Gastronomy Tourism

گردشگری خوراک

Gastronomy is combination of two words. The word gastro is derived from the words “gastros” which means stomach and “gnomos” which means knowledge or law in Greek. Apart from gastronomy, the word culinary is a word used as a country or a places dishes, food, food preparation techniques and it refers to ingredients, foods that are prepared, beverages, production process, the activities.

The context of gastronomy is about the variety of food and beverages, the production, microbiology of food and drinks, the dietary, eating habits and, restaurant.

Until the 1970s–1980s, dining at three-star restaurants of France was considered as gastronomy tourism, but today it has shifted to experiencing different cultures (Santich, 2004). And in this new era, it is not only a food and beverage issue but also a where, how, when and why we eat and drink issue.

According to the Smith & Costello’s study (2009) food-focused tourists travel as couples, have higher education, spend more than other cultural tourists, stay longer and accommodate in hotels and, the main motivations for them are to have the opportunity for rest, relaxation, and personal indulgence. Similarly, Chaney & Ryan (2012) confirms that gastro-tourists have the experience and knowledge of experiencing the different cultures.

According to Boyne et al. (2003), there are four types of cuisine tourists. The Type I tourists are the ones in which gastronomy is crucial during their holidays and they look for gastronomic elements mostly local food. For Type II tourists gastronomy is also important but not as much as Type I tourists. They do appreciate gastronomic elements when it is presented to them. For Type III tourists gastronomy is not an important part of their holiday, however, they may attend gastronomic events during their holidays. Type IV tourists are not interested in gastronomic elements during their holiday.

Cuisine culture of Guilan is different from city to city and village to village. There are over than 300 foods recognized in this province. As desserts and appetizers are part of gastronomy tourism, choosing Rasht, the capital city of Guilan province, as UNESCO creative citiy of gastronomy is really smart and sophisticated. Not only foods of the village where is surrounding Gileboom inherit the taste and smell from Rasht cuisines, but also this region has its own cuisines.

Omigo is frying beans for Baghala-Ghatogh (Bean Stew)

Omigo, Japanese girl traveled to learn how to cook local foods

Eco lodges serve their guests with local cuisines, desserts, appetizers and eating / drinking habits so they are known as gastronomy tourism destinations. Gileboom makes 13 different foods of eastern part of Guilan, eight kinds of jams, three local cookies, herbal teas, and beverages in each season.

Jams including: Orange blossom, Sour orange blossom, Raspberry, Orange, Kiwi fruit, Fig, Wild medlar, known as Anbu, and Quince.

Orange blossom and Raspberry jams for breakfast

Orange blossom and Raspberry jams for breakfast

Local Cookies: Aab dandun (the cookie gets watered down when as you put in your mouth), Mein-Por (The middle of it is filled), and Keshta.

Ready to put on table

Ready to put on table

Gileboom’s authentic Guilani food tablecloth

Gileboom’s authentic Guilani food tablecloth

Local Foods Recipes

Foods Recipes

You may find Persian Food Tour in Tehran province as the team who hold gastronomy tours there.

Ref: Gastronomy  Tourism,  Motivations  and  Destinations BerrinGUZEL  ,  Müge  APAYDIN

Eco Kolbe

Eco Kolbe

Eco Kolbe is a cottage made of mud and wood in the yard of Gileboom, which has been built in the architectural style of 50 years ago.

One European style toilet with bathroom (all private) is provided in eco Kolbe.

The cottage is equipped with a traditional fireplace and an electric heater (for very cold winter days) and a fan for summers.

Eco-Kolbe has capacity for 4 guests, including 3 traditional style beds and extra coverlet and mattress for the 4th guest.

Steps of renovating eco Kolbe is as follows:

Steps of renovating eco Kolbe

Steps of renovating eco Kolbe

Gileboom is an ecolodge in Gilan province which is located by the Caspian Sea (also called Khazar) and only 20 minutes away from the Hyrcanian jungle.

Ghasem Abad’s songs and music

Ghasem Abad’s songs and music are famous in Iran.

Ghasem Abadi dance is inspired by farming tasks performed during rice plantation, harvest, and tea harvesting. This dance is often performed in weddings and festivals.

This ceremony is held in local people’s house of Ghasem Abad village, Gileboom should obtain permission to take part in the ceremony.

Observing Fishing Activities

Observing Fishing Activities in Ghasem-Abad’s beach

You can observe the process of catching the Caspian White Fish in Ghasem-Abad’s beach from April to October. The nearest beach is located across the main road from Gileboom, next to Ahovan Complex. About 50 meters ahead of the two horse statues on the road, there is a narrow path which leads to the beach.

The duration of this program is 1 hour.

Fishing starts at 6 a.m. in the morning. Spreading the fishing net in the sea and pulling it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. Several boats work along the net while groups of uniformed fishermen and two tractors manage the work from the shore. The tractors have rotaries which pull the main rope. The ropes are tied to each other at uniform distances and are untied one-by-one after reaching the rotary. You should be patient to see the volume of fishes caught, unless you arrive right after the net has been pulled out. The catch is stored in special baskets and sent immediately to a refrigerated storage. No fishes are sold in the beach. The soothing sound of sea waves, shaking boats and flying seagulls, occasional complaints by fishermen of their low catch and getting lost in the crowd that comes to stare at the fishes are all that remain.

Rice Doll (Warzamoshte)

ورزامشته

The Gilaks used to roll up the last harvested bundle of rice straw and hang it on one of the pillars in the terrace. They believed it would bless their rice fields.

The name of this rice bundle is warzamoshte, meaning the fist of rice straw which was harvested with the help of a cow.

Mrs. Houri decorates this bundle as a female doll with a golden skirt.

She is from Nahavand. This doll was originally made with wheat straws and its name was wheat doll. Houri has been living in Ghasem-Abad (eastern Guilan village) since many years and uses rice straws to make this doll, which is also called as the rice doll.

This doll has been produced in cooperation with the Puppet and Toy Museum of Kashan.

Mrs Houri and Warzamoshte

Mrs Houri and Warzamoshte

Kiwi Fruit Picking 

Kiwi Fruit Picking 

Goal: Harvesting kiwi fruits and storing them in baskets and boxes

Best time: October. This time may vary depending on the weather and market rates.

The program:

People are divided into two to three-member teams; the farmer gives pruning shears and baskets to the head of each team. The farmer explains about the kiwi plant and methods of caring, pruning and picking kiwifruit. Finally, the teams engage in picking the fruits and storing them in boxes. Duration of the program is one hour. The guests can eat as well as take home some of the fruits they pick.

Sour Orange Blossom Picking

بهارنارنج

English Name: Sour Orange

Scientific Name: Citrus Aurantium

Goal: Preparing the blossom of Sour Orange

Best time: The second half of May

The Program:

We spread some rectangular cloths under the Orange and Sour orange trees. Then, we shake the branches in full bloom slowly to fall the Sour orange and Orange blossoms. The best way is to cull blossoms.

We dry the orange blossoms so that it is easier to keep it, and then we can use it as herbal tea.

We also use the fresh blossoms to make jams in Gileboom.

The guests collaborate in backing with jams and take their product as a souvenir. 

Raw Materials and Tools: Basket, Colander, A large tray, Gloves, Cloths

Orange Picking

Orange Picking

Goal: Harvesting oranges and storing them in baskets and boxes

Best time: December-February

The program:

People are divided into two to three-member teams. The farmer gives pruning shears, baskets, hooks, and ropes to the head of each team. The farmer explains about the types of oranges and gives tips on picking technique, fixing the ladder on the tree and directing the basket to the bottom of the tree. The customary practices and the special dialect used among the farmers are also explained. Finally, the teams engage in picking the fruits and storing them in boxes. Each group should try to fill at least three boxes in 1.5 hours. The guests can eat as well as take home up to two kilograms of the oranges they pick.

Visit to the Tea Factory

VajarChai Tea Factory

In this visit, the participants get familiar with the process of transforming the tea plant into black and green tea. The benefits of each type of tea are described and the process of producing white tea as well as the differences between organic and non-organic tea are explained. The participants learn to distinguish between the natural tea and artificially flavored teas.

The program’s duration is about 2 hours.

The first harvest of tea plants is carried out in spring (March-May), the second harvest is in summer (June-August) which produces tea with stronger color, and the third harvest is in early fall (September-October). The cold weather in this season increases the sugary material in the tea, leading to tea with less bitterness than the spring harvest. Harvesting takes place every 45 days. The bushes enter a dormancy period in the winter. Cheshan tea factory will be the first factory in Iran to produce white tea.

Types of tea

Generally four types of tea are known in Iran:

  1. Black tea is a type of tea that is more oxidized than oolong, green and white Black tea is generally stronger in flavor than the less oxidized teas. The making process consists of withering, rolling into strips, fully fermenting and drying.
  2. Green tea leaves undergo minimum oxidation during processing. Green tea leaves are non-fermented or very lightly fermented. Several varieties of green tea exist, which differ substantially due to growing conditions, horticulture, production processing, and time of harvest.
  3. White tea is the least processed tea as it undergoes only drying and no fermentation or other processes. It is made of buds and young leaves which have undergone fixation by panning over flames (for polyphenol oxidase inactivation) and then allowed to dry under the sun.
  4. Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea produced through a unique process including withering the plant under the strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting.

The process of tea production in Cheshan tea factory is as below:

Tea processing chart in Cheshan tea factory

Tea processing chart in Cheshan tea factory