Adding a culinary twist to your cultural exploration, can provide the whole family with a fulfilling experience. Here is a sampling of mouth-watering ideas to consider:
AsparagusFest. Stockton,CA. Learning about a food’s origin and the many ways it can be prepared, can turn a curious green vegetable into something of grand interest. Visit this northern California town to discover all things asparagus . The annual festival offers music, amusement rides for kids, Tyson the skateboarding bulldog, a full lineup of canine entertainers performing amazing dog tricks and of course recipes, competitions, tastings and talk about the vegetable of honor. Check web site for dates. Contact: 209-644-3740; www.AsparagusFest.com.
New Orleans, LA. The kids will learn about more than just local cuisine when the family ventures to this coastal city that continues to survive against the odds. Snack on tasty beignets for breakfast. Savor po’boys or gumbo for lunch. Stroll through the French Quarter or visit the Children’s Museum to restore your appetite for dinner. Then sample from the wealth of Cajun or creole-style seafood that will be served with a smile in this friendly southern city. The adventuresome in your group might opt for alligator on a stick. Enjoy the flavorful food with the sound of local jazz as your backdrop. 800-672-6124; www.neworleanscvb.com.
Visit Peru. Teach the kids about super foods while sharing the amazing history of the Andes people. This country is home to grain-like and nutrient-rich quinoa and purple spuds, both considered sacred and said to have been cultivated for Incan royalty. The color in the anti-oxidant laden potatoes comes from the same enzyme that gives blueberries their healthy hue. Mix these Peruvian diet staples in to your menu when planning a trek on the Inca trail enroute to Machu Piccu. Contact: www.incatrailperu.com/; www.responsibletravel.com/holiday/2022/hiking-the-inca-trail; http://www.intrepidtravel.com
Artichokes in Albuquerque, NM. Some go straight for the heart. Others enjoy dipping the leaves in tasty sauces. Learn how to eat artichokes every which way at the Artichoke Cafe, a charming dining spot set in this southwestern city’s historic east downtown neighborhood. Gather additional local intel by visiting the National Hispanic Cultural Center as well as the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Taste the local New Mexican cuisine, combining native chiles, corn, beans and squash, at one of many restaurants you’ll find in Old Town, Albuquerque’s 300 year old city center. Contact: www.ArtichokeCafe.com; 1-800-284-2282; www.Itsatrip.org.
Eat Local. Experience Global. Large U.S. cities are often home to cultural enclaves where small, family owned restaurants dish up healthy servings of authentic favorites, combined with a bit of history from the homeland. When traveling to cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco or Miami seek out dining options in Little Italy, Chinatown or Little Havana. There you can introduce the family to more than just a good meal. Contact: www.littleitalynyc.com; www.miamiandbeaches.com/visitors/little_havana.asp