Fall is a great time to travel as costs are lower, temperatures are cooler, and lines to see the local attractions are always shorter. It is also the time of year when many European cities hold food and wine festivals. They range in variety from general culinary delights, to specific ingredients, such as Chocolate. While in Europe this fall, you won’t want to miss these delightful festivals. Take a break from the norms, and you might end up trying something new that you didn’t even know about!
Top Food Festivals in Europe
Truffle Festival, Alba, Italy
4 October-9 November
White truffle season begins at the beginning of October. For the next six weeks, you can learn all you want to about the mysterious truffle, as well as sample some of the finest available . See some of the world’s most famous chefs salivating at the invitation-only truffle auction, where some of these fungi will sell for up to $3000 per kilo! The Truffle Market, which takes place each weekend, offers stalls selling all kinds of truffle-related products. Most restaurants in the area will allow you to take a fresh truffle with you to dinner, and they will grate it onto your meal. Many consider this the preferred way to consume and enjoy these tasty morsels.
Paris Chocolate Festival, Paris, France
29 October-2 November
Chocoholics rejoice! Paris’ Chocolate Festival is just around the corner, and will be held in the large convention center beneath the Louvre. This years event will feature over 400 exhibitors from throughout the world. Visitors will have the chance to learn about the cocoa-producing lifestyles of countries such as Venezuela and Mexico as well as view delicious chocolate demonstrations from top chefs. If you miss it in Paris, the traveling chocolate show also makes stops in New York, Tokyo, Beijing and Moscow. There was something about there being lots of samples available, but I was too busy day-dreaming about the land of chocolate to read any further.
Envies Culinaires, Lille, France
31 October-3 November
Lille has long been known as a great place to enjoy world class cuisine, with its fabulous restaurants and weekly markets. The Envies Culinaires brings it to a whole new level, with a four-day expo celebration to all things gourmet. Held annually at Lille’s Grand Palace, attendees can sample treats of all kinds, from snails to fresh lobster. There are desert and international stalls available to sample a wide range of food. Wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and conversation can be found all weekend, throughout the Grand Palace.
Wine Fair, Munich, Germany
7 November-9 November
This weekend is all about wine in the Bavarian capital. A month after Oktoberfest ends, Munich celebrates the regional wine with a preview of what’s to come in the new year. Wineries from all over come to showcase their wines, sparkling wines, spirits, specialties, delicacies, chocolate, cheeses, cellar equipment, accessories, literature and online services. During the Wine Fair, you can meet up with some of Europe’s most notable wine intellectuals, for tastings, seminars, and discussions. Prost!
Merano Wine Festival, Merano, Italy
8 November-10 November
The South Tyrol, with its mixed Italian and Austrian heritage, is a great place for a food fiend to visit at any time of year and if you read my last blog, you will know I am a huge fan of this region. This festival showcases traditional alpine noodle dishes, such as dumplings and strudel, as well as delicious hand-made pastas and strong cheeses. Different regions have different booths, and major wine producers from all over Italy use this festival as an excuse break out the good stuff. Ah, to be in Italy with a plate of lamb, veal, and some good old wine; that is the life for me!
Whatever your taste, Europe in the fall has much to offer and can be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys food. Whatever region you plan on traveling into, you won’t be disappointed with the culinary delights available at the many popular food festivals in Europe.