Take a bite on the wild side

The Arizona kitchen is like a log-book of its rich history, fusing the culinary traditions of its Native American indigenes, Spanish colonial settlers, cowboys and everyone else who has ever called this desert wilderness home.

Cattle and other livestock came to Arizona over 300 years ago. Cowboy culture caught America’s imagination in the 1920s and 1930s. Today, Arizona ranchers produce enough beef to feed 4.6 million Americans every year. You can even visit a guest, or ‘dude’, ranch to experience the fun and adventure of the wild west: campfire dinners, barbecue grills and everything else. Arizona is home to the finest cuts of beef in the United States of America, from ribeye to T-bone to Angus. But what makes them really special is the world-famous, all-natural Arizona steak seasonings using local spices, wildflowers and plants such as saguaro and prickly pear cactus. Mesquite is a tough, drought-resistant plant, which, when used to barbecue, adds a distinct flavour to the food through its smoke. Recently, chefs have been inspired to create Saguaro cactus-flavoured barbecue sauce, which you can find in the gourmet food shops around Arizona. Who knew wild ingredients could taste so good?

You will also have the opportunity to try Navajo-Churro lamb, the oldest surviving breed of sheep in the US, introduced in the 17th century. But this close to the Mexican border, there’s no reason to restrict yourself to one type of cuisined. Scotssdale is bursting with colourful, authentic Mexican restaurants. The Saguaro Hotel serves some of the best tacos, burritos, enchiladas and , quesadillas around, and also features a premium tequila lounge with more than 100 different varieties of blancos, reposados, and añejos.

In Sedona, you will enjoy a three-course meal based on in-season, local and organically-grown produce. Try pine-smoked venison at the creekside L’Auberge de Sedona or enjoy elegant, award-winning Italian at the Cucina Rustica, where the only thing better than the food is the extensive wine list.

Officially recognized travel agency

VVR registration nr. 9733