There are plenty of ways to enjoy local and authentic cuisine while traveling, and we have two more ways to eat local, support the community and get to know the farmers and producers. The best part is these services can also be used when you’re at home. It’s all about Collaborative Consumption (#collcons), and to better understand this movement, two of our Home Exchange team members tried FoodAssembly and EatWith.
Founded in France in 2011, The Food Assembly is quickly spreading through countries like Belgium, France, UK, Italy, and Spain, bringing local produce and products directly to the consumer. Katia tried out her local Ruche (Assembly) in Brussels, and told us she loved the experience.
Different producers are featured every week, so the offerings can be unique depending on the producer as well as the season. Through the FoodAssembly website, you can order organic and many environmentally grown and produced products such as eggs, poultry, milk, bread, fruits, vegetables, and so on.
Katia picked out what she wanted ahead of time. The producers and farmers had a few days to gather the order together, she paid online, and on a specified day and location, she picked up her order.
“Since there is no intermediary between the consumer and the producer, the prices are very reasonable, with products often cheaper than those offered in regular organic shops, for instance,” Katia told us. She added, “La Ruche [The Assembly] is a great way to eat better and to shop fairly, supporting your local producers.”
“It’s also a great way for people to meet not only the farmers, but also their neighbors,” said Mohamed, in charge of La Ruche qui dit oui! of Auderghem in Brussels.
Here are some of the wonderful things Katia got to experience and taste: “I had the chance to taste a delicious croissant with a wonderful organic tea. Oh, and if you visit the Ruche in Auderghem, don’t miss the homemade to-die-for ice cream featured every two weeks! I will surely go back to the Ruche, but this time as a real client!”
So whether you’re traveling and want to sample the local offerings, you can buy local and support the community. Check FoodAssembly’s website (thefoodassembly.com) to find a location near you.
EatWith gives you an opportunity to meet new people and eat great food all in the comforts of home. “Until now, there were only two dining options: eat at home or eat at a restaurant,” explains Joel, EatWith’s global community manager. “EatWith has created a third dining category – the home restaurant, which is changing for the better the way people eat, travel, and make connections.”
Whether you’re traveling for work, pleasure or at home looking to connect to your community, EatWith has created a unique and intimate experience. You can be in the comfort of someone’s home, seated around the table with others, like yourself, who are looking to eat great food and meet new people.
The EatWith team interviews each host and skills range from professional chef to passionate and practiced home cooks. Currently, only 4% of those who apply are accepted to be an EatWith host.
From the EatWith website, choose the city and review the list of events. You can read the details of the event and get to know the hosts, as well as purchase your experience online.
Violette chooses to enjoy a paella by the hosts Elena and Virilo. The guests enjoyed many delicious dishes such as hummus, tapenade and other small bites, patatas con alioli (tasty potatoes in garlic sauce), and a great paella. There was pleasant conversation, good wine, and a very relaxed atmosphere. The night was topped off with a wonderful dessert and wine.
Both companies are in limited countries and cities. However, the movement is spreading. Check their sites to see if they’re available in your area at home and when you travel. Enjoy a new experience, take a moment to enjoy good food, and connect more deeply with the people around you.