If you are a foodie, or are dating or married to a foodie, try one or all these twelve dates to keep your romance sizzling!
1. Visit a local farmers’ market. Think farmers’ markets are only a summer and fall excursion? Think again. Many cities also have a winter market. Winter farmers’ markets typically have cold weather crops such as potatoes, cabbages, and winter squash. No matter what time of year many markets also include locally raised eggs, grass-fed beef, artisan cheeses, and specialty jams and breads. Purchase fresh organic, local, seasonal ingredients and make a delicious meal together!
2. Check out the local winery, micro-brewery, or micro-distillery. Many of these establishments offer tours and a tasting room while others offer a full dining experience. Be sure to call ahead to make any necessary reservations first. It will impress your date, even long-time spouses, if you have done your research on the brewery or winery before you visit. Don’t drink alcohol? Try a local milkshake shack or kombucha bar.
3. Take a “flight.” Wine or beer “flights” have become increasingly popular over the last few years. A “flight” is a sampling of wines or beers from around the state, country or even from around the world. Local restaurants as well as breweries feature flights. Pair your flight with an appetizer sampler plate to make your experience complete. Teetotaler? Make your own flight of artisan sodas from World Market.
4. Eat at restaurants featuring locally grown and raised foods. Unsure where to find an eating establishment serving local foods? Websites such as The Green Restaurants Association have directories of restaurants featuring local foods. Still can’t find a restaurant in your area that serves local foods? Call around and talk to food service managers. Many places may use local ingredients but might not advertise this.
5. Support agri-tourism. Who doesn’t love a field trip to a farm? Agri-tourism activities include everything from picking berries in the summer time to sleigh rides in the winter. Find a listing of farms to visit in your area at Agritourism World
6. Have a picnic. Picnic’s can be both a romantic and inexpensive date. Avid picnic goers most likely have a special spot, but even a city park or your backyard will do nicely. Picnic foods can be as simple as a couple of sandwiches and pieces of organic fruit. Take-out from your favorite deli can make for a spontaneous picnic anytime. Be sure to have a plan for inclement weather such as a candlelit picnic on a blanket in your living room during an unexpected downpour.
7. Take a class together. Have you ever wanted to keep urban honey bees? Would she love to learn how to make biscotti? Does he want to grow micro greens? Find a class you would want to take together. Some classes are offered for a night or weekend, while others may be several weeks long. If you can’t commit to 12 weeks taking an organic gardening class at your community college, then find a one-night only or weekend course on a similar topic. Classes can be found for every budget and commitment level.
8. Satisfy a sweet tooth. Visit the local chocolatier’s candy shop. Get coffee and pastries from your favorite bakery. Take a trip to that new cupcakery together or that new little gourmet ice cream. Are you always to full for dessert after you eat at your favorite restaurant? Go just for dessert!
9. Food Truck Pit Stop!! The foods served from these trucks have become more gourmet to entice sophisticated taste buds and desire to try something new. These mobile kitchens serve everything from home-style ice cream sandwiches to Korean fusion foods, and many feature local and organic ingredients. If you are familiar with the food trucks in your area, follow their Twitter feeds as many of them tweet their daily specials as well as location that day.
10. Attend a chili cook-off. Support your neighbors and friends or enter together as a couple. Whether you sample the fares of others or participate as contestants with your killer 5 alarm organic chili, a chili cook-off is a fun social event. If you are worried about gas, opt for bean-free chilis. You can also add an element of competition and place friendly bets with your date such as who will win each category. Heat things up even more by competing against each other! And I repeat; if you are worried about gas, opt for bean-free chili.
11. Peruse an antique store. Does she love vintage cookbooks or cookie cutters? Does he have an affinity for vintage enamelware? Do you both appreciate classic food advertisement prints? The antique store is just the place to go. Make a day of it, and seek out several antique shops. Be sure to each come home with a treasure!
12. Rent a movie. Yes, rent a movie. Whether you stream them online or still go to the local video store, movies and movie nights are a staple in most relationships. Just take it one step further. From documentaries about sustainable farming to romantic comedies about chocolate, you can find a movie to satisfy your tastes. Don’t forget the gourmet popcorn and a snuggly blanket for that Netflix and chill session.