Family Tasting Tours of the Italian Market

Did you know that Tasting Tours of the Italian Market aren’t just for adults? They’re fun for the whole family! Today, I’d like to share some of my favorite stories about kids who have come on the tour.

Patrick trying habanero olive oil

Patrick trying habanero olive oil

Even at a young age, Patrick is a foodie. He loves food so much that his dad wanted to take him on a tasting tour. Despite being the only child on the tour that day, he was totally engaged and had a blast! When I am lucky enough to have a child join the tour, I try to engage them as much as possible, asking them questions or giving them little “jobs” to do and rewarding them with a present, usually they get to pick a dessert (or two!) at Isgro’s Pastries. Patrick was my photographer on the tour that day and one of the most adventurous tasters! When we were in the olive oil tasting, he showed no fear and wanted to try the habanero olive oil—that kid definitely goes for the gusto! He also told me stories of how much he loves to cook. His first dessert that he ever made was a crème brulee and his dad told me that it was one of the best he’s ever eaten. Truthfully, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a website before the year is over. He’s definitely a chef in the making!

If you’re thinking about something to do with your children this Mother’s Day, think about taking a tasting tour!

During the week between Christmas and New Years, I had a family who had out of town guests visiting the area and looking for something fun to do with their six kids. It presented a bit of a challenge, trying to find something that would appeal to all the kids, who ranged from ages 8 to 17! Bringing kids on a tasting tour can be a challenge anyway, as kids can be picky eaters. Luckily, I tell all the restaurant and shop owners on the tour that children will be joining us, so when we stop at DiBruno Brothers, they are very accommodating! They picked out a special cheddar for us and had some Nutella for the kids as well. I also brought some Nutella to the San Roman Tortilleria, where they make fresh tortillas all year long. The tortillas are fresh and piping hot, served with a mild hot sauce and a tongue-destroying hot sauce. When the kids see this, their eyes usually bug out with fear, which is when I pull out the Nutella to ease their fears. It’s also when I discovered that Jonathan, the owner, is a big kid himself. When I pulled out the Nutella, his eyes were bigger than the kids’ eyes! I introduced him to a new food that day and he enjoyed it so much that I left him half the jar!

Kids are welcome on every part of the trip and the shop owners love to incorporate them into the tour! At the end of the tour, after answering a few simple questions, they get treated to a sampling of desserts and treats at Isgro’s and Anthony’s Gelato and Coffee House to conclude the tour. Tasting tours are definitely a sweet way to spend the day with the whole family…just in time for Mother’s Day!