September 18th, 2014
Have you been feeling a bit disconnected from the food chain lately? Do you love the farm-to-table restaurants and caterers with “100-mile menus” that are popping up all over the country? If so, it might be time to take things to the next level.
Alan Muskat is the driving force behind No Taste Like Home, an adventure tour company specializing in wild food foraging. Located in Asheville, NC, their group food hunting sessions start at $60 per person. As of this year, the company has partnered with the Aloft Asheville Downtown hotel, and chefs at two local restaurants (The Market Place and Zambra) to create gourmet package tours priced at $515 per couple.
The program takes participants “off the eaten path.” After hunting and gathering up to thirty different mushrooms, fruits, nuts, roots, and wild greens, the group brings their “catch” to one of Asheville’s top restaurants, where they help prepare a gourmet meal on the spot. Guests then enjoy a night at the luxurious hotel as part of their mini-vacation package. Sounds like a romantic and fun adventure to me!
“We are the first and only company of our kind in the country,” Alan explains. “Being ultra-local, wild food saves transportation costs and cuts back on the pollution associated with growing food commercially.”
But it is not just the environmental savings that are making a splash in the media: people love the experience! Southern Living says it’s one of “five best gift experiences” in the nation. Fodor’s ranks it in the top ten fall food activities in the world, and it’s been featured in Travel+Leisure, Country Living, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, and The Chicago Tribune. It’s wild, and some say crazy — but I say it sounds amazing! It’s an especially fun gift for the gourmet environmentalist in your family or friend group. I’m hoping to go foraging later this year myself.