There is no better way to experience a place than through the local cuisine. With several food festivals happening across the world every year, find plenty of motivation here to help you pack your bags and go on a global culinary expedition.
Waikiki SPAM Jam, US © Phil Mislinski/Getty Images/Getty Images
The annual festival celebrates Hormel Foods' wildly popular meat product SPAM. Celebrated in April in Hawaii, the festival is open to all age groups. During the festival, restaurants serve the product in different forms and stalls sell SPAM merchandise. Entry to the event is free.
Maine Lobster Festival, US © Portland Press Herald/Getty Images/Getty Images
The festival in Rockland, Maine, is a delight for seafood lovers. Celebrated during the first weekend of August for five days, it offers top-notch entertainment, crate races, fine art, cooking contests, a marine tent and more. It is estimated that over 20,000 pounds (9,072 kilograms) of lobster are consumed during the course of the festival.
Music City Food + Wine Festival, US
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Celebrated in Nashville, Tennessee, this festival is an annual celebration that allows you to indulge in artisan food and alcohol, and mingle with chefs over a weekend. It brings together stars of Nashville's culinary scene with acclaimed regional and national chefs, and wine and spirits experts. There are also cooking demonstrations, panel discussions, tasting sessions and a rousing Sunday morning gospel brunch.
The 16-day traditional beer festival in Munich is the largest of its kind in the world. Held in September and October, the 2013 edition saw some six million people attending and 1.84 million gallons (seven million liters) of beer served. A wide variety of traditional German dishes, including schweinebraten (roast pork), bratwurst (sausage), pretzels, and knödel (potato or bread dumplings), are available. In 2019, the 186th edition will begin from Sept. 21 and last until Oct. 6. Entry is free.
Menton Lemon Festival, France
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Taking place since 1896, this festival is held in February and March in Menton on the French Riviera. This is the second largest event on the Riviera after the Carnival of Nice. It attracts over 200,000 visitors every year. Based on a new theme each year, impressive sculptures and floats are decorated with 140 tonnes of citrus fruits. In 2019, the festival will be held from Feb. 16 to March 3 on the theme "Fantastic Worlds."
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Australia
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Since 1993, this festival has been promoting the culinary culture of Victoria. Apart from the "World's Longest Lunch" (pictured), the festival features over 200 events, including regional food and wine tasting sessions, live cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs and guided tours to some of the best restaurants. In 2019, the festival will be held from March 8-24.
Chinchilla Melon Festival, Australia © Newspix/Newspix via Getty Images/Getty Images
Chinchilla in Queensland is known as the melon capital of Australia and biennially, in February, its residents celebrate the glorious red and juicy stickiness of watermelons with this four-day fest, which includes melon races, melon skiing, spit pip competitions, a giant melon food fight and, of course, having your fill of melons. In 2019, the festival will be held from Feb. 14-17.
South Beach Wine & Food Festival, US © Carlos Barrios/Getty Images for SOBEWFF®/Getty ImagesCORAL GABLES, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Kim Daisy serves Daisy Cakes at Goya Foods' Swine & Wine Presented By The National Pork Board Hosted By Lorena Garcia - 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE 2016 at
Started in 1997, the four-day food festival spanning Miami-Dade and Broward counties in Florida is one of the largest in the country. With over 100 events, the festival draws over 60,000 visitors and 350 talents. Every year, the festival showcases the talents of the world's most renowned chefs and alcohol producers. In 2019, the festival will be held from Feb. 20-24.
Maslenitsa Pancake Festival, Russia
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Also known as Butter Week, Pancake Week or Crepe Week, Maslenitsa is a Russian holiday that marks the end of winter in February-March and is celebrated by dancing, drinking and dressing in traditional attire. During the week-long festival, thin pancakes or crepes, symbolizing the sun, are eaten with an assortment of jams, butter and even caviar. In 2019, the festival will be held in Saint Petersburg from March 4-10.
Austin Food & Wine Festival, US
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Started in 2012 in Texas, the three-day festival in April benefits the non-profit Austin Food and Wine Alliance. It is a celebration of Texan cuisine and spirits, with innovative culinary artisans and wine producers setting up stalls. In 2019, the festival will be held from April 26-28.
Vegas Uncork'd, US
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The four-day food and wine festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, held in April, has emerged as a premier culinary event in the United States since its inception 10 years ago. Offering a one-of-a-kind experience, the event features renowned chefs, who prepare exquisite meals in live demonstrations, master sommeliers, who share their extensive knowledge of perfect pairings, and mixologists who come up with innovative and fun cocktails.
Watercress Festival, England
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Held in Alresford, Hampshire, on the third Sunday of May each year, the festival celebrates the locally grown and versatile crop of watercress. The highlight is a street cavalcade that has the Watercress King and Queen handing out fresh produce. This is followed by a Watercress Eating Championship and the Watercress Food awards. There are food and art stalls, street performances and all sorts of entertainment for people of all ages. In 2019, the festival will be held on May 19.
Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, England
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Held on Cooper's Hill, Gloucester, the festival involves rolling a nine-pound (four kilograms) wheel of Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. Thousands gather to witness about 40 people chasing the wheel. Whoever retrieves it first is allowed to keep it as a reward. In 2019, the festival will be held on May 27.