On a Marana Gastronomy Tour, participants get an immersive, full-circle experience that rolls the Tucson area’s food history and the current innovations of the local dining scene into one afternoon. Seasoned experts with personal connections to the region lead these outings.
Tour participants can pick from one of two tours, depending on their tastes. The traditional, slightly highbrow, Marana Gastronomy Tour, visits two archeological sites, including the recently discovered Las Capas, which is oldest known agricultural irrigation system in the U.S. The tour concludes with a small plate and cocktail tasting at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, which is known for creating innovative dishes featuring heirloom and wild ingredients such as the ancient tepary bean, cholla cactus buds and barrel cactus seeds.
The other, more salt-of-the-earth tour option, titled “A Taste of The Wild: The Marana Wild Foods Gastronomy Tour,” also visits Las Capas, but then delves into the more than 450 edible wild foods that grow in the Sonoran Desert. After participants get a chance to do a little foraging of their own, the tour concludes with a tasting at Marana’s Catalina Brewing Company, where folks can sample beers made using local ingredients, including the brewery’s flagship Mesquite Agave Ale. Food for this tour’s tasting menu is brought in from the local Bean Tree Farm, which specializes in wild-crafted foods featuring ingredients sourced from the Sonoran Desert. Local Fiore di Capra goat cheese and heirloom grain loaves from Tucson’s Barrio Bread bakery round out this wild feast.
Westlander, Liz, Fodor's Travel, February 2, 2019