Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eat the world and have it too

Social media is a wonderful tool to find out great ideas and opportunities, especially when it comes to the world of travel. It is how I discovered eat-the-world, a company based in Germany organizing various culinary tours in (for the moment): Berlin, Dresden, Cologne, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Muenster. If you visit one of those cities in Germany, don't hesitate to make a reservation for a different experience.
Elke Freimuth, the founder of the company, explains more about the idea and the future plans in the following interview.

Preserving and highlighting the food, culture and people of the city

What is the idea of your company? What can expect a tourist to experience when booking a tour?
Photo credit:
The surprises of a tour in Berlin
The idea of eat-the-world is really simple: to get to know a place through its food and people. We want to show what life is like in a given district, so we show tourists the different cultures and foods found in these places. I was always curious about the food and the local way of life during my travels, but it was my stay in New York that really inspired me. While I was there, I noticed that small, family-run businesses were suffering because the large chains were taking over. In a way, these chains were driving the culture away. With this in mind, I came back to Berlin and started eat-the-world. It was my way to preserve and highlight the food, culture and people of the city, while helping out small businesses.We are very selective with our local guides, so tourists can expect a real insider to guide them around any district. Our guides have usually lived in their district for several years so they really know what they're talking about. They're very informative: they have stories to tell, local spots to recommend, and notes about architecture and history to share. Of course, there's the food. We take tourists to seven shops and restaurants that may not necessarily appear in guidebooks, but are true to what the locals eat and where the locals go. They get a sample from each shop, be it a Turkish pastry, an Italian gelato or a Berliner currywurst.
"We only work with passionate foodies"

How did you make the selection of the German towns included in the project? What are their main culinary profile? 

We only work with passionate foodies who are very knowledgeable about their cities. The same goes with our process of picking restaurant and shop partners. We select our partners very carefully. Our goal is to highlight the small, family-run shops that offer high quality food, which locals appreciate, and our participants too.

Do you plan to expand the project further, by including other German towns?Definitely. Soon we'll offer tours in other German cities.
What are your plans for the next six months?Beginning in April, we're launching separate English-only tours in five of the seven German cities. We'd like to have this option in all of our cities in the near future.
What kind of tourists are enjoying your tours?We get a good mix of tourists and locals. A good percentage of our customers is German-speaking, but the percentage of international tourists is also growing, hence we decided to offer separate English-only and German-only tours. The good thing about eat-the-world tours is that it's really ideal for everyone. Food always brings everyone together.

"My shop has to be part of your food tours!"
What was the most pleasant experience you had lately that made you happy to launch such a project?
We are always very happy to see that there are a lot of people doing excellent, handcrafted food products. What they are doing every day is outstanding: delicious food, handmade. So recently, an owner of a candy shop (who sells handmade candies) called us because he heard about eat-the-world and he said, "My shop has to be part of your food tours! I do exactly what your philosophy expresses." He was very excited and insisted that we check out his products. Now, he's one of our partners ;-)

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