Gastronomic Celebrations on the Continent
From pasta in Perugia to herring in Helsinki, good food helps to break down cultural barriers. Find out the best food festivals that Europe has to offer.
Europe is made up of 51 single countries and so with such a large range of different types of cuisine from each nation, it makes the continent an extremely rich home to gastronomy.
What better way to break down cultural barriers between people from separate nations, than to sit down and share a love of food at one of Europe’s finest food festivals? Here are some of the best.
Prague Food Festival
This food festival in the capital of the Czech Republic will be Prague’s 10th annual food festival. The event is held outdoors in the Royal Garden at Prague Castle and promotes around 25 local restaurants and other produce from the country. Visitors can expect to sample a special festival menu filled with appetisers, main courses and delectable desserts. There are also tasting booths for regional wines, beers, coffee and chocolate.
Helsinki Baltic Herring Fair
The Baltic Herring fair is the longest standing food festival in the Finnish capital. It has been running in Helsinki since 1743, making 2016 its 274th time. The tradition recognises the efforts of Finnish fishermen who work in the Baltic Sea. Salted herring along with herring-based delicacies such as marinades are all on offer here alongside local dark bread and clothes made from the wool of island sheep.
Fête de la Crêpe
The annual Festival of the Crêpe will delight pancake lovers everywhere. It is held in the town of Gourin in Brittany, France and visitors will get to see the extraordinary sight of chefs attempting to make the world’s largest pancake. Crêpes are not the only food on offer, as the festival also serves up the delicious regional ‘galettes’ which are buckwheat pancakes. Live music and dancing in traditional local costumes add to the ambience of this charming festival.
Taste Of London Festival
Focussing our attentions on British cuisine now, the Taste of London festival is held over 5 days in Regents Park. The event showcases a great selection of London’s top chefs preparing their own signature dishes from the capital’s best restaurants. Visitors can expect live demos and masterclasses for those who would like to get a little hands-on. There are also plenty of opportunities for us Brits to sample some exquisite champagne, wines and whiskeys.
I Primi d’Italia
When many of us think about fine food, we think about Italy. I Primi d’Italia is a celebration of rustic Italian fare takes place in the Perugian town of Foligno in the centre of the country. The focus of the festival is very much on Italian staples such as pasta and gnocchi, although there are also specially created medieval dishes that are available for sampling. Pasta sculpting represents the slightly eccentric aspect of this fair.
If this list has got your taste buds tingling, then snap up tickets now for one of next year’s food bonanzas, but remember your European travel cover and get your hotel sorted as soon as possible, because rooms are snapped up very quickly in some of the smaller food festival towns.
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