Food For Thought: These Festivals Around The World Will Delight Your Taste Budsby | August 07, 2019
Are you the kind of foodie who likes to take multiple photographs of your salad to document your culinary journey? Or perhaps, you fall into the category of gourmands who are happy trying everything and anything under the sun. Maybe, your epicurean saga is made up of your own culinary experiments. Whatever your gastronomic preferences are there’s a food festival out there with your name on it.
We did the research and found culinary festivals around the world that not only tickle your taste buds but expose you to a new palate and leave you yearning for more. These festivals bring you some of the best gastronomic options from across the globe with a side of music, games, and fun. So mark your calendars, book your tickets, and set out on a foodie-venture.
When: September 13-26, 2019
Where: Naples, Italy
Why: What better place to celebrate pizza than the birthplace of the cheesy flatbread aka Italy at the annual PizzaFest. Join in as millions of people declare their love for the triangle slice in Naples spread over 10 days in September. From classic Napoletana, Margherita, and Marinara to experimental pizzas from pizzerias across the world, there is everything a pizza connoisseur could desire. Impressive installations, live bands, exhibits, conferences, entertainment, and educational workshops, there’s a lot on offer at this food festival.
When: September 21-October 6, 2019
Where: Munich, Germany
Why: With beer lovers flocking to the pubs of Germany every year to sample some of the finest brews the country has to offer along with traditional delicacies, Oktoberfest is a must-visit for any food lover. Accompanying the beer are local delights like bratwurst, pretzels, and roasted meats that make the festival a cultural delight. Along with eating and drinking, visitors can enjoy some communal dancing, parades, rides, and dress up in traditional Bavarian attire.
Salon du Chocolat
When: October 30 - November 3, 2019
Where: Quito, Ecuador
Why: Satiate your sweet tooth at the Salon du Chocolat held yearly in Quito, Ecuador because of the abundance of flavored cocoa beans in the country. Known for producing some of the finest quality of chocolates in the world, the chocolate festival is a way to celebrate the importance of the beans to the country’s economy. Held at the Catholic University, the festival apart from offering a lot of sampling opportunities is a place for international chocolate experts to come together. There is also a fashion show with dresses made out of, well, chocolate, that's a feast for your eyes.
When: June 25, 2020
Where: Hong Kong
Why: In the mood for bite-sized steamy, juicy dim sums? Then the annual Dragon Boat Festival in Hong Kong will float your boat. As the legend goes, after Chinese patriotic poet Qu Yuan who served the emperor in the Chu Kingdom was wrongly exiled he decided to commit suicide by jumping into the river. In a bid to save him from being eaten by the fish, the people started beating their drums and throwing rice dumplings (to distract the fish) to save their beloved minister. This heartening scene has transformed into a dumpling festival where every year, on the fifth day of the fifth month, the Chinese people get together to eat a healthy amount of Zhong (rice wrapped in bamboo leaves, a traditional holiday delicacy). Indulge in a gluttonous consumption of dumplings and Chinese hospitality at Hong Kong’s famous food festival.
Annual Golden Spurtle
When: October 12, 2019
Where: Cairngorms, Scotland
Why: The classic breakfast of Scotland, the porridge, gets its own festival with the Annual Golden Spurtle in the Cairngorms. The World Porridge Making Championship that started in 1994 has participants from across the world vying for the title of the best oaty concoction. Those looking to expand their taste buds beyond the milky porridge can enjoy iterations like sticky toffee porridge, fruity date porridge, porridge cooked as risotto and so on.
When: October 11-13, 2019
Where: Bern, Switzerland
Why: Are you the self-declared Lord of the ‘Onion’ Rings? Then head to Switzerland's capital, Bern for the biggest folk festival of the year, the Onion Market. Farmers from across the country bring tons of onions and garlic to the capital, often artistically braided into garlands and figurines that can be admired and purchased from the 200+ stalls. Encounter giant onion braids, red and white onion flower arrangements as well as onion accessories, jewellery, ceramics, and toys. The festival starts early at 6 am and brings with it the distinct pungent smell that can make your eyes water with hunger and wonder. Try onion-led local delicacies like Zibelechueche (Onion tart), Käsewehe (Cheese quiche), onion soups, onion sausages, and Glühlwein (mulled hot wine).
National Cherry Festival
When: July 4, 2020 - July 11, 2020
Where: Michigan, USA
Why: Michigan’s Traverse City orchards are responsible for three-quarters of the supply of America's cherry crop, making it the ideal location for the National Cherry Festival. Started in 1931, the festival is a weeklong celebration of the tiny red and juicy fruit in all its forms. From baking the largest cherry pie (17.6 feet, 28350 pounds) in 1987 to a Cherry Bomb Lacrosse Tournament, there’s plenty to do and eat at this fruity festival.
The Great Food Festival
When: September 21-24, 2019
Why: You’ve already shopped your heart out at The Great Singapore Sale and understand the grand scale at which Singapore does its events. Similarly, The Great Food Festival held at Resorts World Sentosa is a treat for the senses. A gastronomic wonderland that brings together local street hawkers, Michelin star chefs, and world-renowned restaurants together, it caters to all kinds of foodie dreams. Discover the foods of Asia and participate in the general revelry at this family-friendly destination.
New York City Wine & Food Festival
When: October 10-13, 2019
Where: New York, USA
Why: It is safe to say that NYC is the unofficial food capital of the world, from small street vendors and food trucks to mega-chains and fine dining restaurants, the city has it all. Every nook and cranny has a must-try food destination and this very vibe is what you'll feel at the NYC Wine & Food Festival too. A packed schedule boasting of signature tasting events, chefs dinners, late-night fetes, family-friendly activities, this food festival will definitely give you a bite of the Big Apple.
Taste Of Dubai
When: March 5-7, 2020
Where: Dubai, UAE
Why: Anything that Dubai does always ends with an -est and that’s exactly the theme at the Taste Of Dubai food festival. The city’s biggest culinary festival brings together the buzziest restaurants, greatest chefs, and best-est dishes for your eating pleasure. Indulge in a variety of cuisines with everything from poke bowls to Turkish kebabs available here. Held at the Dubai Media City, the two-day festival has a host of musical concerts, chef demons, live cooking stations, and experimental food opportunities.
Napa Truffle Festival
When: January 7-10, 2020
Where: Napa Valley, California USA
Why: Time to sniff out the best mushrooms in the world at California’s best-known wine and dine fiesta, the Napa Truffle Festival. Spend four days sampling some of Napa’s best wines and interact with truffle scientists (yes, it’s a profession) and Michelin-star chefs as you devour delicious truffle-based dishes. You can even shop for fresh black truffles, wild mushroom trays, specialty foods, and local wines here.
When: January 2020 (yet to be confirmed)
Where: Madrid, Spain
Why: Experimentation in the world of food has given us many gems that we continue to devour and appreciate despite our search for authentic or traditional delicacies. Celebrating these unique creations is the Madrid Fusion festival. Held at the Spanish capital, the festival brings together over 100 chefs who feed and educate the crowds on the various cuisines through workshops, talks, and competitions.
Battle of Oranges
When: February 22-25, 2020
Where: Ivrea, Italy
Why: You’ve probably familiarized yourself with Spain’s La Tomatina or tomato festival courtesy Bollywood movie, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. But its Italian counterpart is the Battle Of Oranges, the annual citrus festival that turns the streets of Ivrea into an old-school food fight. Over 5,00,000 pounds of oranges cause chaos as they get squished and eaten through the streets. Just make sure you don’t let the juice get into your eyes.
When: March 7, 2020
Where: Hokitika, New Zealand
Why: A food festival that’s not for those with a weak stomach, the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival is an adventure for your gustatory cells as the coastal town brings together unconventional dishes to its shores. From local Maori fare, gourmet sausages and smoked salmons to fish eyes, scorpions, and pig ears; this festival for the experimental foodie. Crickets, beetles, worms and more—all creepy crawlies are on the menu here.
National Street Food Festival
When: December 14-16, 2019
Where: New Delhi, India
Why: It’s hard to match up to the various food delicacies the Indian subcontinent has to offer. Each region in the country has its own style of street food and all these delicacies make their way to the national capital for the National Street Food Festival that's held at the Indira Gandhi National Center For The Arts. Choose from golgappas, samosas, spicy momos, and vada pav as vendors put their best fare forward. Spicy, tangy, and flavourful this festival captures the essence of India.
Feature Image: Unsplash