State fairs and festivals are crowd-pleasers. There are many fun games and live performances to keep the crowd entertained. But one of the highlights of any festival is the food. Specifically, you'll find unique food options you can't find elsewhere.
Whether you want to refuel after all the festival activities or treat your taste buds to something unique, festival foods are sure to please. Some of these food options are over-the-top, but many are willing to travel across the globe for them!
Best Festival Foods to Try
Give your taste buds something to look forward to on your travels! Go big when it comes to flavor and uniqueness with these fantastic fest foods.
10. Garlic Desserts
If you love ice cream, chances are you've tried almost every existing flavor. But how about garlic ice cream?
You might like garlic on savory dishes, but it's probably not a flavor you'd envision on a sweet treat like ice cream. Yet, that's precisely what makes this festival food so unique.
The Toronto Garlic Festival is one of the biggest festivals celebrating garlic. It's a must-add to your festival bucket list if you're a garlic lover.
The garlic ice cream is so unique that most who've tried it are divided on their opinion. However, it's not the only garlic dessert you can try at this festival. Other garlic desserts include garlic brownies and even garlic ice pops!
9. Ichigo Ame (Candied Japanese Strawberry)
Candied apples are a typical state fair and festival food in the US. But have you tried candied strawberries on a stick?
If you go to a festival in Japan, you'll discover that this sweet treat is a common festival food. The candy coating encases the fresh strawberry and comes with a strawberry sauce. The combination of the cold sherbet and warm sauce is a match made in heaven!
This delicious food is a must-try when you visit one of Japan's famous summer festivals. Meanwhile, if you're headed to Tokyo this year, add these amazing activities in Japan to your itinerary.
8. SPAM Siu Mai
SPAM Sui Mai is one of the unique festival foods you'll find at Hawaii's annual Waikiki SPAM JAM festival. It's no secret that Hawaiians love their SPAM. And they like to add this ingredient to almost any dish!
This festival showcases those unique dishes, one of which is the SPAM siu mai. Siu mai is a Chinese steamed dumpling usually made with either pork or shrimp, and the filling is enclosed in a wonton wrapper and steamed.
The use of SPAM as a filling is a unique twist to this famous Chinese dish. When you're in Hawaii for the SPAM JAM, don't miss the chance to sample this wacky food.
7. 10x10 Mushroom Pizza
Pizza is one of the most beloved foods in the world. But the one you will find at the Humongous Fungus Fest in Michigan, USA, is unlike any pizza you've ever seen. True to the festival's name, it is really humongous.
This pizza is a homage to the world's largest mushroom discovered in Crystal Falls. The festival commemorates this discovery and other edible fungi grown in the region.
The Humongous pizza is open for attendees to eat. Many other culinary items showcased during the event are also worth checking out.
When visiting the Menton Lemon Festival in France, you can enjoy a delicate treat. The city of Menton is renowned as the lemon capital of France, where you can find lemon varieties of all kinds. Lemons are used in making various products, all of which are showcased at this annual festival.
Citronnier is made by F. Leroy in Menton and is a dessert treat that's almost too pretty to eat. It's a lemon mousse filled with lemon caramel on top of a lemon pastry. Every bite delivers that citrus punch yet is light and fluffy!
5. Unique Bacon Dishes
Have you heard of the annual Bacon Fest at Lake Geneva in Wisconsin? It's one of the most popular food festivals showcasing bacon as the main attraction. When you come to this festival, expect a bevy of bacon-inspired dishes to try.
Some extraordinary dishes you can try at this festival include bacon cannoli and bacon baklava. You have to see it to believe it! The Bacon Fest is held every May, so don't miss out!
4. Foods at Hokitika Wildfoods Festival
For a festival named Wildfoods, you can check your expectations at the door. It's best to keep an open mind when visiting this food festival, as you'll find dishes that might be new and unusual to you.
Some unconventional foods you can find at this festival are earthworm dishes, shark penis, and huhu grubs. All foods served at the event have a MAF certification, so you can try these dishes with peace of mind.
3. Watercress Dishes
Known as the watercress capital of the UK, Alresford in England is home to the annual Watercress Festival. Superfoods have been gaining popularity as many people believe in their health benefits. This festival is for you if you're into superfoods right now.
This festival showcases the many different dishes you can make using watercress. Of course, you can find the usual recipes, like salads, pesto, and hummus. You can also expect unique options like watercress sausages, beer, and ice cream!
2. Out-of-This-World Porridge
The Golden Spurtle Festival in Scotland celebrates a culinary staple in the country: porridge. The Scots love this dish so much that they have a celebration honoring it. 'Golden Spurtle' refers to the utensil used to stir porridge. It's also the shape of the trophy awarded to winners of the Porridge Making Contest.
The highlight of the event is the showcase of various porridge recipes. You'll find unique porridge creations made with cloudberry liqueur, whisky ice cream, and caramelized porridge.
If you'd like to discover more of Scotland, check out these Scottish activities while you're there!
1. Traditional Icelandic Dishes at Thorrablot
Every culture has its unique culinary traditions, and Iceland is no exception. The Thorrablot Festival is celebrated in Iceland from January 23 to February 23. This month-long festival celebrates traditional Icelandic dishes. It aims to honor the Norse god Thor with an extravagant feast, with famous Icelandic staples such as:
- Picked ram testicles
- Rotten shark
- Boiled sheep's head
- Pickled whale blubber
- Boiled sheep's head jam
- Liver sausage
- Blood sausage
Immerse yourself in Iceland's local food culture by sampling these traditional dishes! Or go on a Reykjavik food lover's tour to experience something unique on your next trip.
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