Food experience: exploring terroir, from palate to palazzos

A survey from Italy’s National Farmers’ Federation, Coldiretti, shows that tourist expense for food experiences in 2019 was one third of tourists’ total holiday budget. This is confirmed by international bodies like the United Nations World Tourism Organization and its Global Report on Food Tourism. Be they baby boomers, generation X or millennials, modern travelers tend to include a hefty slice of what is known as “food tourism” in their tours: gourmet moments that reflect the tradition and terroir of individual regions and countries and are part and parcel of the respective cultures.

With this in mind, Ventuno created a range of Experience Boxes, veritable treasure chests of regional specialties with the added bonus of a VR viewer, for a multi-sensory experience exploring the landscape and heritage that nurture Ventuno’s certified, select products. Ventuno caters to the food & wine connoisseur that has increasingly come to be known as foodie (so much more laid-back and informal than ‘gourmet’), the well-informed, enlightened consumer who wants to be sure of the quality of ingredients, is fascinated by the preparation of dishes, and experiments with pairings and restaurants. Someone discerning and interested in other cultures, flavors and customs.

Gastronaut or gourmet traveler?

Our ideal ambassador is surely a wine & food-loving tourist, though it’s worth making a distinction, since the category includes two different kinds of tourist: the gastronaut and the gourmet traveler. The true gastronaut’s mantra is seeking out typical products, all the better if they are certified; gastronauts like to plan their journey around country food fairs and culinary occasions, they pick their accommodation based on the day’s menu and expect to experiment with local specialties, then take them back home. Gourmet travelers are tourists who wish to explore a given territory in many ways, including but not limited to food; they are discriminating in culinary matters, without having food as the main focus of their trip.

A new awareness: the Food Experience

Both gastronauts and gourmet travelers have opened the door to a new kind of tourism, both more aware and more respectful of local traditions and culture. This happy new trend has not only humanly enriched the tourists themselves; it has enriched our language with a new word, foodcation  ̶  a vacation dedicated to culinary pleasures.
Tourism for foodies is effectively growing, as you can tell from the numerous culinary itineraries, wine trails, guided tastings and other activities and travel suggestions that showcase territory based on terroir and local specialties, and aim to have tourists not only enjoy the latter, but get a deeper insight into how they are produced and processed.

That is how your personal food experience acquires a whole new dimension; that is how Passito di Pantelleria is enjoyed to the fullest when you find it hails from the bush-trained, eco-friendly managed vines of the ancient Zibibbo variety on the Unesco-listed island of Pantelleria; or savor a Chianina steak with greater confidence, knowing the wholesome eponymous breed is organically raised in Val di Chiana. You can find Passito di Pantelleria DOP, Chianina IGP veal ragout, IGP hazelnuts from Piedmont’s Tonda Gentile variety, as well as many other certified and organic specialties, in our Experience Boxes, as concrete testimony to Ventuno’s mission of promoting Italian terroir and tradition, and enhancing global awareness of their values and flavors.

We invite you to try one of our regional Experience Boxes, then go on to explore the landscape and culture that inspired our selections with the Ventuno VR Tour Viewer, for a true gourmet journey through Italy’s food and wine heritage.

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