Agriturismo – Farm to Table Dining in Italy

Hungarian Goulash

In my “new dining experiences” post I mentioned a third dining experience that deserves its own post. After having researched it further, I’m excited to tell you about it. The concept is farm to table dining while traveling. Guests are prepared a meal using the freshest produce by the farmers themselves, on their estate.

Italy was one of the first to realize their farmers could use a little extra income to sustain their business. The website Agriturismo was born as a platform to sync travelers up with meals and lodging on farms. Farmers who have extra buildings or rooms that are unused can rent them out and provide meals – BNB style. The accommodations can vary from luxury to almost camping-style but generally you get a lot of value for the price. Each farm’s approach is different. You don’t always have to stay at the farms to enjoy a mind-blowing meal (and yes, they are mind blowing).

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TripAdvisor Alternatives Needed

TripAdvisor Search

Most of you are familiar with TripAdvisor; the travel directory which provides ratings for restaurants, accommodations and tourist attractions. For the past 5 years I thought that maybe I was missing something on my annual one-week vacations as I would research restaurants on TripAdvisor; venture to one of the top 5 ranked restaurants only to be disappointed about 50-60% of the time. I find that failure rate high and a waste of money as many of the top ranked restaurants fall into the $$$/$$$$ threshold. For a foodie, when you only have a week or two of vacation a bad meal can make it or break it. I figured my year in Europe would be the perfect opportunity to get down to the bottom of it.

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New Dining Experiences

Brac Lamb on spit

When was the last time, on vacation, you said ” I want to eat what the locals eat” only to follow the advice of some TripAdvisor review; ending up at a restaurant surrounded by other tourists, spending more money than you should’ve and thinking “hmmm….I doubt the local Croatians eat Iberian ham so why is it on the menu?”. I have fabulous news that will benefit both vacationers and at-home diners! Through our travels we’ve discovered a couple alternatives to the traditional meal out.

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Croatian Food Specialties

Croatian Prawns

If you are anything like me, you probably can’t name one Croatian dish. At least, I couldn’t before this trip… The reason you most likely don’t have a Croatian restaurant in your neighborhood is because they make up less than .5% of the US population (about 400,000). Surprisingly, the American Greek population is only four times that and yet it doesn’t take much thought to imagine Greek food: Dolmas,  Moussaka , grape feeding toga-clad women (wait! that’s for a different blog…)

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