Home > "Foodie" Activities > Taste Historic Culinary Tour | Food and History on the Menu

Do you know the historic origins of your neighborhood and environs? It could be as fascinating as mine.

I took this tour 2 years ago and, happily, took it again when my friend Carole was visiting from Tampa. We were part of a group of about 20 who were informed, fed and entertained for 4 hours on this Taste Historic Culinary Tour.

Lori (the guide and director of the Lifestyle and Fashion History Museum) narrated the history of Boynton Beach and Delray Beach as we rode in an air-conditioned van to our first ‘culinary’ stop. The streets came alive with history from the primitive days before Ponce de Leon’s arrival in the 1500s … to the African slave settlers … to the 1800s when investors and developers (mostly from the midwest) arrived and began large scale development projects. Several have been honored with streets and/or cities named after them, e.g. Linton, Boynton, Flagler and Swinton, etc.

Feast Your Eyes

History sets this culinary tour apart from other ‘foodie’ tours.
That, and the opportunity to visit and try the food of some local, ethnic and smaller eateries that might not be on everyone’s radar.

A perfect case in point is DeeDee’s Conch and Rib Shack, a Bahamian family-run spot that serves up delicious conch fritters and ribs, among other things.

At each stop we were greeted by the owners (or managers) who provided their establishment’s history and a sampling of their food. 

And some places, like Sweet’s Jamaican, offered a generous array of tastes.

We were treated to Jamaican patties, jerk chicken, goat curry, rice+beans and sweet potato pie.mosaica533f840d99a7e93954f6dda63091d31cf14dd14
Our next stop was Schaffers Tea Room, a hidden gem in a quaint former parsonage that is now a charming and fabulously decorated tea cafe.
This tiny tea cafe is environmentally and socially active in that it serves over 85 fair-trade teas/coffees and the only pure water on earth GOODWATER® in every drink  — and they donate a portion of all proceeds. Besides beverages, they serve a full menu of food + desserts baked by locals.

Our next stop was Cabana El Rey, one of my favorite restaurants in downtown Delray.

Here we were met with mojitos (smile), a basket of mariquitas (plantain chips) and guacamole, as well as a triple serving of their most popular appetizers (jumbo coconut shrimp on sweet plantain puree, Cuban sandwich empanadas and ropa vieja (shredded beef) in a plantain cup.

Are you getting full? Hang in there … there’s still more to come. While the tour advertises about 4 stops. We actually made 10 stops — and ate in 9 of them!!

We met the pizza maker at Scuola Vecchia

and were wowed by his 9 second pizzas in the beautiful 1000 degree oven.

oh yeah, they put more than one variety of pizza on the table.

Fortunately, now we’re walking and we didn’t have far to walk to the next stop … next door is Le Macaron, French pastries.

All flavors of Macarons …

and candies.
Taste History Culinary Tour

Our next stop was DIG (Doing it Green) for a trio of hummus.14713054125_aebd09a245_z

And then it was the historic The Little House …

where we had a bite of green fried tomato (tomatillo) and mango sangria.

Our 9th and next-to-the-last stop was a brief introduction to the Boynton Beach library and to the artwork of Conrad Pickel currently on display.

historic culinary tour-DSC_0179 copy 2.jpgLastly, we visited Palermo’s Italian Bakery (Sicilian) …

where a table of pastries, cookies, breads and cannolis was waiting for us.
historic culinary tour-DSC_0179 copyhistoric culinary tour-DSC_0179 copy We were satiated — to be sure — but when the owner suggested everyone take one of their freshly baked artisanal breads home, we didn’t hesitate to pick up one of their semolinas and an eggplant parm stuffed bread.

Highly Recommended: The tour is a great way to spend half a day and is enjoyable for both locals and visitors. It fills your mind and belly — and is great value for the money. Pick up and drop off is at a public meeting point by a comfortable air-conditioned van which takes you to the first stop. There is some walking involved but the van meets up with you at some designated points. Places visited and # of stops vary. For further and more specific information, contact Lori at ldurante@mlfhmuseum.org.


9 Comments, RSS

  • bellini

    says on:
    July 23, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    We know that this is the way I love to spend an afternoon the most. Thanks for taking us along with you Joan.

  • Norma

    says on:
    July 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    I remember you writing about DeDe. I would love to do this with you one day…or take me to the ones you like the most.

    • Joan Nova

      says on:
      July 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm

      You’ve got a deal!

  • Sally - My Custard Pie

    says on:
    July 25, 2014 at 2:58 am

    A food tour is my favourite way to discover a place. This one looks fab
    Sally – My Custard Pie recently posted..Fabulous fish – learning what to do with itMy Profile

  • sippitysup

    says on:
    July 25, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Oh I wish we had a DeeDee’s in my hood. I live in Hollywood and there is a lot of well-known lore in the hills where I live and we are over run with folks taking tours. I try to smile and wave but it does get tiresome. I’m sure you Floridians have your share of tourists too. Maybe I shouldn’t complain, huh? GREG
    sippitysup recently posted..Blueberries Bourbon Black TeaMy Profile

    • Joan Nova

      says on:
      July 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Oh, yes, we complain all the time about ‘snowbirds’ and ‘season’ (the equivalent of tourists in your neck of the woods) … so it’s especially nice to find these tucked away hidden gems.

  • Ben

    says on:
    July 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I love this type of tours! Did you know that I worked as a culinary tour guide for a little while in Mexico City? That was such a blast! I love the pics you took of this tour.

    • Joan Nova

      says on:
      July 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Thanks Ben — good to hear from you!

  • Victoria of Flavors of the Sun

    says on:
    August 1, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Oh, what fun, Joan. What utterly fabulous fun. As a native “cracker” of Florida, I am always interested in its history, although I haven’t lived there in so long. Thanks for sharing. Sorry for my long silence. I haven’t received any of your posts for months and will sign up again (I think I did this before I left for Paris/Morocco) as I hate to miss a single post of yours. Each one is unique and stimulating to my creativity.

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