One of the best ways to discover a new destination is through its cuisine. On your next trip, opt for a hands-on experience by foraging for native vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Seeing how different plants grow in the wild helps us cultivate a deeper appreciation of the origins of our food. It’s fascinating (and useful!) to learn about which plants are edible and discover all of the varieties of different foods.
Travelers seeking locally-led authentic experiences will enjoy these forage-to-fork programs where they can learn about Indigenous produce at hotels and tours around the world. Culinary teams are inviting travelers to join them for nature walks to discover the origins of our food and to harvest it straight from the source. Here’s where you can go foraging around the globe.
Search for the Heart of Palm with a Mayan Farmer in Punta Gorda, Belize
Join a Mayan farmer for a two-mile walk through the wild woodlands in search of the palm tree which provides a heart of palm. On the foraging tour at Copal Tree Lodge, you’ll have the chance to whack at the tree with a machete until you reach the center to retrieve the heart of palm. Back at the eco-resort’s open-air restaurant, you’ll enjoy your bounty prepared as a fresh salad with local herbs.
Forage for Wild Plants with Iban Tribes-people in Brunei
Gather food in the forest with a member of the Iban tribe that operates Sumbling Eco Village in Brunei. During the tour you’ll come across poisonous plants, so don’t go tasting anything without proper guidance. Collect edible mushrooms, jungle ferns, and cassava leaves which will be sauteed for you for a simple yet delicious dinner.
Pick Edible Plants with a chef in Dominica
Join Zing Zing’s chef on his daily nature walk to harvest ingredients. Pluck edible hibiscus flowers and wild herbs including moringa, sorrel, and bay leaves for seasoning. After your stroll through the Secret Bay gardens, you’ll head to the kitchen, where the chef will teach you how to prepare unique dishes with your findings before enjoying the backyard-to-table meal.
Go Foraging for Seaweed in California
If you’re taking a road trip along California’s Highway 1, don’t miss a pit stop in San Luis Obispo County on California’s Central Coast for a seaweed foraging tour with Marley Family. Be prepared to get wet, you’ll be climbing over craggy rocks and searching in the sand for seaweed. After foraging, enjoy a seaweed ramen bowl prepared with your bounty right on the beach.
Look for Edible Wild Plants in Asheville, North Carolina
No Taste Like Home is the largest foraging tour company in the world and is based in Asheville where there are over 300 wild edibles to be devoured. Join a gathering group on a 3-hour foraging tour before cooking up your findings to sample the local flavors. Once you find an ingredient you love, you can bring the rest of the food you foraged to select local restaurant partners who will whip up a dish using the ingredients you picked for free.
Discover Wild Mushrooms in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Get a little dirty and join the Barnsley Resort’s ‘Garden-to-Table’ culinary program in Adairsville, Georgia. During the nature walk through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a certified mushroom guide will help you identify and forage wild mushrooms such as morels, ramps, chicken of the woods, hedgehog mushrooms, golden chanterelles, oyster mushrooms, bear’s head tooth, the king bolete, and more.