A culinary tour is one where you take your taste buds to the vacation as well, along with your eyes and spirit. It is an exploration of the flavours that the place has to offer, and finding out the culinary history, recipes, culture and traditions just like you would do with any attraction site.
Culinary tourism is not just your usual dining out during a tour. The itinerary of the trip is scheduled with special emphasis on visiting food-themed destinations and indulging in similar activities like cooking demo. What better place in India to do that than the God’s Own Country itself? Kerala has the most unique palate when it comes to culinary tourism. While many people confuse all south Indians cuisines to be the same, the truth could not be farther from this.
Our Kerala Culinary Tour Package takes you to Kumarakom first where you visit local farms, enjoy demo cooking classes and get to participate in an authentic vegetarian wedding feast. After taking a tour of the spice and tea plantations of Periyar, a short trip of Cochin and its attractions will be like an icing on the cake. Finish the trip with the taste of an original home-cooked Malayali meal lingering in your mouth and heart.
On the first day of your culinary tour, you will be arriving at the lovely port city of Cochin – the city where Vasco da Gama breathed his last – and you will be transferred to Kumarakom which is around an hour and half away by car. You will stay in Hotel Coconut Lagoon – a heritage backwater destination along Lake Vembanad. After freshening up, a lovely Rice Boat will be ready to take you on a sunset cruise in the serene ambience and tranquil waters of the famous Kerala backwaters. There will be the captain/sailor on the boat to answer all your curiosities about the place and also let you in local secrets. Delicious meals will be served for you on the boat as you enjoy the sun disappear behind the greenery of the canals. In the evening, take part in the cooking demo arranged for you at the hotel.
Next day after breakfast, a short cruise will take you to Philip Kutty’s farm, which is a small and cosy homestead on a backwater island amidst the greens. It is an excellent place to see and experience the rustic Keralite cultivation. Take a walk around the tropical fruits and vegetables farm, followed by a demo of simple south Indian home cooking and a hearty lunch. If you are from any other part of the country or the world, the recipes and methods would surely fascinate you. Return to your hotel after sundown for yet another demo class and overnight stay.
You get the first half of the third day free for relaxation and leisure activities. In the afternoon, join the demonstration of preparing an eclectic vegetarian wedding feast, colloquially called ‘Sadhya’. You will be served the meal in lunch on green banana leaves and it is meant to be eaten by hand. You would be surprised by the delightful flavours and the sheer variety in taste that vegetarian dishes can bring. Take the afternoon for yourself before returning once again for a cooking demo in the evening. Don’t worry – no recipe will be repeated and you’ll see something new everyday.
Next, you will be experiencing the culinary joys of evergreen-covered Periyar. The 2 hours drive from Kumarakom to Periyar via Manimala will be an enjoyable one with a visit to the Kanjirapally Plantation. This plantation is a small patch of green resplendence amidst the crowd. Enjoy a warm and lovely home lunch at the bungalow. If you are up for it, there will be arrangements for taking a tour around the rubber plantation for which Kanjirapally is famous, and do some toddy and rubber tapping on your own. Swimming in the Pampa River is also something you might love to do. After your arrival at Periyar, you will be transferred to your hotel Spice Village and enjoy the evening demo there.
Periyar is blessed with the lush plantations of over a dozen exquisite spices. Some of the more popular ones are cardamom, peppercorn, coffee, tea, clove and nutmeg, and many other Ayurvedic plantations which help in therapeutic healing. On the morning of your fifth day of the tour, take a ride around the spice plantations of Periyar and see for yourself how the different spices are grown, cultivated, plucked and stored. Follow this up with a visit to the famous tea gardens of Periyar and see the pluckers at work. Keep the evening for a lovely boat ride on Lake Periyar – a very romantic adventure.
This is one truly leisure day for you, as there is no fixed tour or moving scheduled. You can spend the day however you want. Be there at the hotel before the evening cooking demo.
Make your way back to Cochin on the seventh day for a comfortable stay at Hotel Brunton Boatyard. Cochin is known for its beautiful boat rides and you will be having a scheduled boat ride in the evening, enjoying the lovely experience as promised.
Cochin is a city that is still embalmed in the history that its streets bear. The morning on your eighth day will be to take a dip in that pool of history and tour around the city. You will be visiting the ancient Spice Market at Mattancherry, which is a modern version of what the Arab, Chinese and European merchants must have witnessed in the medieval time. The next stop will be at the Chinese Cantilever Nets in the beach of Fort Kochi. These nets have been here for the last 500 years or more, and even after the original owners of the nets left town, the mechanically-controlled fishing device has been used by the local fishermen of current age. You might not be able to see it in use when you arrive, but just witnessing them is quite spectacular in itself. Have a ‘history’-themed lunch at your Hotel Brunton Boatyard and take some rest before heading towards the iconic Kathakali dance performance in the evening.
Spend the morning of your penultimate day in leisure and gear up for a cooking demo in the evening at a private Kerala house arranged by us. Learn the delicacies of Malayali home-cooking and also get to taste its beauty later at dinner.
Have a safe journey from the railway station or airport of Cochin with a bagful of gifts and memories back to home.