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Spearheaded by the Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum, the Presidio District in Downtown Tucson is resuming its food tour to celebrate Tucson’s City of Gastronomy designation. “The Presidio District Experience: A Progressive Food Heritage and History Tour” will resume this fall on Sept. 19 from 12:30 – 4 pm. The tour will also be held at the same time on Nov. 8 and 14, and on Dec. 2 and will focus on the very reasons that Tucson was designated a UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Another tour is being held on Oct. 21, but that is sold out.
The tour is a collaboration of District merchants with program supporters Downtown Tucson Partnership and Visit Tucson and media sponsors Arizona Daily Star and Cox Communications. The tour has also been endorsed by the UNESCO Creative City/City of Gastronomy organization. It is led by local experts Martha Burgess, Gayle Hartman and Carolyn Niethammer, who all have a deep knowledge of Old and New World foods, ethnobotany and local history.
Beginning at the Presidio Museum, participants learn about Tucson’s origins and the food fusions that occurred when the Spanish and Tohono O’Odham were first learning from each other. In addition to tastings of Old and New World foods, participants also enjoy Three Wells Distillery’s Silver and Copper spirits made from prickly pear fruits.
The tour then moves on to El Charro, enjoying some of their most popular menu items and a margarita while hearing the rich history of the Flores family and stories such as how the chimichanga was created.
The next stop is La Cocina Restaurant, located in the longest-inhabited block in Arizona. Participants will enjoy an appetizer made with both Old and New World ingredients while they are told stories about the residents and businesses the building has hosted in the past.
The final stop on the tour is Café a la C’art, housed in the historic Fish-Stevens home at the Tucson Museum of Art. Here, participants will enjoy one of their many famous desserts made with historic regional ingredients and learn about the Fish and Stevens families that inhabited the home.
The cost of the tour is $50/person or $40/person for Presidio Museum members until Aug. 31. Prices rise to $75/person and $65/person for Presidio Museum members on Sept. 1. Pre-registration is required at www.TucsonPresidio.com.
The Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum is located on the northeast corner of the original Presidio at 196 N. Court Ave. The Presidio Museum is a reconstruction of the original Tucson Presidio built in 1775. Docent tours give visitors a glimpse of what life in the Presidio was like for soldiers and other residents. Additional highlights include an original 150-year-old Sonoran row house and a 2,000-year-old prehistoric pit house.
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