October 8th, 2014
Move over wild boars. There’s a new set of hunters on the prowl: hotel guests.
With the obsession for local products reaching epic proportions, just about everyone is seeking new ways to up their food-sourcing game.
Culinary activities that were once confined to cooking classes in hotel kitchens are now heading outdoors. Today, hotels lead guests out to traverse craggy ocean rocks in search of seaweed, scale mountains to pick the wildest berries, and tromp through rainforests looking for edible moss.
Often assisting with the adventures are local foragers, who function as culinary stylists, of sorts, to some of the world’s best hotel chefs.
Why the sudden obsession with foraging?
“It’s about economics, health and the environment,” explains Alan Muskat, founder of the foraging excursion company No Taste Like Home, which works with hotels in Asheville, N.C. “Wild food is free, pure, and easy on the planet.”
Want to forage on your next vacation? Here’s where to go:
Sourwood Inn—Asheville, N.C
Taking advantage of Asheville’s edible diversity (thanks to microclimates) and local foraging company No Taste Like Home, Sourwood Inn is one of several local hotels that offer foraging excursions. Additional hotels include Aloft, The Wright Inn, Old Edwards Inn, and Asheville Sanctuary.
The first company in the United States to offer “find dining” outings, No Taste Like Home is all about upscale survival. “Wild food is not difficult to find, and most of it grows right in the city,” explains Muskat. About 120 edible species grow in the Asheville area, and Muskat knows and eats them all.
Sourwood Inn’s package includes two-night accommodations for two plus a 3-hour wild-food foraging outing led by Muskat ($590 for two people). Guests also take home a copy of “Wild Mushrooms: A Taste of Enchantment.”