Here at Brabantialife we love finding fresh inspiration for delicious new dishes to prepare for our friends and family, and where better to find heaps of amazing ideas and tasty ingredients than at food festivals?
Food festivals have seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the last few years. Events that might have started as simple harvest celebrations have transformed into serious gastronomic extravaganzas offering an incredible array of epicurean delights. Here’s our pick of the best European food festivals this autumn…
Autumn Festival, Lugano, Switzerland – 5 to 7 October 2012
Lugano welcomes in the start of autumn with a festival dedicated to local wines and Ticinese gastronomic specialties, such as polenta with stew or beans and mortadella or roast pork, risotto, minestrone, gnocchi and many other exquisite local delights. With entertainment from all kinds of artists, performers and musicians, this is a wonderful festival for the entire family.
Fiesta De Marisco, O Grove, Spain – 5 to 14 October 2012
For a fortnight in October, O Grove on the coast of Galicia plays host to one of Europe’s biggest food festivals, dedicated to all things seafood. During the celebrations, fish and shellfish go on sale at special prices, prepared and served by locals. The excellent regional produce attracts thousands of people and has earned the town its nickname of ‘seafood paradise’. There is also music, traditional dance, competitions and sporting events, as well as seminars and art exhibitions.
Truffle Festival, Alba, Italy – 6 October to 18 November 2012
This tiny Italian town is besieged by foodies from the four corners of the world every October as the white truffle season begins. The world’s most celebrated chefs come for the exclusive truffle auction, while the truffle market offers all kinds of truffle-related produce and the fair provides a showcase for Piedmontese speciality foods.
Weimar Onion Market, Germany – 12 to14 October 2012
Every October, the humble onion is honoured at the Onion Market held in Weimar. The streets are crammed with stalls decorated with plaited onions, selling a fantastic assortment of bread, soups, stews and even cakes – all with an onion flavour. There are more than 500 stalls, many selling other German specialities and plenty of gluhwein. More than 100 performers entertain the crowds on stages throughout the city.
Salone del Gusto, Turin, Italy – 25 to 29 October 2012
We return to Italy, birthplace of the Slow Food Movement, for the biggest celebration in the Slow Food calendar, attracting up to 200,000 visitors and thousands of producers from around the world, with tastings and workshops. This year’s theme is ‘foods that change the world’.
Dartmouth Food Festival, UK – 26 to 28 October 2012
This year Dartmouth Food Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary with its biggest event ever. The festival takes place all over this beautiful Devon town and most events are completely free. There will be three demonstration theatres, a hands on cooking school, 100 exhibitors showcasing the best regional produce, a unique children’s festival, tastings and wine master classes.
Envies Culinaires, Lille, France – 8 to 11 November 2012
Lille is a popular foodie destination all year round but every autumn the Envies Culinaires takes it to a whole new level. Featuring the very best French and global cuisines, the five day expo is a real treat for anyone with a penchant for fine dining. Wine tastings, demonstrations and cooking tips are also all on offer.
Which are your favourite food events? And how far will you travel for your culinary inspiration?