Trying new food can be one of the most interesting parts of any trip and a factor to keep in mind when deciding where to go for many people. Among several similar destinations, who wouldn’t go for the one with the best sea food and gastronomy?
It’s the ‘you must have pasta in Italy and drink wine in France’ thing but upgraded. Actually we are on the verge of this shift towards a better and healthier relationship with food and cuisine, not only pointed out by the latest and weirdly scrumptious creations of haute cuisine that make us keep on dreaming but also by the increasing popularity of gastro-pubs all over America or the UK, going above and beyond traditional gastronomy.
Summer and early Autumn are the best time to food around as harvest is happening everywhere, traditional ones at least, and ancient food festivals and new ones celebrate the abundance of mother nature and the arts and crafts of chefs all over the world. Don’t miss this chance to try different and unique food and come back home with local homemade products and exotic spices or fruits.
Every year, around the 12 of October – Dia de la Hispanidad, Columbus Day- 200,000 people from all over Europe gather around the finest seafood in the little village of O Grove in Galicia, Spain. From crayfish to shrimps, prawns and lobsters, all kinds of shellfish, octopus and fish are cooked, boiled, roasted, grilled and stewed in traditional and new ways, always looking for that extra mmmm! Don’t miss local white wines Albariño or Ribeiro, the perfect pairing.
The Fiesta del Marisco of O Grove goes along for several days and hosts other amenities as well, like the mussel recipe contest or an open-air sculpture festival. Match this exquisite food festival with a pair accommodation at NH Palacio de Vigo, part of NH Collection. Stay in a fabulous noble building from 1904, with its luxurious original interiors enhanced with modern facilities and local warm welcoming.
For serious oyster lovers, the place is Galway and the time the last weekend of September; the 2013 edition of the Galway Oyster Festival will be from 26th to 29th. This food festival is a popular tradition in the West Coast of Ireland and the whole city gets engaged in enjoying the ruler among all seafood, but you can dress up and enjoy the Saturday night ball or attend the VIP Oyster Tasting.
Talking of the finest and most exclusive, the Truffle Festival in Alba, Italy, is the one. It doesn’t really matter when it takes place as you can only attend strictly under invitation. It’s an event to auction the rarest and most delicious truffles of the world where a literal who’s who of international cuisine and general millionaires are the eager buyers.
While not exactly a food festivals, La Tomatina in Buñol is the largest food battle in the world. It’s a huge party among college students from all over the world, and this tradition actually celebrates the first tomato-fight in Buñol that started in 1945 by a group of young guys who were casted out from the local festivities.
Every last Wednesday of August, this village on the Spanish coast gets blushing red by millions of tomatoes thrown by locals and tourists alike. Stay with us in Valencia to attend this crazy fun celebration and enjoy a state-of-the-art shower when you get back to your clean and comfortable room.
In a country where gastronomy and lavish living is almost a religion, Pizzafest in Naples is probably the best food festival in Italy. First, it’s a pizza festival and second, it’s a popular event that means it’s Italian mamma made; the best kind of cuisine ever and the final test according to Jamie Oliver.
You can attend Pizzafest the second week of September and it usually lasts 10 days so consider making a new hole in your belt if you plan to attend every single day. Naples lays claim to the invention of pizza and here the speciality is simple real pizza with a unique tomato sauce, Mozarella cheese and pure olive oil. Some add ham and herbs, but are considered fancy by most locals, who like to keep it real. At Pizzafest you’ll find a fair competition to nail the perfect pizza with this simple ingredients -the essence of perfection.
What is your favorite food festival?