Taste Belize Tours? They’re Delicious, Fun and Calorie Free!
Even non-foodies admit that Taste Belize Tours are the epitome of culinary experiences. The reason why? This yummy company is run by a food anthropologist.
Few disciplines falling beneath the social science umbrella can match anthropology in terms of mystery and diversity. Iconic anthropologists like Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict and Jane Goodall each helped change the face of anthropology (after all, women weren’t supposed to live in the wild!), and contemporary members of this fascinating profession are setting new standards for research and exploration, too.
Would it surprise you to learn that food has become a hot topic for today’s “applied” anthropologist?
Pioneers include a couple of Helens (Leach and Fisher), each of whom has devoted a good deal of time delving into the role food plays in society. Helen Leach may be today’s most prolific food anthropologist, but that’s only because the world outside Belize has yet to discover Lyra Spang.
This lively Belizean’s love of food triggers an enthusiasm in others that’s so infectious and joyous, it’s hard not to become equally smitten. As the owner and operator of Taste Belize, the only tour company in Central America owned by a food anthropologist, this creative woman sets a high bar for herself. She inspires others and gets to share her passion for food (and stories that accompany every dish) with curious visitors who have fallen in love with Belize and return frequently.
Lyra says Belize food traditions are in her DNA. “I grew up on a cacao farm in the Toledo District and I always had big dreams about my future. Owning this specialty company gives me chances to do what I love, spread the word about the value of food in everyday life and I have the privilege of helping raise vacationing to an art form. I often wonder how I got so lucky!”
Lyra enjoys a unique opportunity to turn everyone visiting Belize into a quasi-food anthropologist, too. “At Taste Belize, we offer unique food- and culture-focused tours and classes for visitors looking for a different holiday experience. Our services include taking visitors from farm, forest and sea to tables across Southern Belize, serving up healthy portions of history, geography, culture and culinary surprises at every opportunity.”
That stated, Lyra refuses to take all of the credit for an enterprise that gets rave reviews from everyone who comes to Placencia, including TripAdvisor plaudits and comments that can only be described as delicious. Ably assisted by a highly-trained team, guides Peter and Wilder and office manager Gueli-whose understanding of Belize society is only surpassed by their culinary knowledge.
“We are always reading, researching and learning more about everything from spices to chocolate, sustainable farming and Belize’s cultural cuisine – our understanding of Belize’s people, environment and culinary traditions is unprecedented,” Lyra adds.
Spang even authored a book entitled “Bite Yu Finga! Innovating Belizean Cuisine” where she shares the story of culinary adventure and evolution in Belize.
A visit to the website tells visitors all they need to know. Who wouldn’t want an anthropologist designing arrangements for group and private tours?
Guests don’t have to bother to go to grad school, yet they return home with a truer understanding of critical topics like sustainability, environmental responsibility and this region’s bountiful gifts via some of the most entertaining activities found in Belize: award-winning cooking classes, cultural tours, introductions to Belize’s wine and rum industries plus the best chocolate tour in the western hemisphere.
When you come to see what all of the excitement is about, bring a bib and wear pants with elastic waistbands. You’re going to need both!