Image: Tasty food
David Lanthem Reamer
There is no shortage of delectables in Portland, Ore., Tasty N Sons’ being one example. (Some of its offerings are pctured here.) The compendium, "Portland’s 100 Best Places to Stuff Your Faces," includes award–winners and food carts alike.
updated 11/5/2011 8:52:36 AM ET 2011-11-05T12:52:36

No matter how you tip the gastronomic scale, one thing is certain: Eating well and traveling well go hand-in-hand.

Regardless of whether you’re a full-out foodie or a humble supper guest, meals form memories. But instead of picking a travel destination and then figuring out where to eat, why not plan an unforgettable vacation experience that revolves around food?

Slideshow: World's top foodie getaways

From cheese tastings in Bordeaux with the head chef of Chez Panisse to intimate master classes with Jean-Georges Vongerichten in his kitchen, hands-on culinary trips offer an opportunity to return home with a new-found mastery of cooking’s secrets.

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To experience the flavors of turmeric, lemongrass and coconut milk, Thailand’s Four Seasons Chiang Mai offers travelers the opportunity to shop at a local market and then prepare a lunch using local produce. If seafood is the order, Nova Scotia’s Trout Point Lodge offers classes in how to cook with lobster, mussels and oysters.

Not all culinary trips have to involve slicing and dicing. Whether a traveler’s preference is fine dining and white-table-cloth establishments or charming hidden-gem eateries (and their legendary treats), it’s possible to pick epicurean destinations that give an intimate glimpse into a new gourmet world.

Take a pilgrimage to Copenhagen, Denmark, to dine at Noma, where foodies clamor to experience Rene Redzepi’s revolutionary food experience. Or venture to Tokyo for a personally curated tour of the city’s best eats.

We may never know whether it’s the blueberries or the ocean air that makes a cobbler in Maine so delectable, or if it’s the sourced-on-the-scene truffles or the rolling Piedmont hills that makes us twist another heap of tajarin into our pasta bowls, but Departures can show you how to get there.

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