For some people travelling abroad is all about sight-seeing or maybe shopping and food is not that big of a deal but then there are the rest of us. We want to shop and visit amazing places but we still demand good food. If you’re still wondering about trips with mouth-watering food, then here are 10 guaranteed great food gatherings and festivals that are worth travelling for.
Chocoa Festival (The Netherlands)
We’ve all been jealous watching Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, wondering if we’ll ever have this experience, well maybe yes, because at Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, every year for three days you’ll get to live this experience of chocolate mania. Imagine marshmallow-sweet, caramel-like cupcakes, Leathery, bittersweet tarts, buttery melting chocolate fountains, crunchy sweet balanced with bitterness of fresh cookies all in one place. The festival gathers the best chocolate makers from around the world to present, sell and tell you the secrets of making the perfect chocolate, they’ll even do a live cooking show. Furthermore, you’ll experience painting, crafting and many more activities all done with chocolate. Don’t forget to take some free samples from more than 700 different flavors.
When: Don’t miss this festival that is running from March 6th to 8th.
Photo courtesy: Jonathan Reyes
A yummi experience by Tim Venchus
Eat Mobile Food Festival (Portland)
We all try to watch our diets, but who doesn’t like to go for street junk food every once in a while? As once said “If you want to do something wrong, do it right!”
In Portland, during summer, more than 400 street venders compete in selling unique, tasty and appetizing street food. Spicy minced meat Tacos, Hot French fries with melted cheese on top, Big juicy burgers with caramelized onions, fruit smoothies, peperoni pizza and almost every fast & tasty dish you’d ask for. The event includes music shows, live cooking competitions and many more surprises to keep you entertained and stuffed all day.
When: The festival takes place in summer time.
Photo courtesy: Pat (Cletch) Williams
Photo courtesy: Marlon E
Yuanxiao Festival (China)
Crispy, Juicy, Creamy rice balls stuffed with pumpkin paste, chocolate cream, peanut butter or chopped peanuts, so soft that it will literally explode in your mouth. The Yuanxiao is a Chinese traditional desert served everywhere during the festival of lights which it was named after. It’s cooked by mixing glutinous rice flour with a small amount of water, to form sticky and chewy rice balls that would be stuffed later with whatever you like from their variety of options. Over and above that, the plain Yuanxiao is served in red beans soup, ginger and rock sugar and other kinds of sweet soups is a must try. In addition to their delicious salty and spicy options, mostly minced meat, chicken, and vegetables served in broth soup. Also, don’t forget that you’ll be enjoying this while watching the extraordinary fireworks show, flying lanterns, dancing with dragons and celebrating the first full moon!
When: The festival starts on the 15th day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar (March 5th)
Yuanxiao which is more delicious than it looks by Yu Ting Wong
The festival by conan06
Food plays a big part in celebrating the holy month of Ramadan, with specialty dishes and drinks made during the Muslims fasting month. Either Egyptian or else, don’t miss Ramadan in places like El Sayeda Zeinab and El Hussein where streets are filled with colorful decorations, traditional music, and street vendors selling deserts like crunchy, fresh cooked “konafa” with cream and the most common desert “Atayef”, Arab pancakes usually filled with cheese, cream, or nuts, served with syrup or honey. Moreover, do not miss a place called Beit El 3oud where young talented musicians play the best oriental music all night, Turkish coffee or black tea with mint at El Feshawy coffee shop, and the best Kebab at El Dahan or El 3ahd el Gedeed.
When: It starts around the end of June this year, check the Islamic calendar for more accuracy as the dates change each year.
Konafa by Danielle Tsi
Ramadan lanterns by Mohd Tarmizi
Bra Cheese Festival (Italy)
For Cheese lovers, the small town of Bra in the northern Italian region of Piedmont becomes a dairy-lovers’ dream. Every year in mid-September, the international Slow Food organization turns the small town into a Cheese Festival, celebrating it as a form of art. The finest farming regions of the world gather while offering you the opportunity to taste all different kinds of cheese from Vermont melted Cheddar inside a cheese ball with crispy texture and soft scrumptious taste, French caramel, butterscotch and deep flavored Mimolette to the fruity, nutty Swiss Gruyere, the Italian Mozzarella Fresca and much more. They also have fresh sweet and sour yogurt, Ice cream and lots of other dairy mixtures to choose from. You can also enjoy the white truffle fair of Alba show and visit the Egyptian Museum of Turin that holds a great collection of Egyptian artifacts including an extraordinary collection of Papyrus, the most significant set of Egyptian written documents in the world.
When: It begins September 18th and ends on the 21st.
Photo courtesy: Marla
Grilled Cheese by wintersoul1
Other than being a beer fiesta from top breweries of the world, fried potato pancakes are served with sour cream and cottage cheese, pouched potato dumplings, fresh pasta with creamy cheese sauce, and grilled fish sticks, crisped roasted chicken and soft pretzels all in Oktoberfest in Munich. The world’s largest funfair with amusement rides, side stalls, games, watching horse races and enjoying the country’s local music shows and parades every day for 16 days starting at the end of September.
When: From the 19th of September till the 4th of October this year, dates change annually but more or less around the same dates.
Photo courtesy: visitingeu
Photo courtesy: Heribert Pohl
Erfoud Date Festival (Morocco)
Every October, the small town of Erfoud celebrates the date festival. This marvelous festival is all about Palm trees, traditional music, dancing, processions, arts and crafts from palm wood and a chance to taste everything the Moroccan cuisine has to offer; Moroccan Couscous which is granulated semolina, served with meat, chicken or fish, Tagines and scatterings of fresh dates, Date jam, Date milk smoothies, Date Tarts and many more. They also have a fashion parade where every girl is welcomed to join for a chance to win the title of “Miss Date” all of that plus a dromedary race that is quite a show on its own.
When: Usually starts in October for three days.
Photo courtesy: Ale
Photo courtesy: Waleed Alzuhair
Knysna Oyster Festival (South Africa)
This one is a celebration of good life and sport. The stars of the festival are “oysters” which are cooked in many different ways including garlic and wine oysters set on garlic bread slices and topped with bacon. Another kind of oysters is served on the half shell with tiny, melt in your mouth cubes of aspic in various flavors, you can also have grilled oysters with Parmesan cheese and a nice soup stewed with artichoke hearts or mint cream. The event itself includes more than 30 activities including fishing, canoeing and sailing, diving and hiking. Finally, you’ll definitely enjoy their night of 100 pictures, which is an exhibition held two nights in a row featuring beautiful photography, illustrations and paintings to raise fund for the knysna hospice.
When: The festival is in winter time!
Photo courtesy: Damien du Toit
Christmas Party at Bondi Beach (Australia)
Finally, you can enjoy the best Christmas BBQ beach party at Bondi. The BBQ includes moist sausages, jumbo shrimps, steaks and their famous grilled Middle Eastern lamb Kofte. Aside from the tasty BBQ, you can enjoy dinning at more than 50 different restaurants and Sushi bars. Moreover, the party stays all day with free access to surfboards, snorkels, fishing rods, and if you’re into sports, they’ve got table tennis, soccer, rugby, and volleyball equipment plus an enormous basketball court. The crazy party stays at the beach, but if you want to hit the city (Sydney), that is available too. They got buses to take you 24/7 from the beach to the city for shopping, sight-seeing, etc. Finally, their offer includes visits to the Sydney Tower, Sydney Aquarium and the enchanting Taronga Zoo with about 350 different species, and over 4,000 animals.
When: You can enjoy this from the 18th of December till the 6th of January.
A scrumptious Bondi Burger by LWYang
Japanese Tea Gathering (Japan)
If you think you’re already full after knowing all about Yuanxiao, Chocolate fountains, juicy street burgers, Konafa, creamy cheese, soft pretzels and date tarts try the finest green tea in the world first. Matcha, the Japanese green tea commonly served during tea gatherings. No specific day, just visit Japan and ask for a tea gathering. In order to enter a tea house you need to abide by certain rules, meaning be wearing white socks, have clean hands and above all a calm spirit. Inside the teahouse you’ll be greeted by a host who will serve you the finest thick green tea you’ll ever taste, and show you the way to make the perfect cup of fresh green tea. You also get to enjoy Wagashi, the most common desert made of sugar with red beans paste, fruits and covered with a moldable texture. However, Wagashi is not only made to add sweetness to the palate and reduce the bitterness of the tea, but to reflect the weather and season, so maple leaf
shapes for fall, and plum flower designs for spring. Furthermore, you can try their algae jelly with sweetened coffee in winter time, and Mochi rice cake with ice-cream filling in summer.
When: All year long.