Not long ago, I hopped on an airplane and flew to New York City, primarily so I could enjoy its delicious pizza.
Emboldened by that experience, I’m now planning a pair of trips to New Haven, Connecticut and Naples, Italy, two destinations renowned for their excellent … pizza.
It appears I have a food type.
It also appears I’m a fan of culinary travel. Judging by the statistics, I’m not the only one.
According to the Food Travel Monitor (a global study by the World Food Travel Association), 95 percent of world travelers can be classified as food travelers. Along those lines, 95 percent of U.S. residents say they are interested in having a unique food experience when they travel.
Reportlinker, a tech company that uses artificial intelligence to deliver market data and forecasts, recently released a report that said the global culinary tourism market is expected to grow by $126.28 billion in the next four years.
That’s a lot of pizza pies. Other foods will also be eaten, presumably.
This issue of Leisure Group Travel embraces the growing popularity of culinary tourism as we uncover deliciousness in places one wouldn’t expect. If you thought Mississippi gas stations weren’t exquisite food havens, you are woefully incorrect. If you thought dandelions couldn’t be a key ingredient in a delightful salad, wrong again. If you thought Colombia’s food culture wasn’t world-class … you need to get out more. Everyone knows that. Venerable writer Randy Mink will show you just how fabulous Colombia’s food scene is as he brings its street carts, restaurants and cafes to life with prose that can only be found in LGT.
This may be our most scrumptious issue yet.
Now that 2022 has given way to 2023, a new year is accompanied by new trends. Here are a few of this year’s culinary happenings:
- Food and beverage trails will be in demand and immersive food experiences will be fashionable
- Tinned fish like octopus, squid and mussels are popular thanks in large part to TikTok
- Adding chipotle, cayenne and other hot spices to traditional baked goods will add complexity to familiar tastes
- Nostalgic flavors are making a comeback with comfort foods like creamy rice pudding and classic sticky date sponge standing out as favorites
- More consumers are looking to purchase pasture-raised meat and eggs from small local farms
We are living in a bold new world. You may as well add some Carolina Reaper to your brownies and serve your finest Chicken of the Sea tuna when entertaining because you only live once.