1. Tell us about yourself and your food tour: Taste of Troy Food Tours
Amy Koren-Roth, Founder and Forever Foodie, Taste of Troy Food Tours LLC, a Women-Owned Business
Inaugural Tour: May 2016
THE STORY BEHIND TASTE OF TROY FOOD TOURS
Taste of Troy Food Tours, Central Troy Historic District Food Tour has been simmering in Amy’s mind since 2013, as retirement from public health looms nearer. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist, who has worked in public health for 26+ years. Amy has spent time in 31 countries and lived overseas for 6 years. While overseas, she cooked for a community of 50-150 people and ultimately ran the kitchen. When she returned to the States, she earned a master’s in community nutrition. Amy has lived in the Capital Region of New York for more than 22 years.
Amy wanted to combine her passions: food, travel and history, and share them with others. Amy keeps up on new food venues, reading reviews, tasting to find her favorites and sharing recommendations with others. She was inspired by the more than 15 food tours she has taken around the country and the world and wanted to bring this unique experience to the Capital District for both residents and visitors to enjoy from May through October.
In 2014, Amy attended an intensive course for Food Tour Pros. The final push to launch the tour came a year later when Amy attended the first ever Global Food Tourism Conference. Food Tour owners from all over the US and the world were in attendance and very generous with their knowledge and experiences. Food tours are about tasting fresh local foods, prepared in traditional or new ways. Amy believes the best way to experience a city is through food which tells the story of an area’s people, history and culture. During the 2015 Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas, the top trends in travel were culinary tourism and Southeast Asia. Food Tours fall under the umbrella of culinary tourism, combining sightseeing and a meal into one delicious experience. Taste of Troy Food Tours is excited to put Troy and the Capital District on the culinary tourism map. We hope you will add the food tour to your list of things to do in the Capital District and specifically Troy.
Taste of Troy Food Tours LLC, currently offers one tour a week on Saturdays, from May through the end of October. The tour meets in the heart of Troy’s Central Historic District at 10 am and lasts for 3 hours. We offer 5 different food tastes and 1 in depth architectural visit to a Tiffany designed church interior. The tour covers 1.5 miles and ends in the amazing Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market, with plenty of time left to shop with the more than 80 vendors. Tickets can be purchased online at: www.tasteoftroyfoodtours.com.
2. Tell us about your city and what made you start a food tour there
Taste of Troy Food Tours is celebrating its bicentennial this year and has been called the New Brooklyn and the Silicone Valley of the 19th Century. In the mid-1800’s, it was the fourth wealthiest city per capita in the United States. While its fortunes waned in the 1900’s, they are on the rise again with the rise in popularity of new urbanism and the creative food entrepreneurs who are opening up shop. Troy has a rapidly expanding food scene and is a perfect walkable city to host culinary tourism.
Located on the East Shore of the Hudson River, it is the northern-most navigable point of the Hudson. The City has preserved many of the historic facades from the 19th Century and its layout lends itself perfectly for food tourism.
1. The 17 year old, year round Farmers’ Market is the number one draw to Troy’s vibrant Central Historic District. The Farmers’ Market has more than 80 food growers, food preparers, bakers and crafts people.
2. Brown’s Brewing Company, opened in the North River Street Historic District in 1993 and was the first craft brewery in NY’s Capital District. It was one of one hundred craft brewers in the country when it opened.
3. Even locals have a lot to learn about the rich history of Troy and the creative food and beverage entrepreneurs who are helping put Troy back on the map.
4.Taste of Troy Food Tours is very close to the Berkshire’s, so an easy day trip for those who summer in Masachusetts. It is close to Saratoga, so provides a change of pace for those up for the Saratoga Race Track or the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. It is one of the three major cities, together with Albany and Schenectady that make up New York’s Capital District.
5. There are multiple colleges and universities in the area, so Troy offers students a great place to take their visiting families.
6. Troy is building its multi-use infrastructure, so that it can be a draw to cyclists and pedistrians.
7. Troy has a wonderful relationship with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and offers many new ideas, a great setting for incubation of new enterprises.
8. New restaurants are opening up weekly and while Troy doesn’t have a defining food, the creative chefs offer a range of ethnic cuisines, top notch cuisine and interesting takes on food truck classics.
9. Troy offers Troy Night Out, the last Friday of every month. Between the Chowder Fest, the Victorian Stroll, Enchanted City – Steampunk Celebration and the summer’s Rockin’ on the River, Troy offers a special event for everyone.
A great way to get oriented, dip your taste buds into some of the wonderful food options Troy has to offer, is joining Taste of Troy Food Tours. While we are not a brick and mortar business, the Troy BID recognizes that we help promote their members in a great light. The Albany Times Union, named us number 7 in the 25 best offerings for out of town guests in the Capital Region. Many of our guests have indicated in their 5 star reviews, that the tour has helped them to see Troy in a new light and consider it a destination.
3. What makes your food tour different and unique?
We are the only food tour in Troy, Albany and Schenectady. There are many other interesting tours in our region however we combine great food tastes, with history, architecture and culture. We have an insiders tour of the Tiffany designed interior of the historic register’s St. Paul’s Church.
Our tour is timed to allow our guests time to shop and explore the amazing Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market. We link our taste offerings to foods that have been offered or available in Troy since the 1800’s. All of our vendors are local businesses, three of them have women chefs and all of them support locally grown suppliers. Bringing food tourism to the Capital Region, hopefully will draw residents out of their own hamlets and communities and entice them to be food tourists in their own backyard.
4. What type of food do we get to try?
We start with hand rolled bagels and store salt cured lox from the Capital Region Living Magazine’s number one bagel shop in 2016; then we visit a tea shop to learn about tea and other infusions; then we are offered a salad and a riff on a Reuben Sandwich by one of our award winning female chefs; next we taste two craft beer flights, paired with an upstate NY classic – chicken wings, from the first craft brewer in the Capital Region and we end with delicious macarons from our treatery, also an award winning female chef. Our guests report being comfortably full by the end of the tour and alternate offerings are available for specific dietary needs (vegan, vegetarian and gluten free.) Each taste stop is spaced with insights on Troy’s architecture, culture and history. Tastings may vary from tour to tour, but we guarantee you will have some favorites and be satisfied with the offerings.