The Taste of Philly Food Tour peels away the wax paper and foil to reveal the fascinating history behind Philly’s favorite sandwiches, breakfast foods (scrapple, sticky buns) and snacks (soft pretzels, Goldenberg's Peanut Chews) and the vibrant and historic Reading Terminal Market where they’re sold.
The tour leaves from the Market information desk at 12th and Filbert streets in the heart of downtown Philadelphia at 10 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday by pre-paid reservation on Brown Paper Tickets for winter/spring tours here and for summer tours here or by calling 800-838-3006. Cost is $16.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 7 to 11, which includes several small food bites and the free "Philly Insider Eats Sheet." Private tours are also available.
In 75 entertaining minutes you will learn:
ABOUT THE TOURGIVERS
Taste of Philly tour owner Carolyn Wyman is the author of "The Great Philly Cheesesteak Book," the definitive guide to this Philly food favorite published by Running Press in July 2009, as well as “The Great American Chocolate Chip Cookie Book,” “Better Than Homemade: Amazing Foods That Changed the Way We Eat,” "Spam: A Biography" and "Jell-O: A Biography." Her food history reporting and commentary have appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Time Out Philadelphia, The Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed, Slate and The Los Angeles Times, and been featured on public radio’s "Morning Edition" and "Marketplace," "Rosie O’Donnell," the Food Network, and the History and Discovery channels. Learn more at CarolynWyman.com.
Gail Kennedy remembers when Market lunches cost $1 and the trains rumbled overhead. She is a retired Verizon employee and former occasional fill-in Market office worker who now sometimes “womans” the Market Welcome Desk. She lives in Center City Philly and is our tour guide team’s leading expert on attending local cultural events on the cheap.
Greg Giovanni’s voice can rise above the heaviest Market din. That’s because he's a thespian who has acted, directed or written for some of Philly’s most respected theater professionals and companies -- Jennifer Childs, Madi Destefano, Grace Gonglewski, 1812, Brat, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre and his own Big Mess company (in the 1990s) among them. Greg has also toured the world as a member of Theatre Nohgaleu, a Japanese noh theater troupe.
Greg's love for Reading Terminal Market was born of regular trips to the Market for honeycomb with his grandmother when he was a little tyke; and more recently by visits to source ingredients for dinner parties, including squab (pigeon) from Godshall’s Poultry. Greg suggests you ask Valley Creamery to make your panini sandwich with duck fat (it costs a little extra but is so worth it) and go to the Lancaster County Dairy for yogurt so rich it resembles ice cream.
Betty Kaplan is a former long-time Market employee. She was director of programming for the Market's demonstration kitchen for much of the 1990s. In this capacity she was responsible for cooking demos and classes and other events. She was also a cooking instructor at Foster’s Gourmet Cookware and Cucina at the Market, and has worked for a number of Market stands, including the Cookbook Stall, Downtown Cheese and the Pennsylvania General Store. In addition to giving Market tours, Betty teaches private cooking classes and divulges secrets on tours of historic Philadelphia she gives to foreign visitors for the U.S. State Department.