I recently had the opportunity to cross the Mediterranean with Oceania Cruises. Crossing the Riviera and dining onboard has been a to-do list item for years. Oily olives Drizzled with his oil, sprinkled with freshly squeezed lemon and topped with fragrant herbs, the local dish is a foodie’s dream. A great excursion with a focus on local cuisine will enhance your experience, introduce you to local foods, and impart nuggets of wisdom and food history along the way.
Here are just a few of the fun, food-focused excursions offered on Oceania Cruises Mediterranean cruises. Oceania offers guests a local culinary experience that would be difficult to imitate on their own.
Note: Some of the information in this article was obtained during a sponsored press trip, but all recommendations are my own.
1. Provence truffle hunting and wine tasting
One of my favorite excursions are the ones that take you on a journey like no other. Learning about truffles, how, where they are grown and how they are harvested is a quintessential Provence experience. But we got a demonstration. Four-legged truffle hunting puppies can smell truffles from up to 30 meters (98 feet) away.
Enthusiasts have been working with truffles for over 40 years, but have never been able to perfectly replicate the tree/vine/soil conditions required to grow this amazing fungus. Harvesters still rely on local knowledge and training of truffle hunters to unearth the popular delicacy.
Our hosts, the Hostellerie des Vins de l’Ogne Winery and Elsa Halac, our guide for Provence Tours of the Five Senses, will guide our small group through the life of the truffle and the state-of-the-art production facility where they produce beautiful truffles. took me on a trip to , mainly rosé wines.
We simply had a slice of brie covered rustic bread and a few delicious slices of truffle with black truffle. Light snacks are perfectly paired with a range of wines, including Château Trés Valles, Lambassadeur and his L’Initiale label from 1925. We tasted nine wines during our visit and we were a very happy group on our way back to the ship.
2. Olive oil production
On a peninsula between the Bay of Kotor and the Adriatic Sea, Luštika is home to the Moric Family Olive Farm, an eight-generation family-run olive farm. Strolling through olive groves while sipping traditionally distilled liquor, Rakiaand munching privilegeI could definitely feel my blood pressure drop when I served my fried donuts with their own honey.
We received a hands-on class on how to tell if extra virgin olive oil is real olive oil. When I got home, I repeated the same thing. My commercial brand was not pure and sadly fake. If you have the chance to go for an olive oil tasting, I highly recommend you try it.
After the tasting, we sat at a long table in the cool cellar next to the ancient olive oil press, once pressed by the power of a donkey. We were treated to salty ham, soft cornbread, mild cheese, sharp olives, farm-fresh hard-boiled eggs and sweet tomatoes.
Our tour was led by our guide Ivan Mitrovsky, who also leads Baltic focused small group tours with Overseas Adventure Travel. He gave an overview of the history of Montenegro’s geographical, historical and cultural context. The peaceful communities along our route showed little sign of the turbulent history of the Baltics.
3. Fattoria San Donato
San Gimignano, Italy
The small medieval village of Fattoria San Donato epitomizes the Tuscan countryside with rolling hills, cobbled streets, sturdy buildings and beautiful gardens.
The charming farm and winery have been owned and operated by the Fentzi family since 1932. More than just a winery, you can rent an apartment that immerses you quietly in the Tuscan hills.
Our farm-fresh meals included local ham, silky salami, crunchy bread drizzled with olive oil, farro salad, olives, and of course, sumptuous cheeses. It was a luxurious lunch with excellent compatibility.
4. Farmer’s Cooking Experience
Our ship docked in Civitavecchia, Italy. An agricultural area on the west coast, just north of Rome and south of Tarquinia. We drove through rolling hills to Agriturismo Il Mandoleto, a restaurant and farmhouse culinary school.
Traditional dishes are prepared with a nod to artisanal cuisine. Our instructor was Nonna, who has years of cooking experience, and took us step by step through the art of making soft, supple pasta. Manipulating raw materials into silky fabrics is a challenge to perfection. Learning to cut and mold the dough into traditional pasta shapes was a fun exercise in dexterity.
To complement Sensei’s perfectly cooked noodles, I made Amatriciana, a guanciale (pig’s cheek)-based sauce made with tomatoes and pecorino romano. A rich sauce envelops the pasta, yet the simple ingredients bring out all the flavors.
5. Positano and Amalfi coastline by the sea
There are many beautiful spots along the Amalfi coastline where you can explore and join us for a beautiful lunch or aperitif. An excursion along the Amalfi Coast, including wine and local cuisine, will hit all the right foodie notes.
Simple things can leave a lasting impression. Our catamaran tour of the Amalfi Coastline stopped in Positano for a few hours. We walked around, shopped and ordered gelato at Covo Dei Saraceni. One of Positano’s luxury hotel restaurants. The gelato was perfect for a muggy August afternoon and we enjoyed a classic Riviera sand-toe moment on the beach.
6. Seraud Winery
The Ceraudo winery, including the restaurant Dattilo, is located in the Calabria region on Italy’s southern coast. The climate is perfect for growing beautiful olive and citrus orchards, vineyards and vegetables. Family-owned organic farms and wineries are leaders in the organic farming movement in the region.
Organic wines produced from grapes suitable for hot and dry regions include the flagship d’Atillo. A full-bodied red, Datillo is a great companion wine. Nduja -local cuisine. ‘nduja, a buttered sausage served as a paste or spread, is made from a blend of pork parts and hot peppers. Become.
7. Walking tour
Booking a walking tour that offers a local foodie element is a great cultural experience. A walking tour of Crotone, a coastal town at the foot of Italy’s boot, reveals classic churches and squares. It also gave us some free time to explore the wonderful open air market. The produce is artfully arranged in colorful shapes to entice passers-by to stop, smell, and purchase the beautiful fruits and vegetables.
It’s not always possible to bring fresh produce back on board, but look for dishes on the ship’s menu that highlight unusual items like these gorgeous yellow melons. They are adept at using local delicacies when serving. He often has a restaurant or two that serve menus based on the port where the ship is docked.
8. Neapolitan pizza
Thinking of classic Italian pizza immediately transports you to the Campania region. The birthplace of modern pizza, Naples is the perfect place to see and learn about traditional pizza-making techniques. Named after Queen Margherita of Savoy, Margherita Pizza is the standard by which all pizzas are measured.
Neapolitan chefs take great pride in their pizzas, using only the freshest local ingredients. Mount Vesuvius towers over the city, providing rich volcanic soil to grow herbs, garlic, tomatoes, and grasses that grow beautiful for cows. Fior di latte (Mozzarella).
9. Culinary Center
You don’t have to leave the ship to enjoy the food tour. Oceania Cruises’ Culinary Center offers guests a hands-on cooking school led by an executive chef and a team of assistants. Small-group classes are a popular onboard activity that allow students to view, learn, and participate in culinary-themed menus.
My class attended the Sicilian kitchen.we made Sicilian arancini — Baked rice balls with mozzarella cheese and green peas. Our main course was pasta with shrimp and pistachio pesto topped with perfectly toasted Sicilian breadcrumbs. For dessert, I learned how to make homemade ricotta cheese for the ricotta cheese tiramisu parfait.
Shore Excursions for Foodies
Culinary tours, wine tastings and cooking classes immerse us in the local culture and enhance our adventures. Sharing a kitchen table with a local chef and tasting creative dishes is a great way to explore the Mediterranean gourmet scene.
pro tips: The most popular tours fill up quickly, and gourmet enthusiasts go crazy for a great experience. Book your food and wine tour as soon as possible.