When French fur trader Pierre Esprit Raddison arrived in Door County in the late 1600s, he was so impressed with the bounty of the region that he dubbed it “a kingdom so delicious.” Three centuries later, The National Geographic borrowed Raddison’s phrase for the title of the cover article in their 1969 edition – an article that was influential in raising awareness of Door County and launching the tourism industry here.
A few decades later, the phrase lives on in a three-week culinary tour of Door County called Kingdom So Delicious. The tour – which will run from September 7 through September 25 – will acquaint people with local vegetable, fruit, meat and egg producers, many of whom use organic practices. The tour will also include demonstrations on food preservation and cooking as well as many other fun activities to educate and inspire.
Some of the activities in the tour include a picnic lunch at Robert LaSalle County Park, a trip to the research station and a stop at the Belgian “Kermiss” Harvest Festival in Southern Door County in which people will be introduced to traditional delicacies such as booyah (thick soup with chicken, meat and vegetables), trippe (pork sausage with cabbage) and Belgian pie (a sweet treat with raised dough crust and fruit filling).
Along with being a lot of fun, the tour will also encourage environmental responsibility. With education about organic and sustainable farming practices included in the tour, people will learn about responsible food practices, helping them to become responsible consumers.
The tour takes food appreciation to a new level. Not only can food lovers “have a very flavorful experience of Door County,” as Sally Everhardus says, they can actually get close to food, learning about where it comes from and how to prepare it as well as how to appreciate it.
Everhardus is the Director of Administration at the Door County Visitor Bureau and a person who has been instrumental in creating the tour. She herself is quite familiar with the process of raising food since she used to be a sheep, crops, chicken and goat farmer. As somebody who was very involved with the process of growing and raising food, Everhardus wanted to educate others about where food comes from.
“I wanted people to have an experience with food that was primary and personal…when people see how food is raised, they can better appreciate it,” she said.
With the accessibility of food in today’s society, it is very easy to forget all of the different processes that it goes through before it reaches the grocery store. Everhardus hopes that the tour will change that.
“If people think that eggs come from a carton, they will have their eyes opened,” says Everhardus.
The tour was also created to help drive Door County tourism in September, a month in which it usually experiences a lull. As well as being an event unto itself, the tour is also used to help promote motor coach tours and local harvest festivals such as Carlsville Day and the Sister Bay Farmers’ Market. The tours were organized by the Door County Visitor Bureau and the University of Wisconsin Extension Service.
Centuries after Raddison first admired the vast resources in the county, people will be able to experience “a kingdom so delicious” first hand thanks to a culinary tour of the same name. The tour will help people become closer to their food as well as to the rich agricultural history of the area, providing education, entertainment, and a chance to taste all of the delicious foods and drinks that the county has to offer.
Those who wish to take the tours should pick up a booklet, available in a downloadable format online or at many of the Door County visitor centers. Transportation is not provided, and people are encouraged to show up to any and all stops on the tour that interest them. A calendar of tour events can be found at http://www.doorcounty.com.