Well we did it! The first Calabrian Culinary Tour is complete and was a success. A few bugs to work out but what trip doesn’t!
After many months of pre-planning (which included getting my TICO certification and partnering with Uxbridge Travel), we were ready to start advertising!
Andrea, Vincenzo , Zio Angelo and myself, along with 14 culinary enthusiasts made the journey via Alitalia in October/November. The purpose of the trip was to showcase the food – from the ground to the market to the table.
Our days were filled with visits to many of Sarafino’s suppliers including Olearia San Giorgio – where the award winning olive oil is made! We were shown first hand how the entire process happens from the shaking of the trees, to filling the baskets with olives, to the centrifuge where the oil is extracted to the bottles filling up with the liquid gold! What a process. Those ladies in the olive groves sure know how to work!!!! They sure got a kick out of watching us try…..Click Here to Watch!
We learned about the making of liquor and olive oil, saw the production process for a wide variety of rice and bergamot, visited a winery, made pizza in a wood burning oven and walked through the garden where the majority of the ingredients came from. The scenery was pretty amazing as well – the view from the castle in Scilla, dinner in Taormina Sicily, walking the boardwalk in Reggio Calabria, seeing the rain come closer at the top of Gerace, and the drive through the Aspromonte National Park.
Check out our Facebook page to see all the trip photos!
The experience is definitely something that you take for granted while you are immersed in it but once you set foot on Canadian soil again you realize exactly what you were just a part of. We were really treated like family, invited in to people’s homes, sometimes eating at their kitchen tables. It’s something that you just don’t get to do on an all inclusive vacation. This is why we started these tours and why we will continue to do them. Not speaking a word of the same language but still being able to connect. Seeing where your food comes from and hopefully inspiring change!
Our next culinary adventure will be to Northern Italy in April/May 2012. Highlights will include a cooking class in Rome, exploring Florence, truffle hunting, learning about Parmesan cheese and prosciutto and meeting the DePietri family in Modena to experience balsamic vinegar at it’s best! If you are interested in joining us please let us know – these trips fill up quickly!