One of my favorite ways to see a city is by going on a walking food tour. I made my debut on a culinary walkabout when my son was living in Manhattan. It was an Enthusiastic Gourmet culinary walking tour called the Melting Pot, a three-hour walkabout on the Lower East Side. Delish!
Returning home to the west coast, my appetite was whetted for more of these tasty tours. My list expanded with Portland Walking Tours, Savor Seattle Food Tours and culinary tours with Edible B.C. in Vancouver, British Columbia. Although the highlights of all these tours is the food, the guides also throw in local history and other tidbits about the cities. It’s a fun and healthy way to eat your way through a neighborhood or two, and a sneak peek of where you may want to return for a true, sit-down dining experience.
My most recent walking food tour was in Spain with Devour Seville Food Tours. Led by our guide, Jamie Keating, our small group spent four hours meandering through select neighborhoods of Seville, making stops at eight eateries. The Tastes, Tapas & Traditions of Seville Food Tour is one of two tours the company offers in this Andalucian city. It lasts approximately four hours, and begins at the Plaza de la Encarnacion. Cost is 65 Euros per adult, 45 Euros 12 and under.
Bodega El Picadero – The tour’s tastings started with Tosta de pringa (pork stew toast), served with coffee or tea. We joined a number of locals at this popular bodega that has been open for 75 years, with the current owners running it for 25 years. Calle Arguijo, 6
Corta y Cata – This is one of 40 food stalls located in the Mercado de la Encarnacion, located near the Wooden Parasol — a sweeping structure completed in 2011 that claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world. We eagerly sampled Jamon Iberico de bellota (acorn-fed Iberian ham), expertly sliced on site. Other unusual food items for purchase include meat from fighting bulls that didn’t fight, along with rabbits (fur included) and egg yolks. Mercado de la Encarnacion.
Convento Madre de Dios de la Piedad – What better way to bless a food trip than with Naranitjos nuns’ cookies? This order of cloistered nuns runs a bakery in their convent, which once housed a synagogue. The cookies are made from almonds, egg yolk, sugar and an orange glaze from non-Christian recipes. Calle San Jose, 4
En la Espero te Esquina – From nuns’ cookies we moved onto Mantecado de lomo al whiskey (pork loin roll with secret whiskey sauce), served with Tinto de verano (summer red wine, similar to Sangria) or draft beer. A family run business since 1959, this is a Holy Week hangout; the largest Holy Week in Spain takes place here in Seville, and attracts a million people. Calle Corral del Rey, 10
Taberna Peregil (La Goleta)– It was time for a beverage break, and here we bellied up to the bar where we sipped and savored Melquiades Saenz aromatised orange wine. The taberna opened in 1908. Calle de Mateo Gago, 20
Freiduria La Isla– I’m always searching for the best fish ‘n chips, and I found tasty ones here. Cazon en adobo is a nice spin on the popular fish dish, made with vinegar and cumin-marinated sand shark — also known as dog fish. It was served with adobo sauce and a glass of Manzanilla sherry (white sherry). Calle de las Conchas, 9
La Taberna– Home-cooked tapas were on the menu, along with a beer/wine/soft drink. Tapas means “to cover,” and the Spaniards used them to cover up their drinks from the bugs. Although tapas are often served free elsewhere in parts of Spain, not so in Seville. Calle Gamazo, 6
La Fiorentina.-What better way to end a walking food tour than with ice cream? In this case, Artisanal Sevillian ice cream. This ice creameria was featured on the BBC’s Rick Stein’s Spain, and at the helm of the sweet delights is Joaquin Liria, who creates unusual and colorful flavors. Calle Zaragoza, 16
Walking Tour Tips: Take the tour the first day you’re in a city; it’s a good way to figure out where you want to dine during your visit. On this Devour Seville Food Tour, we received a handout of favorite places for breakfast, snacks and wine, traditional and modern tapas, cocktails and restaurants. Also included were recommendations of the best markets and where to find fusion tapas. Of course, wear comfortable footwear and loose-fitting clothes on any food walking tour. Bon Appetit! — Photos and story by Sue Frause, RFT Contributor
Want to learn more about Spain? Check out these and other fabulous realfoodtraveler.com stories. (Just type in “Spain” in the search box to find more).
“Spain Celebrates St. Teresa: 500 Years of Faith” by Betsa Marsh
“Delicious Discoveries in the Heart of Spain” by Lindsay Milch
“Hotel Aldearoqueta, Castellon, Spain: The Little Hamlet” by Lindsay Milch
“A Taste of Spain: Passionately Delicious” by Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor
“Foods from Spain You’ll Love” by Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor
“Le Meredien Hotel, Barcelona, Spain,” by Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor
“Casanova Hotel, Carvelona, Spain: Hip Elegance” by Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor
And, if you want to cook like a Spaniard, check out this beautiful cookcook Charcuteria, The Soul of Spain.