Food events that deserve a minute to review
For avid travelers, exploring local cuisines is one of the best ways to experience the local culture of a place. And what better way to do so than attending a glorious food festival?
Here are some of the world’s most popular food festivals that should be on every travel foodie’s bucket list:
- Pizzafest: Every September the city of Naples comes together to celebrate its most popular food – Pizza. During the week-long celebration, visitors get to gorg on all kinds of pizzas (including the traditional Neopolitan, Margherita and Marinara). In addition, you can also sign up for pizza-making workshops, watch visiting chefs compete with each other in the World Pizza-Making Championship and enjoy live entertainment.
Where: Naples, Italy
- Sacramento Bacon Fest: Sacramento’s Bacon Fest is the ultimate food festival for bacon enthusiasts. During the week-long festivities, revelers can pig out on treats like bacon pizza, bacon salad, bacon milkshake, bacon ramen and bacon tater tots. The special delicacies are served at over 100 restaurants accompanied with local craft beers and live music. Also, don’t forget to check out the annual Kevin Bacon Soundtrack Tribute Show – one of the star attractions of this food festival.
Where: Sacramento, California, U.S.
- Herring Festival: Every spring, schools of herring migrate to the Ringkøbing fjord to spawn at the water locks in Hvide Sande, Denmark. And their arrival kicks off the unofficial herring fishing world championship. Visitors can enjoy platters of Scandinivia’s finest pickled, filleted, fried or fish-caked herring. You can also learn how to make pickled fried herring, get your herring filleted by experienced fishermen or learn to do it yourself in one of the workshops. Culinary enthusiasts can also participate in the Herring Recipe of the Year contest. Meanwhile, kids can learn the basics of catching fish at the Herring fishing school or take part in the Junior Fishing Contest.
Where: Hvide Sande, Denmark
- Chinchilla Melon Festival: The biennial event attracts scores of locals and international tourists alike with its exciting array of activities like melon skiing, celebrity melon eating and melon chariot race. Not to mention the big melon weigh-in that’s almost synonymous with this festival that celebrates the region’s melon farming. Revelers can also enjoy the melon beach party, free family concerts and the popular Melon Fest street parade. And oh, did I mention the free melon feast?
Where: Chinchilla, Australia
- Ottawa PoutineFest: Poutine is a typical Canadian dish that’s made of fries, spicy gravy and cheese curds. Each year in May the city of Ottawa gears up to celebrate the beloved local dish during the weekend-long food fest. Numerous restaurants and vendors serve traditional as well as exotic versions of the dish (think Pad Thai poutine, butter chicken poutine and churro poutine). That’s not all, you can also participate in fun activities like face painting, cooking workshops and poutine eating contests.
Where: Ottawa, Canada
- La Tomatina: Held in the Valencian town of Buñol, La Tomatina is hands down one of the most popular Spanish festivals. Over one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are used for pelting in this Tomato battle that’s dubbed as the world’s biggest food fight. If you’re planning to take part in the tangy madness this year, don’t forget to check out this handy La Tomatina survival guide.
Where: Buñol, Spain
- Salon du Chocolat: The international chocolate industry’s annual trade fair is a must-visit for all chocolate lovers around the globe. Each year over 500 participants from 60 countries (including more than 200 famous chefs and pâtissiers) take part in the fair. Visitors can go for chocolate tastings, attend pastry workshops and book signings. Other than showcasing chocolate samples from five continents, the food fest also features various unique events like chocolate fashion show, chocolate sculpture contest and live performances by cocoa-producing countries.
Other must-visit food festivals include Singapore’s World Gourmet Summit, Italy’s Battle of the Oranges, the Great British Cheese Festival, Maine Lobster Festival and Thailand’s Vegetarian Festival.
Now get up and pack your bags, it’s time to take your taste buds on a gluttonous adventure!