Spain and Brazil are the best places for all you foodies to indulge your culinary talents in November. Here are four of our favourite food festivals to tempt your taste buds.
Tapas all around in Valladolid
From 5th – 13th November each year the city of Valladolid, Spain, turns into the capital of tapas during the International Tapas Festival. The event takes place at the Millennium Dome (who knew there was more than one?!), has at its heart a Pintxos and Tapas competition in which 45 chefs from all over Spain compete against each others to cook the best tapa/pincho/pintxo. The difference? Usually pinchos are eaten with hands and are served cold. Tapas are small dishes for which you’ll need cutlery, more often than not they are served hot. Pinchos are usually from the north of the country, in particular the Basque Region – where the word is pintxos (pronounced the same as pinchos). Visitors to Valladolid will have the opportunity to sample food at the fair and also in restaurants around Valladolid as well, as they will offer pinchos and tapas to the public.
Orujo in the Picos mountains
November’s most important event in Spain’s Picos de Europa mountains is the Orujo Festival, taking place from 11th to 13th November in the lovely village of Potes. Thousands of visitors come to watch Orujo being distilled on the spot but also to enjoy tasting the typical liqueur as well as other local products such as wonderful cheeses and honey. Hearty mountain dishes such as ‘Cocido Lebaniego’, ‘Borono’ and ‘Picón’ cheese are all washed down with the powerful orujo brandy. Musical shows and folklore performances fill the streets of Potes. The authorities will crown the year’s best Orujo producer though by that time in the proceedings, they might not have everyone’s full attention.
Joy and Gastronomy in Paraty
Brazil’s beautiful colonial town of Paraty is launching its 8th Folia Gastronomica from 11th to 13th November. This circus-inspired food festival is the perfect place to bring your children and a great occasion to immerse yourself in delicious Brazilian cuisine. Besides the various shows taking place, classes, workshops and activities related to cooking will be held around the town. Of course, you get to try Brazilian cuisine as guest chefs prepare and serve food on the streets to offer to passers by.
Bar hopping in Belo Horizonte
Another great Brazilian gastronomic event this month takes place in Belo Horizonte – the bar capital of Brazil. The ‘Bar em Bar’ Gastronomic Festival is an initiative which aims to showcase the country’s famous bar snacks. Many of the city’s bars, ‘Botecos’, offer really good prices for food and drinks. A jury carefully selects the bars allowed to participate so you know that you are getting the best ‘tira-gostos’ (Brazilian appetisers) in the city.