The World At Your Doorstep Part 7: Motorhome Touring - A Culinary Holiday?
We open this article with a bit of a confession: Kay and I are, by most standards, a bit over the top in our enthusiastic interest in the preparation and consumption of interesting food. Terms such as gourmet, connoisseur, bon viveur (French), gourmand, bon vivant (French), epicure, gastronome or, our personal favorite, “foodie” are all probably applicable.
The notion of a “culinary holiday” in a motorhome may sound a bit strange. After all, everyone who travels in a motorhome eats while on holiday. So what does “culinary holiday” actually mean . . . and how might it differ from other types of motorhome touring? Simply put, for the culinary traveler there is a shift in emphasis. Food and drink are not merely incidental parts of the trip, but integral and important parts of the journey.
The food of a place is the result of a blending of factors – agriculture, climate, economics, and history – which are unique to each area the traveler visits. One of the best ways to get to know a place is to experience its food. And self-contained travel – specifically touring in a motorhome – positions the traveler perfectly to experience the cuisine of a place from the perspective of those who live there.
In a motorhome, a culinary journey can be more than just restaurants. Those traveling in a motorhome might include on their agenda such diverse experiences as:
- Visiting food markets, farm markets, farm stands and bringing interesting, local specialties “home” to prepare in the motorhome kitchen.
- Touring artisanal farms, wineries, distilleries, and dairies.
- Tours of commercial kitchens and food-related factories are usually interesting.
- Food-focused shops, ranging from bakeries to gourmet shops to cookbook stores to kitchen specialty shops. (Visit a small, local bakery first thing in the morning for some fresh-baked treats!)
- Organized food tours, or do-it-yourself food tours, such as following a wine, a beer, or other food-related trail. (Some friends of ours recently returned from a self-guided motorhome tour of Scotland during which their focus was visiting Single Malt Scottish Distilleries.)
- Attending cooking classes or schools. (Kay and I have attended classes at the Santa Fe School of Cooking several times and always gather new tips, tricks and techniques.)
- And don’t overlook local food fairs, festivals and similar special events.
Travel as a culinary generalist with an interest in your destination’s entire food scene. Or specialize by focusing on a particular food category (wine or beer or cheese for example) or on a particular style or type of cooking (baking and barbeque are a couple of categories which come to mind). Regardless of your approach, we encourage you to consider making food and drink an integral part of your motorhome touring holiday. We think you’ll be glad you did!
A culinary holiday can fit any budget. You can make a point of dining at the trendiest and most expensive restaurants; however, we encourage you to consider some of the less expensive options:
Venture outside of the tourist areas and check out the popular local establishments. Not only are they more affordable, they are popular with the locals for a reason: usually because they serve great food at reasonable prices.
You might also consider the so-called “street food” – food prepared in mobile kitchens/carts. It can be an inexpensive and delicious way to get to know how the locals eat.
Or, our personal favorite, pick up some special ingredients and head back to the motorhome. Try your hand at preparing some local specialties . . . we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results of your kitchen adventures!
Remember, some of the least expensive culinary options will be the most authentic, will provide the best memories, and will give you the best stories to tell when you get back home.
About Dave & Kay Corby
Dave & Kay Corby literally wrote the book on travel in a rental RV, motorhome, campervan or travel trailer: "RV Rentals: A Vacationer's Guide". Use this link for special pricing and to find out what others have had to say about their comprehensive book.