Grenada named world’s first ‘Culinary Capital’

Grenada Caribbean Climate Change
Tourists walk on the white sand of the Grand Anse Beach, Grenada.
Associated Press Photo/David McFadden, File

The London-based World Food Travel Association (WFTA) on Tuesday named Grenada and its sister islands Carriacou and Petite Martinique the world’s first “Culinary Capital.”

WFTA said “Culinary Capitals” is a regenerative tourism program that it devised “to put the spotlight on culinary cultures around the world, as the tourism industry begins to recover after its long hiatus.”

Kirl Grant-Hoschtialek, acting chief executive officer of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), said that “the Culinary Capitals destination accreditation by the World Food Travel Association is a huge achievement for Grenada.

“We are known around the world as the Spice of the Caribbean, so it is fitting that we are the first Caribbean island to earn this designation,” Grant-Hoschtialek said. “This will undoubtedly attract discerning travelers who want to explore the link between food and culture, and who want to ensure that every dish they have on their vacation tastes amazing.”

WFTA said the integration of spices into Grenada’s cuisine has resulted in an overall robust and flavorful national food profile.

“From fine dining to casual beachside restaurants, and even street food, it is undeniable that Grenadians have a taste and flair for delicious food,” WFTA said. “The islands are perfectly positioned as a Culinary Capital, with their many distinctive culinary assets to showcase.”

WFTA said examples include the tradition of saraka; the national dish “oil down”; chocolate; nutmeg ice cream; handcrafted rums; and, of course, the many uses of the spices on the island – both in food and for medicinal and wellness purposes.

Now that Grenada’s unique culinary culture is officially recognized, WFTA said the GTA is set to market the destination to “foodie travelers”, further develop the island’s food tourism offerings, and “put Grenada on the map for consumers who travel for unique and memorable food and beverage experiences.”

Erik Wolf, WFTA executive director, the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism, said that “smaller destinations like Grenada need every competitive advantage, and that is what Culinary Capitals provides.

“Savvy food-loving travelers are adding destinations like Grenada to their bucket lists right now, eagerly waiting for when they can travel again,” he said.

Wolf said the Culinary Capitals program accredits eligible destinations through a rigorous application process.

“The program is about much more than just earning recognition,” he said. “Successful destinations also receive marketing and strategy support for the coming year, as they put their new moniker to good use in their destination marketing efforts.

“And for food- and beverage-loving travelers, Culinary Capitals designation gives them new choices with under-visited destinations, which is exactly what travelers now seek post-pandemic,” Wolf added.


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