Best time to go on a cooking & food vacation
weather and seasonality
Food vacations add flexibility to seasonality. Spring bounty in one hemisphere coincides with autumn harvests in the other. Summer and winter menus beckon simultaneously – fireside stews in Europe, al fresco BBQ in Latin America. In any month, different foods grab the spotlight somewhere. Take November. Enjoy Italian woodland forays for truffles, papaya time in India, or saffron harvest in Spain and Morocco. Toast new wine vintages in September across Europe and the US - then do it again during February in Argentina, Chile and the Antipodes. Anytime is the best time to go on a cooking and food vacation!
When not to do cooking & food vacations
What to avoid, & when
For India, SE Asia plus parts of China and Japan bear in mind the monsoon season between July-September, when heavy rains may sweep across the region. There will still be delicious food, of course – but you may get a soaking too!
- If you don’t like searing temperatures and/or high humidity check weather guides for different regions you’re interested in unless you want to sweat as much out of the kitchen as in it.
Be aware of differing degrees of seasonal plenty for whichever destination you are considering visiting. A midwinter market in Italy or France, for example, may feel less inspiring in terms of range of produce and atmosphere to other more bountiful seasons.
If you’re interested in particular foods check they're in season when you want to travel so you can enjoy them in peak condition.
Responsible Travel recommends
what happens when on cooking & food vacations
Huiying Zhao from our supplier Intrepid Real Food Adventure China suggests night-time is the best time to go on a cooking and food vacation when it comes to one of China's most atmospheric street markets:
“One of the best street food experiences is the Muslim quarter in Xi’an in the evening, when the lamps are shining - a stroll here is a dream for any foodie! The Chinese Muslim Hui people have been creating tasty dishes in this busy street for over 1,000 years. There is endless variety of snacks including sticky rice pudding, cold noodle, soupy dumpling, steamed fried beef and fried persimmon cake.”
Animesh Khandkar from our supplier Intrepid Real Food Adventure India suggests the best time to go on a cooking and food vacation in Rajasthan to try a very unusual ingredient:
“Visit rural Rajasthan around February – March for vegetarian courses using opium leaves – the leaves are not a drug! This is local to this region. Also find the local fruit mahua from which the locals manufacture liquor of the same name.”
Fernando Rodriguez from our supplier Intrepid Real Food Adventure Peru explains why rainy season is the best time to go on a cooking and food vacation - for corny folk:
“During the rainy season – November to February - you see the famous Urubamba giant corn from the Sacred Valley. Corns can reach half a kilo each! Eat it boiled, served with fresh cheese. On almost every corner of the city, you find ladies selling this very popular snack from huge pots.”
Festivals & events
Our pick from the cooking & food calendar
Did you know about...?
Peru – Mistura (September)
Latin America's largest food festival takes over Lima for 10 days, promoting fab nosh alongside themes like biodiversity and nutrition. Its epicentre is the Grand Market, where stalls feed thousands the likes of beef skewers seasoned with cumin, vinegar and panca pepper, unusual fish ceviche (giant Amazonian caiche anyone?) plus squash and sweet potato doughnuts!