Everyone loves eating food. Foodies all over the world are curious about different food cultures of different countries. In a world where you can have a full English breakfast followed by a French inspired brunch and an Italian dinner with some wine to go with it, food festival has always been an excellent door to exploring local cuisine. The popularity of food festivals has been growing each year and with many new ones getting scheduled every year, a food aficionado can loads to choose from.
Here are the top 10 most famous food festivals in the world.
10. Ludlow Marches Food and Wine Festival: United Kingdom
Ludlow food and wine festival could be regarded as UK’s first successful festival. It’s extremely popular among the food enthusiasts and has made a great impact on the festival culture of UK since its inception. In its 18th year, Ludlow festival is a celebration of food and wine from local, small scale independent producers. This year, there will be over 160 stalls along with the hands on workshops, testing sessions as well as some surprise additions that will surely excite the people coming in.
9. Baltic Herring Festival: Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki comes alive every year when the Baltic Herring festival around the corner. The annual fair attracts thousands of visitors to the capital’s South harbour. People flock in to taste as well as buy some of the best herring available to them. It one of those festivals where the price is very reasonable, for example, one carton of Baltic herring in a range of marinades could be purchased for a mere 5 Euros. The opening day is a fun filled day as people take part in a two series competition. First is the Pickled Fish of the Year while the 2nd is the Baltic Herring Surprise of the Year. The festival is amongst the oldest that are still going one and its first year can be dated back to 1743.
8. Abergavenny Food Festival: United Kingdom
One of Wales’ biggest food festivals, Aber has over 150 stalls offering great local Welsh produce. Abergavenny food fest has everything ranging from great food on the event to master classes from chefs like Pierre Koffmann. Local pubs and restaurants come alive when the fest is around the corner as they offer special menu like home smoked garlic to Welsh Onion bread to a perfect martini! Along with the masterclass, there will be tutored tastings food talks with food critics and coveted chefs and guided walks to learn about harvest of field and hedgerow this year. Chefs likes Tom Kerridge, Bryn Williams, Florence Knight will be there to teach as well as showcase culinary talent this year.
7. Isle of Wight Garlic Festival: Isle of Wright
This festival is a one of a kind fest where lovers of all things Garlic come to enjoy things ranging from Garlic beer to Garlic fudge. The best thing about the festival, other than the food is the fact that it is affiliated with more than 65 charities and people coming in for food also end up donating some to these. With lots of food stalls there is live music, and of plenty of arts and craft for visitors to enjoy. Located in the bright and sunny Isle of Wright in summer, this festival has loads to offer food-wise as the local food tempts the taste buds.
6. San Francisco Street Food Festival: San Francisco, United States
San Francisco street food festivals is a festival like no other as over 50,000 people come to taste the best food the bay area has to offer. The reason it’s one of a kind even though the festival is only 5 years old is down to the feel of the festival. Street food is gaining rapidly as a business and it’s no longer considered to be ‘cheap’ as there are some quality stalls that offer food as good as some Michelin star restaurant would. Vendors and local producers get their stalls placed and start cooking and serve as the people start flooding in. The entry is free as there is no formality, there are no waiters and everyone comes there experience this Bohemian style extravaganza.
5. Galway Oyster Festival: Ireland
Easily the most famous food festival of Ireland and also the oldest oyster festival in the world, Galway Oyster festival is known for vast platters of shellfish, pints of the famous Guiness beer and great live music. Started in September 1954 by Brian Collins, the festival includes beer as well as Oyster tasting which offers some great varieties of oyster. World Oyster Opening Championships and the ‘Elegant Lady’ competition are the highlights of the festival. Some of the guests that attended it last year were Richard Corrigan, Martin Shanahan and current President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.
4. Noosa International food and wine festival: Queensland, Australia
With Chefs like Mark Best, Carlo Caracco , Peter Gilmore, Daniel Alps and Shane Bailey among others, Noosa food and wine festival is one of the most well attended festivals in the world. It takes place in Queensland, Australia and is a great mix of good food, great win and fitting music to go with it. It’s a food festival where culinary artists display their talent and present it to other coveted chefs and people. On the 3rd day, 10 of the top chefs present their dish to the people and 1 of them goes away with the people’s choice award which us decided by people applauding for the dish they feel was the best. The fest was started back in 2003 and completed 10 years this May.
3. Truffle Festival: Alba, Italy
Located in a small town of Piedmont, the truffle festival is one of those rare ‘invitation only’ type festivals which have few of the top chefs in the world flying in to attend every year. The Alba truffe fest celebrates the famous ‘tartufo bianco’ truffles. There is a local truffle market that opens to these selective chefs. Truffles that are sold here are as expensive as $2000 a kilo. Most of the chefs and people that are invited try the local cuisine and put the truffle in it to enhance the dish whilst also trying the various delicacies that are offered. The festival is in its 83rd year and this year it promises to be bigger than ever.
2. Melbourne food and wine: Melbourne, Australia
One of the most famous food festival of Australia, Melbourne food and wine festival started back in 1993 and had over 200 events as it enters the 20th year this year. The fest will be held from 28th February to 16th March in 2014 and it plans to be bigger and better than this years’. A team of 18 people help organize this fest which presents class A gourmet delicacies to people and other chefs that attend it. With over 250 events to offer, Melbourne food and wine festival is renowned for showcasing the strength of Victoria’s wine and food.
1. Maine Lobster Festival: Rockland, United States
One of the biggest sea food focused festivals in the world, Maine Lobster festivals sight to behold for the entire sea food enthusiasts in the world. The festival that has big parade, great cooking and entertainment requires over a 1000 volunteers who help put together this lobster gala. The main attraction, apart from US Navy ship tours, crate race the thousands of lobsters cooked with many different methods is the giant 20,000 pound lobster cooker that takes part on the last day. Maine lobster fest is blessed with a coastline as good as the Maine coastline and has been going on for the past 60 years. Winning the big cooking contest is another thing of pride that chefs coming to the festival look out for. On the entertainment side, David Cassidy is set to play on the final day of this year’s festival.