Take a bite out of these destinations – Part II
The best way to get to know a place is to sink your teeth into the culture and history that help shape its food traditions. Here are several more epicurean adventures that let you taste the authenticity of a given destination’s culinary profile.
Snap a selfie wharf-side with Patsy Ann, Juneau’s official canine greeter now memorialized in bronze. This is where Juneau Food Tours, a 9-stop culinary tour de force of Alaska’s capital city, begins.
“Our guests are treated to unique foods they might not get in other cities, particularly Alaskan seafood,” boasted founder and owner Midgi Moore, who is also a Juneau travel writer and blogger. “Our culinary hosts are Juneau locals who provide an authentic experience – and love it when guests ask about living in the Last Frontier.”
Moore offers several tours, including A Tour with Taste, featuring these yummies: king crab bisque from Tracy’s King Crab Shack; panko-crusted salmon filets with house-made tartar sauce from Deckhand Dave’s; and halibut fusion nachos from V’s Cellar Door. Sample a hog wing and brewed beer pairing at McGivney’s Downtown; spruce tip salt at Kate’s Creations and spruce tip salted caramels at Chef Stef’s; and locally brewed beer at the atmospheric Alaskan Hotel & Bar. At SALT, the chef chooses, and serves it with wine.
The most unusual item on the tour is the Ice Cave Blue Blend tea from Harbor Tea and Spice, a shop offering over 50 varieties of organic teas from all over the world plus hundreds of organic bulk herbs and spices, including in-house spice and herbal blends.
“The tea is a beautiful blue, deriving its color from the butterfly flower,” said Moore. “The shop also uses Devil’s Club and other locally-sourced botanicals in the tea.”
A Tour with Taste operates rain or shine April 30-Oct. 1. The tour is limited to up to 12 guests. Tickets: $129/person includes all tastings, a guided walking tour, reusable shopping bag and bottled water. Meet at the Alaska Commercial Fishermen’s Memorial, which is dedicated to those who have given their lives to the Alaska commercial fishing industry.
Cruise passengers arriving in Juneau for the day can also sign up for Moore’s tours. Aboard Princess Cruise Lines, it is called “Taste of Juneau Walking Tour”; aboard Holland America Lines, it is denoted as “Foodies on Foot.”
Other delicious destinations
Giving guests an unforgettable taste of a destination is Oceania Cruises’ Culinary Discovery Tours. Available in 50 ports worldwide, including Barcelona, Corfu, Helsinki, Monte Carlo, Tahiti and others, these chef-led tours include market-to-table tours and cooking classes, foraging tours, market tours followed by tapas or lunch and dozens more. Each is designed to showcase the authentic flavors of a given region in a personal experience.
In Vermont, where the beer scene is nothing short of world class, Burlington’s Hotel Vermont has not only the world’s first beer concierge – Matt Canning – but a Beer Concierge Program with a wide range of experiences: private tastings, educational sessions, concierge services, Bike and Brew Tours, 2-night Summer Vermont Beer Experience. This includes a private dinner with beer pairings, a full day tour through The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead, Lost Nation and Waterbury, with offerings from brewery cellars and an opportunity to take home a “haul” in a keepsake Hotel Vermont cooler.