By Kelly Barnett,
Explore some of the world’s best food festivals and food fairs.
Let’s face it, everyone needs to eat, and many of us love to eat! For real food fans, or gourmets, food festivals and food fairs really do make the world your oyster! There are an abundance of local and regional food festivals in almost every region of almost every country around the world. There are far too many food fairs to cover them all in one article but below are some of the major food festivals around the world.
For gourmets and others with a passion for food, these festivals will be high up on the ‘to do’ list for any vacation.
European Food Festivals
England was once a reputed veritable wasteland for food, but no more. Now, it is one of the best countries for fabulous, fresh ingredients and creative recipes. Across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, ‘foodies’ will find a vast number of local festivals and farmers markets to explore. One of the major fairs is the Real Food Festival in London.
Plan to visit the area around Birmingham, England, to coincide with the BBC’s Good Food Festival where visitors can enjoy cooking demonstrations, ‘grow your own’ seminars and even ‘meet the meat’ with real livestock. A spin off from this event is MasterChef Live where top chefs create sampling dishes and a national farmer’s market provides visitors with the chance to pick up some unique products.
Then there is the Specialty & Fine Foods Fair, at London’s famous Earls Court or Cake International for those with a passion for sweet things. While at Cake International, visitors can attend masterclasses on cake decorating as well as stocking up on professional tools and supplies such as moulds, stencils, and cutters.
France is clearly one of the world’s greatest places for those with a passion for food. There are far too many food festivals to do each justice, however, one not to be missed is Pari Fermier, held at the Espace Champerret in Paris. This festival offers the public the opportunity to take part in culinary workshops, as well as explore the huge variety of regional produce from across France.
As the French would say ‘Salon Saveurs des plaisirs gourmands’ (Literally ‘tastes of the pleasures of the palate’), which sounds so much more enticing than calling it a ‘food fair’. This biannual show promotes the very best of France’s exceptionally high quality food, with both traditional and innovative produce and cooking techniques.
Lovers of Italian food will want to add Cesena a Tavola to their diaries for October. In Pievesestina De Cesena, Italy, this annual show features traditional meats, cheese, cakes and wine from this beautiful region. Later in the year is Enologica, in Faenza for regional recipes and wines.
Spain’s annual show showcases environmentally friendly living, with ecological food, clothes, cosmetics and even furniture. Conveniently held in the beautiful city of Malaga, the show takes place every May. It is open to the public but only lasts one day. Feria del Jamón de Teruel, the Ham and Quality Foods show in Teruel, showcases the regions quality meats, cheeses, as well as oils and wines. This popular show takes place in September each year.
One for the Choc-aholics to flock to is Chocofest! Held at the Feria De Zaragoza, in Spain, the show is all about chocolate, in whatever form. Patisssiers and manufacturers attend this event to promote products to the public.
Food Festivals of North, South and Latin America
Each November, both the public and professionals from across the industry gather in Miami Beach, Florida for the Food & Beverage show. The show attracts professionals and distributors to promote produce from across the country, as well as cutting edge kitchen equipment.
Expo Deleite Risaralda in Colombia targets industry professionals in gastronomy but alongside the main event is an exhibition offering tasting events for visitors. It takes place annually in July.
Taking place in July every year, Festival Internacional de Vinos y Quesos de Santa Cruz, Bolivia, gives enthusiasts the opportunity to indulge their passion for meats, cheese and wines from a variety of countries.
Fenadoca Trade Show takes place annually in the city of Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, this show features locally produced gourmet jams, jellies and preserves. It makes a great family day out with a variety of cultural events and activities.
Another one for the Choco-holic’s is Expo Brazil Chocolate Trade Show. It is an annual showcase of the world’s best chocolate bringing together producers from around the world to launch new products and innovations. For real chocolate connoisseurs, there are ‘WorkChocs’ and lectures about the world’s most beloved food.
Adventurous food fanatics may also enjoy SC Gourmet for Brazilian Cheeses, wines and delicatessen fare such as spices, sausages and seafood. Each July, the event offers visitors a variety of workshops and seminars as well as dinners featuring matching wines by world class chefs and sommeliers.
One that may well be overlooked is aptly named ‘Sweets’ festival in Ukraine. Those with a sweet tooth who find themselves in the areas in September should take the opportunity to indulge in a fabulous selection of chocolate and candy, with as well as baked goods and cakes.
Wherever you live or wherever you choose to vacation, chances are, there is a food fair near you.