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My newest addiction is food tours. Each time I head to a new country, I search out a food tour to take on my first day in the city. It is a great way to get a sense of the place and an understanding of the cuisine, which I feel enhances the rest of my trip. I shared some of the great food tours I have found in a recent story in the Napa Valley Register which you can read here. The late Anthony Bourdain once said that “Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.”
On his show, “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” he filmed 96 episodes over 11 seasons in which he shared his passion for culture, food, travel and adventure. His enthusiasm was contagious, and we were all inspired explore the world through food.
Or, at least, I was.
After all, what better way to explore a different culture than through its food? Of course, there is architecture, art, religion and nature, but food has so many meanings and incorporates everything. Food is a cultural identifier. Food is shaped by location and by history. Food can represent status and pleasure or can be for survival. Food is also about community and is a unifier across cultures.
As I traveled to countries for my first time, I have found myself in search of food. Yes, I like to eat. And, I can think of no better way to learn about a city and a culture than through its food. But, how does one decide where to go?
Croatia had been on the top of my list of places to visit. Just across the Adriatic from Italy, it has become a popular travel destination. And, a few months ago, I was lucky to finally go. My mom and I took a "girl's trip" and traveled up the coast of Croatia by boat, stopping in more than ten ports. I wrote about our journey in ATOD Magazine and here is Part 1 of Cruising up the Croatian Coast, exploring the history, cuisine, market places and more.
What was once considered off the beaten path, Croatia is one of Europe’s hottest destinations. Perhaps it was the filming of Game of Thrones that opened the world’s eyes to the beauty of the country but regardless of what it is, people are flocking to the country in droves. Croatia had been at the top of my list to visit for the past few years. But with 21 regions and 1185 islands, 67 of which are inhabited, deciding where to go and what to see was overwhelming. To simplify the challenge, I invited my mom to join me for an Adriatic Sea cruise up the coast of Croatia.
Visiting a city for a first time, a city tour may be on one's agenda. Perhaps it is self-guided, perhaps it is with a tour guide. Perhaps you will focus on architecture or perhaps you will focus on historical monuments. For me, I like food tours. I want to explore a city and learn about the cuisine(s), what were its influences and what is both traditional and contemporary to eat (and drink). With Dubrovnik Food Story, it is a food tour and more! It is also a history lesson, a cultural tour and it is the Please The Palate pick of the week. Dubrovnik Food Story is a family-run business owned by two sisters, Marija & Ana. Marija, who graduated from Management in Tourism and worked in travel agencies and hotels, started offering food tours as a side business and started  Dubrovvnik Food Story in 2013. Ana, who graduated with a degree in Aquaculture where she studied Mariculture, got her tour guide license and joined her sister in 2016. Both share passion for food, tradition and hometown and the food tours are a fusion of local history and gastronomy. We met Ana near the 15th century Onofrio Fountain, across from the 14th century Pharmacy in the Old Town of Dubrovnik. She greeted us with a plate in her hand and we met the others in our group. All tours are generally two to eight people (10 max).