New foodie tours explore little-known world cuisines and delicacies

Are you a foodie with a taste for travel and adventure? Have you mastered the arts of cheesemaking, coffee roasting, patisserie, and charcuterie? If yet another holiday spent making wine in Napa Valley, rolling pasta with Tuscan Nonnas, or whipping up tom yung goong in Chiang Mai makes you want to yawn, then you’re going to love the newest culinary travel company to emerge in this burgeoning industry.

Jaded Palate Tours, based out of San Francisco, California, offers “luxury artisanal culinary adventures” for the the discerning, well-traveled foodie who loves to be on the cutting edge of all that’s edible. Imagine the bragging rights you’ll have after spending a week deep in the Sulawesi jungle, harvesting kopi luwak–the world’s most expensive coffee–with local indigenous peoples. You’ll hand-sort the rare and precious beans by extracting them from the dung of the native Asian Palm Civet cat (after the creatures feast on coffee berries, their digestive enzymes soak into the beans, giving kopi luwak its prized aroma and lack of acidity).If you’re more in the mood for la vida loca, journey to glorious Coria in northwestern Spain to partake in an ancient culinary tradition: the Toro de San Juan. You’ll participate in this public running of the bulls, joining the colorful townsfolk at throwing scissors, knives, darts, and other sharp implements at the fearsome creature until it collapses. In this daring game of courage, agility, and skill, the main objective is to cut off the bull’s testicles while it is still alive. Even if you can’t meet this noble goal, you will have the opportunity to prepare and eat the “criadillas” with a famed Extremaduran chef, in an exclusive Jaded Palate cooking class.

Other offerings for 2011 include: “Tanzania Safari/Maasai Hut-Stay,” where you’ll learn how to herd and bleed your host family’s cow, before joining them for a delicious repast of curdled milk and blood.

Tour the romantic countryside of Gascony, for our “Fun with Foie Gras” adventure. You’ll stay in quaint village pensiones, when you’re not helping local farmers force-feed their geese with the finest non-GMO corn. You’ll learn how to prepare and cook this most classic of French delicacies from local farm wives.

In the Peruvian Amazon “Chewing Chicha Adventure,” sleep in luxe hammocks (mosquito netting included) under the rainforest canopy. Learn to use a blowgun to hunt rare forest creatures for your dinner, and make chicha (the saliva-fermented beverage made from banana or manioc) with the Hauorani people, before joining the village in a traditional chicha bowl-passing ceremony (Malaria and tuberculosis prophylaxis and dysentery not included in this itinerary).

Sign up now for our ultra-exclusive winter tour of the famed “Qing Ping Market Feast” in Guangzhou, China! You’ll shop for the raw ingredients for your hands-on cooking class with a local Master Chef, and then sit down to a traditional banquet featuring delicacies such as Siberian tiger penis, snake wine, and Guangzhou’s specialty: stewed “fragrant meat,” also known as dog. December, 2011 will be the only time this tour is offered, due to the forthcoming ban on dog consumption in China, and the lack of Siberian tigers left in the wild. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Foodies, the world is your oyster. Go shuck it. For more information on Jaded Palate Tours, click here.

As a preview for our 2012 tour, “Mountains, Mutton, and Maggots: Cheesemaking in Sardina,” watch acclaimed Italian chef Antonio Carlucci enjoying the island’s famed Casu Marzu maggot cheese. Buon appetito!