San Antonio: a Creative City of Gastronomy.

By | Category: Travel news

Tex-Mex dining © Stephanie Colgan

Coming barely a year after the Texas city of San Antonio was granted UNESCO World Heritage status, the city has another honour. UNESCO has now designated it a Creative City of Gastronomy.

San Antonio is only the second city in the U.S. to earn this distinction, and the first in Texas.

San Antonio’s culinary heritage is significant for its confluence of many world cultures such as Mexican, Spanish, German and French, as well its geology and geography.

For 13,000 years indigenous people foraged roots, harvested pecans and hunted game. Trails and river ways brought trade with other groups who introduced gulf coast game. In the 1700s, Spanish colonists and Canary Islanders introduced new traditions and tastes. Other new flavours, spices and ingredients from Europe, Asia and Africa came with German and other European settlers in the 1800s.

Today the city’s culinary scene has grown in reputation such that the Culinary Institute of America has located its third campus in San Antonio. The campus can be found at Pearl, a 22-acre indie food haven in a repurposed German brewery built in 1883. With 18 concepts, including a robust weekend farmers market and the city’s first food hall, Pearl has itself become a tourist destination.

Beyond River Walk and historic walls of The Alamo, San Antonio’s culinary scene has historically been firmly planted in blends of Tex-Mex, but has now progressed to “Tex-Next.”

But what does it mean to be a member of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network. It promotes international cooperation and encourages the sharing of experiences and resources to promote local development through culture and creativity.

It aso attracts tourists and food tourism is becoming an increasingly important element of tourism. Not only do food tourists have more spending power than the average tourist they also are not limited to times of the year when they can travel. San Antonio and the 4,700 plus restaurants must be hoping this status brings more tourists into the city.

 

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