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Columbus food tour to cater to meat lovers

Albert Thurn, owner of Thurn’s, which is located at 530 Greenlawn Ave., teaching tour-goers about the smoking and curing meat process. Credit: Courtesy of Columbus Food Adventures / Thurn’s

Albert Thurn, owner of Thurn’s, which is located at 530 Greenlawn Ave., teaching tour-goers about the smoking and curing meat process.
Credit: Courtesy of Columbus Food Adventures / Thurn’s

Columbus carnivores will have the opportunity to gain an inside look at some of the most specialized meat vendors in the area.

Former Ohio State women’s rowing coach Bethia Woolf went from guiding coxswains to carnivores. Now a food blogger, tour guide and owner of Columbus Food Adventures, Woolf is slowly taking on the Columbus food scene.

“We looked for places that were doing the most delicious and intriguing things with protein,” Woolf said.

The Meat Lover’s Tour, set to take place Thursday, is one of eight of the public food tours Columbus Food Adventures offers.

“With the popularity of food TV, it’s clear that people want to understand more about different cuisines, what they are eating and why,” Woolf said.

She said the recent changes in food culture inspired her idea to provide foodies with an opportunity to eat good food while gaining behind-the-scenes experiences with chefs and business owners.

The food tours evolved from some of Woolf’s websites, including Alt.Eats.Columbus, which reviews alternative and ethnic eateries around Columbus, and Taco Trucks Columbus.

“Through them, we had uncovered a variety of different restaurants and cuisines that hadn’t been widely publicized and realized that there was a lot of interest in having an experienced guide show them to people,” Woolf said.

The Meat Lover’s Tour makes four stops at including Skillet, Thurn’s, Apna Bazaar and San Su BBQ.

Albert Thurn, owner of the family-run meat business, said Woolf had been a customer for years when she approached them about Columbus Food Adventures.

Thurn’s began when Alois Thurn immigrated to Columbus and passed down meat processing secrets to his sons and grandsons. Thurn’s sells its products Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and other days of the week are spent in production. Meat production is done the same as it was in 1886, such as the three-week process for curing and trimming ham.

During the tour, guests will be taken through the production area and smokehouse while receiving samples of the European-style meat. Tour-goers can purchase anything they sample on the tour.

Thurn said he welcomes the chance to increase business while teaching people more about smoking and curing meat.

Apna Bazaar, the third stop on the tour, is a Pakistani Halal meat market and grocery store. Halal meat is prepared according to Islamic law, meaning certain cuts and animals are prohibited.

The tour caps off at San Su BBQ, a Korean restaurant where guests will try two traditional barbecue beef dishes.

Jae Jung, owner of San Su BBQ, said Korean barbecue differs from American barbecue in that it is served with a variety of vegetables, rice, lettuce wraps and sauces.

Woolf encourages guests to come with an appetite and an open mind. Sampling the variety of food for the cost is a rare opportunity, she said.

Tickets for the Meat Lover’s Tour are $60 and include travel and provided food. Thursday’s tour at 6 p.m. has hit capacity, but other dates for the tour include Oct. 17 and Nov. 14.

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