December 5, 2012
by Jan Engoren
Tour takes visitors on culinary, historic journey through Boynton, Delray
Jamaican beef patties, chicken and dumplings, stuffed sausage, broccoli semolina bread and grass-fed beef sliders are just a few of the culinary treats sampled by two-dozen gastronomic adventurers and history buffs as they toured downtown Delray Beach and Boynton Beach on the Taste History Culinary Tour organized and run by Delray Beach resident Lori Durante.
On a recent weekend about 25 people boarded the mini-bus for the four-hour tour, leaving from Macy's at the Boynton Beach Mall and headed south down Congress Avenue to Delray Beach, which according to Durante, who narrated the tour, was originally named Zion.
Durante has been running historical tours of Delray Beach since 2004, showcasing early history and highlights of the city from its first Midwest founders, William Linton and David Swinton, to early landowners including Henry Flagler and William and Sara Gleason.
Since adding the culinary component last year, intrepid tourists and locals are treated to tapas at Papas Tapas in Delray, Italian pizza and hors d'oeuvres at Scuola Vecchia, and soul food at Donnie's Place in the historic Delray neighborhood of northwest and southwest Fifth Avenue.
"Donnie's is a true cultural and unique experience. They serve really good, down-home, hearty food such as fried chicken wings, pigeon peas with rice and cornbread," Durante said.
Bonnie Brown of Bonnie's Best Bites conducted Ginger Snaps cooking demo at the Secret Garden Cafe in Boynton Beach for the Taste History Culinary Tour held on December 1, 2012
Chef Chrissy Benoit of The Little House restaurant in downtown Boynton Beach with the Taste History Tour Director, Lori
As an avid viewer of the Food Channel and Travel Channel, Durante got the idea to combine her two loves of gastronomy and history.
"I am humbled by the success of the tours and it is gratifying to share my passion for the historical and educational significance of food and the cuisines pertaining to various cultures, Florida history as well as the migration and immigration of different peoples to our area," she said. "The restaurants may change, but the history stays the same."
As the mini-bus pulled into the Office Depot plaza in Boynton Beach, two dozen passengers debarked and entered Palermo's Bakery, where the host and owner, Anna Orlando, put out a large tray of pastry and antipasta salad with stuffed bread.
Connie and Larry Orell of Wellington were enthusiastic about the tour.
"We're having an awesome time and we had some great tapas, fried bananas and pizza," Connie Orell said.
Likewise, Roselyn and Irwin Alberstat of Palm Beach were upbeat about the tour and their guide.
"Lori is very knowledgeable and always smiling," Roselyn Alberstat said.
They had seen the tour advertised in the newspaper and decided to join.
Although they live locally, Roselyn Alberstat said she had never been to the gardens at the Sundy House and enjoyed touring them. "Four hours may seem like a long time to spend on a tour but it doesn't feel like four hours," she said. "It is a thoroughly enjoyable outing and Lori is very organized."
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To purchase tickets go here. Call 561-243-2662.
Click here for Macy's
To purchase tickets on-line for the Taste History Culinary Tour of Historic Palm Beach County, visit tastehistoryculinarytours.org or call 561-243-2662 or 561-638-8277. Pre-payment is required. Private group tours are also available.
Brief Facts about Taste History:
- Offered year-round
- Held on the first, second, third and fourth Saturdays at 11am. Pre-payment is required.
- At least 3 to 4 locally owned and family-owned bakeries and eateries are visited for food tasting. Some cuisines may be culturally-specific. The food portions are hearty.
- Cultural centers or emerging art and craft shops are visited
- Tour travels through historic neighborhoods, downtowns, main streets and off the beaten path.
- Bus riding and 4 to 6 blocks of walking
- Some eating experiences are standing-only.
- Tour is at least 3 to 4 hours
- Food and Florida history are narrated by a guide
- To maintain an element of surprise, each tour is different and never an exact duplication of any previous tour hosted.
- Private group tours are also available during the weekday
- Pre-payment is required. Fees are inclusive
- Tour takes place Rain or Shine.
- Dietary Restrictions Cannot be Accommodated. Click here to read about types of foods served on the tour.
- Taste History is a food tasting tour, with art and history combined, and although there is some sitting it's not a sit-down luncheon but many of the food portions are hearty and most people are full by the end of the tour.
Due to the exceeding popularity of the Taste History Culinary Tours of Historic Palm Beach County, the first seven-months sold-out. To meet the demand for the culinary tours, more dates have been added with the tours being expanded to consist of food samplings in historic Lake Worth including Lantana in Palm Beach County, Florida. Therefore, the tours are held at 11am year-round on the second, third and fourth Saturdays of each month, plus private group tours are offered. The Taste History Culinary Tours of Historic Delray Beach & Boynton Beach, Florida is offered on the third and fourth Saturdays of each month. And, Taste History Culinary Tours of Historic Lake Worth & Lantana is held on the second Saturday of each month, year-round, effective April 14, 2012.
The culinary tours are small-format with the average capacity for the tours being 15 to 20 people. The tour cannot accommodate dietary restrictions.