One of the factors that affect tourists’ value of experience is the value of consumption where food experience plays a crucial role. While gastronomic tourism had always been in existence, its popularity is very much on the rise nowadays. It is not considered unusual to travel long distances for food tasting and smart businesses are taking the best advantage of this demand. Even if the main purpose of travel is not gastronomy-related, food experience is still highly significant for building a strong experience value. This paper focuses on the gastronomic heritage, its role in creating value in consumption and how the optimal food experience can be achieved in today’s tourism. A true gastronomic experience requires not only good taste but also a harmony of visuals, presentation and service. Therefore, gastronomy will be analysed as a whole process from presentation to service and taste. Creating value in the consumption of food is also a matter of good and fitting representation. As gastronomy is a key element of culture, it is essential to represent the related cuisine if cultural tourism is intended. Thus, related topics will be covered in this paper. The sense of taste and its role in creating an emotional platform for the customer will also be examined alongside value creation in consumption. The paper does not claim the importance of gastronomy only. Due importance is also given for history, heritage, the consumption behaviour of the tourist and stakeholders’ management skills. The reader will, step by step, come to understand the importance of gastronomy. All in all, the paper intends to establish a good understanding of the core aspects of food experience and its place in tourism.
Keywords: Gastronomy, hospitality, food value, food experience, gastronomic heritage.