A food tour is one of the most popular ways to drill down into a culture, but here in Adelaide the Locale Food Tour at Adelaide’s Finest is the most authentic local food experience you will find.
Food is a part of every culture. It’s a vehicle for communication, and it’s one of the main – and most frequent – ways we experience the world around us. More often these days, a food tour is an important facet of how many of us travel – it’s one of the most accessible and truly enjoyable ways to get an authentic glimpse of a new culture.
Food tourism is a growing industry, and there’s no doubt it’s here to stay. It’s not just about visiting different bars, cafes and restaurants; it’s also about experiencing the local culture through food. In fact, if you’re going on vacation with the intention of eating well, some form of culinary tourism will definitely be factored into your plans.
It’s possible to do all sorts of food tours in all sorts of places, and I know what I’m talking about – I’ve done heaps of them (check out some of my food tour adventures here, here and here), but let me tell you about a local culinary experience that is quite unique.
Here in Adelaide we are lucky enough to have a food/grocery shopping experience that is (as far as I am aware) a complete one-of-a-kind in the whole world. The Chapley family-owned Foodland stores in the southern suburb of Pasadena, and Frewville, offer a complete divergence from the usual run-of-the-mill supermarket shopping experience.
The Pasadena Foodland (and to a slightly lesser extent at this stage, their Frewville store) serves up a boutique range of products and services, many of which most of us will never have seen in a supermarket before.
Think a selection of quality cafés and chef-led restaurants within the store, an oyster bar with a professional sashimi chef, an enormous spice bar with over 300 different products which represent every cuisine in the world. Forget about sup-par ‘supermarket flowers’, and instead think a professional florist in both stores who sources their blooms locally and seasonally wherever possible. Think an in-store patisserie with culinary trained pastry chefs, a full bakery, an authentic salumeria and the most amazing selection of cheeses that you will find in the ‘burbs – anywhere.
Making good on their stated goals of sharing local food love, uniqueness and communication, the Pasadena store also offers an authentic and very grass-roots look at the local food scene at that most basic level – where the locals shop.
Their Locale Food Tour is a small-group tour which is run weekly and takes visitors on a deep dive into their very special offerings. In this interactive food tour, guests meet and chat with the professionals who run the specialised offerings in the store. At each stop visitors learn a little more about each section, enjoying generous tastings and getting to know the products, the stories behind them, and the passionate staff members who oversee each section with enormous pride.
This store, and the food tour, is not just about the food, but also about the people who work here. I was particularly struck by the genuine warmth of the staff, their enthusiasm for their work, and their fondness for the owners Nick (Mr. Nick) and Spero Chapley. These are all people who care about food and who love sharing what they do.
You won’t find another supermarket like this, and you won’t find a more enjoyable and honest way to get to know a local food culture anywhere.
The 90 minute Locale Food Tour, with all tastings and interactive experiences, plus a goodie bag, is $89.
For $149 you can enjoy the full Locale Food Tour plus the Chef’s Table experience – sit down meal of several courses created from produce sourced in-store.
Lambs’ Ears was a guest of the Chapley family for her Locale Food Tour experience.[mc4wp_form id="16750"]