Discover the heart of French culture and passion for gastronomy by immersing yourself in the country’s diverse and vibrant food festivals. From the world-renowned Sarlat Truffle Festival to the festive Christmas markets, France offers a year-round culinary adventure that caters to every palate. Join us as we explore some of the most exciting and mouthwatering events that showcase the French dedication to food and celebration.

  1. Sarlat Truffle Festival – A Luxurious Start to the Year (January): Begin your culinary journey in January with the Sarlat Truffle Festival, an event that sets the tone for a year filled with gastronomic delights. Immerse yourself in the joyful celebrations of Périgord noir’s revered truffles, featuring auctions, markets, exhibitions, cooking demos, and a taste of the finest truffles.
  2. Menton’s Fête du Citron – Burst of Citrus Splendor (February): In February, Menton’s world-famous Fête du Citron captivates visitors with breathtaking giant sculptures made from over 15 tonnes of citrus fruit. This vibrant event, regularly attracting over 200,000 visitors, celebrates the theme of opera and dance in 2023.
  3. Fest’Oie in Sarlat – Marching to the Beat of Goose-based Goodies (March): March brings the Fest’Oie in Sarlat, where foodies gather to indulge in controversial delicacies like foie gras. Experience parades by the geese, egg-painting, and a variety of goose-based treats, showcasing the town’s unique culinary traditions.
  4. Fête de la Coquille Saint-Jacques – April’s Shellfish Extravaganza (April): April invites you to the Fête de la Coquille Saint-Jacques in Côtes d’Armor, celebrating the end of the fishing season with fishing trips, music, and delectable scallops. Immerse yourself in the coastal charm and flavours of this shellfish festival.
  5. Fête de la Cerise – May’s Cherry Celebration in Céret (May): May heralds the Fête de la Cerise in Céret, Roussillon, celebrating the cherry harvest with markets, tastings, and lively brass bands. Join the tradition of picking the first fruits of the season, which are sent to the President.
  6. Fête du Fromage in Touffreville-sur-Eu – A Cheese Lover’s Delight (June): June takes you to Touffreville-sur-Eu for the Fête du Fromage, celebrating Norman cheeses like Neufchâtel, Pont-l’Eveque, and Livarot. Indulge in the rich flavours and promises of something for every cheese enthusiast.
  7. Fête du Cognac in Poitou-Charentes – July’s Toast to Wine Wealth (July): In July, raise your glass at the Fête du Cognac in Poitou-Charentes, a three-day celebration of the region’s spectacular wine wealth. Enjoy concerts, parties, and gratitude for the renowned Cognac region’s oenophilic treasures.
  8. Fête de la Crêpe in Gourin – July’s Sweet Tooth Haven (July): Also in July, head to Gourin in Morbihan for the Fête de la Crêpe, a sweet celebration featuring music, Breton crafts, sea shanties, and, of course, the essential task of making and tasting delicious pancakes.
  9. Foire aux Vins in Colmar – A Summer Soiree for Wine Enthusiasts (July-August): During the summer months, indulge in the Foire aux Vins in Colmar, where 70-plus years of tradition welcome an international crowd. Revel in the festivities and savour the best wines the region has to offer.
  10. Fêtes de la Mirabelle in Lorraine – August’s Golden Plum Extravaganza (August): In August, Lorraine hosts Fêtes de la Mirabelle, celebrating the golden Mirabelle plum with dinners, shows, art exhibitions, fireworks, and the crowning of the Mirabelle Plum queen. Join around 80,000 visitors in this spectacular celebration.
  11. Toute la Mer sur un Plateau – Scallops and Sustainability (September-October): Late September to early October marks Toute la Mer sur un Plateau, celebrating the start of the scallop fishing season in Granville. Explore sustainable practices while enjoying cooking, games, boat tours, markets, and a variety of flavors from the Baie de Granville-Chausey.
  12. Foire de la Châtaigne in Mourjou – October’s Chestnut Extravaganza (October): Embrace the autumnal spirit in October with the Foire de la Châtaigne in Mourjou, Auvergne. Wander through a vast market selling chestnut-related produce, accompanied by music, parades, and a hike through the chestnut trees.
  13. Espelette Pepper Festival – Spicy Delights in Basque Country (October): For a spicier option, head to the Espelette Pepper Festival in Basque Country, celebrating the famous red chilli pepper. Dive into a bustling market, dance to live bandas music, and witness the solemn mass featuring the blessing of the peppers.
  14. Toquicimes in Megève – October’s Mountain Gastronomy Celebration (October): Experience mountain gastronomy at its best in Megève with Toquicimes in October. Celebrate with Michelin-starred chefs, farmers, producers, and artisans, enjoying competitions, exhibitions, tastings, and master classes.
  15. Fête du Ventre in Rouen – October’s Belly Festival (October): Rouen hosts the Fête du Ventre in October, a festival showcasing local fruits, vegetables, cheeses, chocolates, cider, pastries, and jams. Explore culinary demonstrations, market delights, and witness top chefs in action.
  16. Autumn Cider Festivals – Cheers to the Season (October-November): Celebrate the autumn cider season with festivals like Plus Beau Village Beuvron-En-Auge in Calvados, the Apple, Cider And Cheese Festival at Conches-En-Ouche (Eure), and the Traditional Cider Festival at Le Sap (Orne) in mid-November.
  17. Beaujolais Nouveau Celebrations – Mid-November Toasts (November): Mid-November marks the toast-worthy celebrations of Beaujolais Nouveau. Raise your glasses in vineyards, restaurants, and tabacs across France to welcome the arrival of this vibrant wine.
  18. Christmas Markets – The Grand Finale (December): Conclude your culinary odyssey with the grandest festival of them all – Christmas! Explore festive markets

This article is based on a piece by Gill Harris in Taste of France Issue 4. Explore the world of cycling and cheese in Provence by reading the full article. Purchase your copy here.

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