Food on holiday is always an important factor, as we look to indulge our taste buds while we’re away. Amongst the best treat ideas is sampling fresh seafood while exploring the beach resorts that offer up the tasty morsels. As we’re at the height of summer, this is the perfect time to look at the best seafood festivals from around the world.
Galway Oyster Festival- Ireland.
Starting in 1954, the Galway Oyster Festival is the longest running Oyster festival in the world and the second most recognised festival inIreland, after St Patrick’s Day. The National Oyster Opening Championship is held during the seafood festival every year and it’s one of the most famous events in the Galwaycalendar. What goes best with oysters, you ask? That’s right, Champagne flows during the three day event like running water, which adds to the celebrations and lively atmosphere. As a special treat, restaurants inGalwayopen their doors for seafood tasting and even food lectures are planned nearby for those who want to share and compare seafood recipes. Children can get involved by enjoying traditional storytelling and maybe even taking part in the masked parade. In the evening, famous Irish music acts from the world of pop and folk dancing grace the stage to entertain the well-fed guests.
The Festa da Lapa , Madeira.
The Festa da Lapa is the place to go if you fancy grilled limpets with a refreshing pint of beer. Held at the Paul do Mar harbour on the eastern side of the island, this festival runs for three nights in late July, offering an excellent variety of entertainment, such as live music and dancing. The limpet fishing industry was once a very strong element to the area’s economy and is one of the most traditional festivals held on the island. The best way to enjoy your grilled limpets during this festival extravaganza is with butter, garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice. If you fancy watching Madeira’s answer to Monty Python during your feast, check out the festival on Sunday night when the 4 Litro comedy act will be performing.
Little Ochi Seafood Festival – Jamaica.
This seafood festival offers a laidback bohemian atmosphere and is held on the black sands on the southern coast ofJamaica, in Alligator Pond. It is run by the Little Ochi restaurant who are famous for cooking their seafood in a variety of different ways to specifically suit each customer. Once a year their restaurant is opened up as the party begins, attracting around 650 people to the beach to enjoy delicious delicacies such as curried shrimp and jerk crab. Whilst visitors sample a selection of seafood in the evening sun, soca bands along with traditional Jamaican dancers perform on the beach, and the festival goes on well into the evening. Although this festival isn’t as big as others, it’s excellent for tourists who want to mix with locals, sample traditional Jamaican seafood and experience a culture like no other.
Porto Cristo Seafood Festial- Majorca.
Majorca is renowned for its picturesque fishing villages and harbours; the working portof Porto Cristois one of the best. The Seafood Festival runs for one day [when?] during the summer along the Paseo de la Sirena promenade, where local restaurants and bars offer a variety of seafood cuisine for locals and tourists to enjoy. The festival itself has been running for thirteen consecutive years, with dishes such as tuna tartare, shrimps with garlic and shellfish fiedeua all to be sampled. The atmosphere turns into something of a seafood crawl, as people bustle from one stall to the next, not wanting to miss out on any delectable fish dishes; this certainly evokes some healthy competition between the restaurant chefs.
Louisiana Seafood Festival- New Orleans USA.
Held in the New Orleans French Quarter of Wolden Park, this festival gets brownie points for being totally free. This is where traditional American-style restaurants, such as Red Fish Grill and Mrs B Bistro, showcase their world-class seafood cuisine. You’ll find top chefs from around the word (who no doubt have an interest in maritime) head over toLouisianafor this seafood celebration – and you know if it’s good enough for them, it must be excellent! There’s a fresh seafood market throughout the day for anyone who enjoyed what they sampled; the phrase “try before you buy” is very apt here. Local music artists are also included within the feature on the two stages; expect to hear some traditional New Orleans jazz to soothe your soul, which may be feeling a little full! When you’re not busy tasting an array of crawfish and shrimp, make your way to some of the local woodwork, textile and jewellery booths to take your pick of excellent souvenirs.
The beauty of seafood festivals is that travellers get the chance to enjoy food they might not be able to prepare at home, due to the quality, history and craft involved. They’re certainly enjoyable to experience as guests get to socialise in a lively environment, all while trying some delectable seafood dishes. So, go on – what are you waiting for?