The harvest season is upon us, and with it comes plenty of opportunities to indulge in the pick of the season at any number of food festivals across Europe. If you're a bit of a foodie, like me, you will find yourself spoilt for choice with the epicurean smorgasbord of festivals this October. There's something delicious for everyone somewhere on the continent this month, and all of it is just a quick 35-minute trip on
Eurotunnel Le Shuttle
. So grab your friends and family, jump in the car and hop over the Channel to discover the culinary treats that await you at some of Europe's best food festivals this October.
Weimar Onion Market (Weimarer Zwiebelmarkt), Weimar, Germany
When you think of festivals in Germany during the month of October, no doubt the first thing that comes to mind is the famous
Oktoberfest in Munich
. Well, if beer isn't really your thing, then head to the little town of Weimar between Friday 10th and Sunday 12th October, and celebrate the humble onion at the Weimarer Zwiebelmarkt, which is actually more than 150 years older than Oktoberfest!
The Weimar Onion Market is actually huge, which may come as a bit of a surprise, with over 500 stalls selling onions and everything that has anything to do with them. There are also lots of other delicious foods on offer, including a variety of German sausages and cakes (not made with onions), as well as drinks and entertainment throughout the town to enjoy.
Csabai Sausage Festival (Csabai Kolbászfesztivál), Békéscsaba, Hungary
In case you weren't already aware, the Csabai sausage is a spicy sausage with a healthy dose of paprika that is only made in Békéscsaba, and has Protected Geographical Status. The little town of Békéscsaba in Hungary may not be particularly well known, but its amazing Csabai Sausage Festival still manages to attract around 10,000 visitors over the four days it's held. This year, the festival will take place from Thursday 23rd October until Sunday 26th October, and there is plenty to keep you occupied during your time spent there. Without a doubt, the highlight of the festival is the sausage-making contest, with about 500 or so teams vying for first prize - it can get very competitive! There is also plenty of wine flowing throughout the festival, and traditional folk music to keep you entertained.
As well as the famous Csabai sausage, there are plenty of other varieties besides on offer in Hungary
International White Truffle Fair (Fiera del Tartufo), Alba, Italy
Truffles are one of the most highly sought after delicacies in the culinary world, often fetching quite substantial sums for particularly fine specimens. Every year in the little Piedmontese town of Alba, the humble truffle is honoured with its very own festival that lasts for just over a month, this year from Saturday 11th October to Sunday 16th November.
As you might expect, there are plenty of opportunities to get your hands on these little treasures, and there's even an invitation-only auction in which some of the more exotic varieties can go for as much as $1,200 a pound! While that may be an exclusive event, there is plenty going on besides that's open to the general public, including a parade, cookery master classes, tasting sessions and more. There is also lots of other fresh, locally sourced produce on sale, so you can easily fill up the car with delicious treats!
Haggling for truffles is serious business at the Fiera del Tartufo in Alba
Built up an appetite for travel?
No matter where your gastronomic preferences may take you this October, the best way to make the most of your trip is by car. Not only can you easily explore the surrounding areas of the food festival,
Eurotunnel Le Shuttle
has no baggage restrictions to hold you back, which means you can also fill your boot with goodies to your heart's content!
A market in the morning on Saturday © Barret Anspach
Typical Hungarian sausages © NH53
Alba, and the hard-nosed world of truffle bargaining © Andrew Crump