China we drink tea steeped in legends.

Such wonderful experiences are able to unite us, oft times offering up farm to table freshness, served in international friendship.

As we travel, we can savour the world, one enticing morsel at a time.

Peggy Wright, CTC, CITM, CATS is ‘The Travel Agent Next Door.’

Follow her travel blog at www.gypsyjourneys.ca, or contact her at pwright@thetravelagentnextdoor.com.