Food festivals are a great chance to sample interesting bites and learn more about a specific type of food or innovators making big waves. Every year, often in the summer, you can find unique food festivals all over the world, including Italy, California, and New Zealand. Here’s a list of festivals everyone should try to experience one day:
Every September, the city of Naples holds a week-long celebration of pizza. You can find all kinds of pies there, all made by pizza masters, like the classic Neapolitan, Margherita, “freestyle,” and more. More than 30,000 people show up to eat pizza and participate in other fun events, like workshops where they can hone their own skills. PizzaFest also plays host to the the World Pizza-Making Championship, where the best pizza chefs face off. There’s also music and, of course, wine.
People have been fishing for herring off the Danish coast for thousands of years. In the spring, herring migrate to spawn at the Hvide Sande water locks in Denmark. It’s a fisherman’s paradise, and Hvide Sande makes it quite the event. Tourists can sample a wide variety of herring preparations, like pickled, fried, and baked. You can have it prepared for you or hit up one of the workshops, where you can learn how to fillet fish and pickle it, too. If you fancy yourself a herring expert, you can join the Herring Recipe of the Year Contest.
Salon du Chocolat
A list of unique food festivals wouldn’t be complete without one dedicated to chocolate. Salon du Chocolat, the international chocolate industry’s trade fair, hosts over 200 chefs and chocolate-makers from around the world. In 2018, the festival attracted over 100,000 visitors, who got to sample chocolate from 60 countries. This year, the festival will be held in New York City, November 15-17, to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Events include a chocolate fashion show, chocolate sculpture contests, workshops, and more.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival
You won’t find any vampires at this food festival, which is held in California at the end of July. Visitors chow down on garlic everything, even ice cream, at Gourmet Alley, which has a giant outdoor kitchen with a roaring fire. The cool thing about this festival is that it’s a non-profit organization, so all the proceeds go to Gilroy-based charities. Since the festival started, it’s raised over $11 million.
This event in New Zealand is definitely one of the most unique food festivals you’ll ever visit. It’s all about trying ingredients you’ve never had before, like insects. Held in Hokitika, the festival features around 50 stalls with food like possum, venison, earthworms, and more. There’s music, an area for kids, and a “Feral Fashion” contest. If Burning Man was a food festival, it would probably look something like Wildfoods.
No one is quite sure how poutine came to be, but it probably came from Quebec. The mixture of cheese curds, gravy, and French fries is Canada’s favorite snack, and in May, you can indulge at the Ottawa-based “PoutineFest.” Over the course of three days, visitors enjoy music, cooking demonstrations, and different variations of poutine, like smoked salmon or pad Thai poutine. If you go, you should probably take at least the next day off, too, to fall into a poutine-induced coma.
Looking to get away this summer? Check out this list of the most affordable trips for 2019, which include countries like Argentina and Thailand.