It’s fall! The perfect time to layer the sweaters and enjoy scrumptious artisanal delicacies (chocolate and cheese, yum!) – and what better place to enjoy this than Europe, with its diverse cultures and traditions? Europe’s local food festivals are a great way to get a taste for a country’s national specialties; most countries are even reachable by a conveniently short flight from Rome. Below is a list for the dedicated foodie, certain to satisfy a taste for variety:
Guernsey International Food Festival (Guernsey, UK) Sept 23-Oct 3
The small island of Guernsey, located between England and France, boasts an impressive number of events honoring a wide range of specialties. The festival hosts everything from experimental cuisine competitions to wild foraging workshops and Southern Indian cuisine. There is something for everyone in Guernsey!
Budapest Pálinka and Sausage Festival (Budapest, Hungary) Oct 2-4
Hungary is a great fall destination; add a food festival and it’s the perfect weekend getaway. Hosted in the Buda Castle Hill district, the location is unbeatable. Looking over the city, you can relax and enjoy the cultural immersion with great food and an incredible atmosphere. Don’t forget to check out the nearby Fisherman’s Bastion!
Helsinki Baltic Herring Market 2016 (Helsinki, Finland) Oct 2-Oct 8
This local celebration focuses entirely on the local specialty of herring, the small fish (a bit bigger than an anchovy) that is fermented and sold at the market during the first week in October. This festival is not for everyone, but it’s a great reason to venture into Northern Europe!
Hardanger Fruit and Cider Festival (Hardanger, Norway) October 8
Cider is unofficially the drink of fall, the ode to autumn beverages; and the apple is unofficially the fruit of fall, clearly deserving of its own festival! The celebration of this versatile fruit, with local farmers presenting jams, pies, and more, will highlight the flexibility of the autumn specialty.
International White Truffle Festival (Alba, Italy) Oct 8-Nov 27
The incomparable taste of fresh white truffles makes the short trip to Alba especially worthwhile; this festival boasts a unique calendar of events including a donkey palio, fashion shows, and traditional celebrations all in honor of the white truffle. The website features a calendar with all the festival’s events.
Eurochocolate (Perugia, Italy) Oct 14-23
Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate. This festival is all about the cocoa and that needs no explanation. Enjoy!
Salon Envies Culinaries, (Lille, France) Nov 10-13
With a focus on the elegance of French cuisine, this festival is all about the quality of the raw ingredients. From meats and cheeses to honey and chocolate, this well-rounded festival is sure to have something for everyone.
Keep in mind that the list of festivals is nearly infinite, so with just a bit of research the possibilities are endless. Make sure to check for student specials and discounts with your JCU student ID!
Shelby Leigh Bradley
JCU Class of 2016
Hometown: Clinton, New York, USA