Fermenting Tourism: Look Back to Move Forward

Fermentation captures both the meaning of culture and nature in a process of food transformation. Food heritages and landscapes protect and promote ‘food’ as part of the cultural and environmental values of places. Food tourists aim to discover places through its food, and the values attached to food production and consumption. This research note explores the unexplored relationship between fermentation and food from a tourism perspective. The production and consumption spaces represent avenues towards the process of attaching tourism values to fermentation, which are manifested in products such as bread and beverages such as beer, and also have a strong connection with places such as cheese in Italy and whisky in Scotland. Drawing from the understanding of fermentation as a source of authenticity in food and beverage tourism, the paper is the first to discuss the values of fermentation as a place-based expression to develop the link between food and tourism. This offers theoretical and practical implications of fermenting tourism and opens new opportunities to expand the understanding of the role that people, places and practices play in food tourism spaces. The research note also anticipates the crucial role of fermenting tourism in food tourism management and marketing in the context of regenerative and sustainable development.

Keywords: food tourism; regional development; sense of place; fermentation, gastronomy

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