Foodie Events Around the World
One of our favourite things to do on Foodie-Trips is rub elbows with locals at food festivals. We find the best bites here - small to burgeoning vendors who really have a passion for their product, and the quality of samplings is better than anything handed out in a supermarket. It's also a great opportunity to taste a variety of the same kind of food item from various producers and get a well-rounded understanding of different accents, flavours and accompaniments one item can have. The sense of celebration is always in the air at any food event and that's exactly the way we like to approach our food exploration when travelling! Below are a few notable foodie fests from around the world (so when you're there, you have GOT to go!).
Fetes des Vendanges de Montmartre in Paris, France
This annual celebration of wine makers in the northern region of Paris offers not just a plethora of wine varieties, but also other delectable gems produced by local artisans. Foie gras, oysters, crepes and of course macarons are just a few of the other Parisian staples available from an extensive array of vendors. The entire festival spreads around the charming cobble stone streets surrounding Sacre Coeur atop a high point of the neighbourhood. Guests can take their eats to the grand steps in front of the historic church where they can see one of the most spectacular views of Paris from the north. Montmartre is also known for its significant production of Absinthe, which is infused in several unique products available for the tasting.
Toronto Ribfest in Canada
While most Torontonians (ourselves included) consider Taste of the Danforth one monumental event of our city-bound summer, it's the Canada Day weekend Ribfest that really draws an overwhelming array of classic Canadian staples as well as hoards of eager foodies. For three days, proud BBQ purveyors - ranging from the sauce specialists to the smoker kings - set up in an expansive park where guests indulge in a massive backyard-BBQ-type festival. Besides animated demonstrations and award-winning meat dishes, high quality varieties of cheeses and beers are also offered. With live music playing on three stages and celebrity guests making appearances, there's endless authentic Canadiana to enjoy here.
The small Valencian town of Bunol, with a population of only 9 000 people, gets wild for the world's largest food fight, bringing in about 40 000 visitors to the annual festival. Over one hundred metric tonnes of over-ripe tomatoes are catapulted in this frenzied fruit warfare, and resident shop owners prepare with giant plastic covers on their storefronts in anticipation of the carnage. The fight begins on a traditional note, when a ham that has been placed upon a tall greased poll is retrieved. Enthusiasts madly climb over one another to be the one to grab the symbolic swine, and its with that accomplishment that the tomato-throwing begins. Of course it's not all squished tomatoes - La Tomatina has grown into a week-long celebration with music performances, parades, dancing and fireworks. There's even a paella cooking contest the night before the big fight.
Napa Truffle Festival in the USA
This more elegant festival celebrates the refined culinary reputation of the region, showcasing some of the most notable chefs in the world known for their truffle cuisine, as well as experts and scientist recognized for their work in truffle cultivation. This one's for the gourmands, bringing together not just elegant eaters but aspiring truffle hunters and growers as well. Workshops, culinary presentations, celebrity speakers and of course luxurious tastings aim to satisfy both the appetite and curiosity surrounding the extraordinary mushroom.
Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong, China
This annual festival celebrates the unity of Chinese culture, but more deliciously it's a culinary event centred around the sumptuous moon cake. These rich pastries vary in flavour according to region, but traditionally they're infused with egg yolks and lotus seed. Modernized versions can take on imaginative fillings from red beans to roast pork. They're unanimously characterized by their round shape, symbolizing completeness, and are customarily enjoyed with family and friends as an expression of love and best wishes. The spirited festival also features fire dancing dragons, lantern displays, palm readings and a colourful carnival to tempt all your senses.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival featuring the Longest Lunch in Australia