Monday, November 15, 2010

Cheese-adelphia: Hoofing it with City Food Tours

Eric Matzke, City Food Tour Guide

Whenever I go to a new city, I always try to eat my way across town. It takes planning, though, and sometimes I just wish I could pay a good-natured, food-loving stranger to show me around. In Philadelphia, Eric Matzke is that person. He and his partners launched City Food Tours in 2007, and now they run a series of treks designed to connect foodies to the guts and gizzard of Philadelphia.

On Friday I had the pleasure of eating my way around town with City Food Tours as part of a promotion for a new tour. It’s a 2-hour “Philly Homegrown” extravaganza that starts in Reading Terminal Market and ends with a blind tasting of artisan gelato at Capogiro. In between, we hiked over to Tweed to meet Chef David Cunningham and nibble a 3-course tasting of locally raised pork, beets, and trout.

The best thing about the tour was that it was exactly what I hoped it would be: educational but also entertaining. For two hours, I ate local cheese, dipped apples into local honey, and learned about how to source pork and milk, but I was never bored. The tour moved at a comfortable pace, and along the way we met folks involved in the local food world, from cheesemongers to ice cream makers.

If you’ve got foodies visiting during the winter season, you might find this tour appealing – it’s a good way to get people off the couch and onto the sidewalk. The Philly Homegrown Tour will be offered over the next several Saturdays (Nov. 27, Dec. 11, and Dec. 18). Just be sure to make reservations ($35/person) in advance through the City Food Tours website, or call 1-800-979-3370.

If you’re a cheese'n beer lover like I am, check out the following tour which runs throughout the year:
            Runs 1st, 3rd & 5th Saturday of every month: 3:30-5:30 p.m.
            $45/person (8 beers, 4 cheeses at 2 Old City locations)

Full disclosure: I participated in Friday’s tour as a free guest, but I would happily fork over the $35 to walk it again, if only to wallow in seven kinds of gelato. 

Gelato samples at Capogiro

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