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Gastronomic Holiday Destinations for The Ultimate Festive Feasts

Gastronomic Holiday Destinations for The Ultimate Festive Feasts

Monika Febriana
01 December 2023

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Do you have holiday plans yet? From visiting Christmas markets to wine tours, here are some tasty gastronomic holiday recommendations for you.

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The holiday season is just around the corner. Have you started planning your vacation yet? While some may opt for a domestic getaway, there’s a growing trend of choosing international destinations, especially during the winter season.

For you foodies looking to spend the holiday season overseas, numerous countries offer unique experiences with a variety of food festivals that are simply too tempting to pass up. Whether you’re exploring local delicacies, savoring international flavors, or immersing yourself in festive culinary traditions, the world is brimming with opportunities to delight your taste buds.

Gastronomic Holiday Destination

Feast of Seven Fishes, Italy & USA

The Feast of Seven Fishes, also known as Festa dei sette pesci, is an Italian-American celebration held on Christmas Eve. While Christmas celebrations are often associated with meat-based dishes, this tradition takes a different turn by featuring a variety of seafood. If you’re eager to witness this festive occasion, head to Fairmont Street in Virginia, USA. Every December, this street comes alive with a vibrant festival that attracts numerous visitors, showcasing a delightful array of traditional dishes prepared by several Italian families.

Markt der Engel Cologne, Germany

The Christmas market has become an indispensable tradition in Germany. One of the oldest Christmas markets in the world is located in this country, precisely in the city of Cologne, dating back to 1820. There are a total of 8 Christmas markets in this city that are worth visiting. One of them is the Kölsch Beer and Christmas Market Tour, renowned for its brewhouses. This market offers the famous Kölsch beer, and you can indulge in the delightful experience of sipping mulled wine.

New York Indonesian Food Bazaar

The monthly New York Indonesian Food Bazaar is a culinary extravaganza that never fails to make its mark every year. Celebrating its 10th year, this bazaar consistently draws crowds of not only Indonesians but people from around the world. Here, you can relish a variety of dishes that evoke the distinctive flavors of Indonesian cuisine. Taking place annually in December, this bazaar becomes a must-visit destination for tourists exploring New York, USA. Beyond New York, additional bazaars are set to open in Elmhurst and Manhattan, extending the opportunity for even more people to experience the culinary wonders of Indonesia.

The Sinterklaas Festival, Netherlands

Can you imagine coming face-to-face with Santa Claus at a festival? Well, at The Sinterklaas Festival in the Netherlands, you can encounter Santa as he parades through the festivities. Sinterklaas, or Saint Nicholas, is an authentic Dutch tradition that comes to life in this vibrant celebration. Don’t miss the chance to savor a variety of delectable treats available at the festival, including Pepernoten (mini ginger biscuits), taai taai (chewy aniseed biscuits), schuimpjes, and more.

The Vienna Christmas Market

If you’re planning to visit Christmas markets, Rathausplatz Christkindlmarkt, or the Vienna Christmas Market, is a must-have on your list. Immerse yourself in the enchanting blend of Christmas decorations against the backdrop of the old town. Beyond the festive ambiance, indulge in a culinary journey with an array of delectable offerings. From pastries to oven-baked potatoes, Buchteln to Baumkuchen, and sausages to Spätzle, a delightful assortment of treats awaits to accompany you as you stroll through this winter wonderland.

Toyosu Fish Market, Japan

For all the sashimi enthusiasts out there, a visit to the Toyosu Fish Market in Japan is an absolute must. Housed indoors, this market offers a diverse array of fish for sale. However, the highlight that you cannot afford to miss is the world-renowned New Year’s Auction, the largest fish auction globally. Various bluefin tuna, weighing hundreds of kilograms, are up for grabs. In the year 2023, a staggering 212-kilogram bluefin tuna fetched an astounding $273,000 in the auction, equivalent to IDR 4 billion. Make sure to mark your calendar for the first auction of the year on January 5th.

Truffle Hunting Season, French

Truffles stand as one of the luxurious ingredients that elevate the flavors of any dish. Renowned for their wild growth and elusive nature, these mushrooms are considered a culinary treasure. However, France offers a unique experience through its Truffle Hunting Season tours. Beyond the thrill of hunting for these expensive fungi, participants get to savor a delightful array of dishes crafted from these prized mushrooms, complemented by exquisite wines. The truffle season unfolds from January to February, making this activity a perfect alternative for those seeking an extraordinary holiday experience.  

Winter Winery Tour at Napa Valley, US

Winter emerges as the prime time to visit Napa Valley, USA, and do you know why? It marks the pinnacle of harvest season, famously known as Cabernet Season. During this period, you can partake in wine tours and gain extensive knowledge about this revered beverage directly from the winemakers themselves. After indulging in an insightful tour, picture yourself sipping on a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon while soaking in the breathtaking views of the Napa Valley. This unique experience is available from December to February, allowing you to combine the warmth of a robust red with the cool beauty of winter in Napa.

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