Naples, Italy, celebrates its best-known dish, margherita pizza, at Pizza Village, running through June 25.

Naples, Italy, celebrates its best-known dish, margherita pizza, at Pizza Village, running through June 25. (iStock)

While Spain is famed for paella and Poland is known for its pierogi, Europe’s culinary food scene is made up of a tantalizing smorgasbord of specialties associated not just with countries but towns, cities and geographical regions. For a taste of some of the foods that locals proudly claim as their very own, consider attending one of these upcoming food festivals.

Naples, Italy: Naples’ contribution to culinary greatness is the Pizza Margherita, a pizza made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, so good on its own it requires no additional toppings. Through June 25, Italy’s third-largest city celebrates all forms of a dish that’s conquered the world at Pizza Village, running through June 25 at the Mostra d’Oltremare. In addition to more than 30 pop-up pizzerias, visitors can enjoy concerts, master classes, food and wine pairings and activities for the kids. Entrance to the village can be gained by means of purchasing a pizza menu consisting of a pizza, soft drink, dessert and coffee at a cost of 15 euros (or 10 euros without the pizza). Children under 12 enter for free. Online:

Frankfurt, Germany: Frankfurt’s Green Sauce contains seven different herbs (borage, chervil, cress, parsley, salad burnet, sorrel and chives) bound together by sour cream, oil, vinegar, mustard and salt. The concoction, typically served cold over hard-boiled eggs or boiled potatoes, is just one of the regional specialties available at the Gruene Sosse Festspiele, running through July 17 at the city’s centrally located Rossmarkt. Various forms of entertainment, from cabaret to opera to poetry slams, round off the daily program of entertainment. Entry is free. Online:

Brussels, Belgium: On Belgium’s national holiday July 21, thousands gather at the Place du Jeu de Balle to indulge in the country’s favorite dish, mussels and fries, at what’s known as the Resto National. From 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., the tables are set to welcome hungry diners from all walks of life, including curious tourists. A colorful parade of musicians and costumed entertainers adds a festive air to the scene. Online:

Lindenfels, Germany: Dairies scattered throughout the highlands of southern Germany’s Allgäu region produce a variety of delectable cheeses, from the creamy Cambozola to the hard and piquant Bergkäse. The International Cheese and Gourmet Festival offers the chance to try these regional delicacies alongside the gourmet products of some 80 producers from throughout Europe, from oils to jams to mustards, as well as a variety of beverages. Live music, cooking demos, tastings and a children’s program round out the offerings slated for Aug. 25-26. Online:

Kallstadt, Germany: This likeable town on the German Wine Road wine-growing region celebrates Saumagen, the signature dish of the Palatinate region. A sow’s stomach serves as the casing for a stuffing made of pork, potatoes, onions and spices, sliced and fried in a pan. The “Saumagenkerwe,” scheduled Sept.1-4, sees the pork treat served alongside generous pours of the area’s highly reputed wines. Online:

Arles, France: While Arles looks just like the age-old Roman city it is, it takes on a distinctive Spanish flair during its annual Rice Festival (Féria du Riz). From Sept. 9-10, visitors queue up to sample seafood paellas cooked up in huge pans. The festival shines a light on a local crop, the red rice of the Camargue, a region rich in heritage and natural beauty. Online:

San Vito lo Capo, Sicily: This town along Sicily’s northwest coast celebrates a grain important to Mediterranean culture with a festival that honors both culinary tradition and cultural exchange. From Sept. 15-24, booths selling couscous dishes alongside local specialties, a competition between chefs representing different countries, concerts and other entertainment on stage draws in droves of visitors. Online:

Galway, Ireland: Seafood lovers may well find the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival worth hopping on a plane for. From Sept. 22–24, one of Europe’s largest food festivals includes oyster shucking competitions, seafood feasts, cookery demos and plenty of Guinness drinking. Online:

Bressanone/Brixen, Italy: In this town in northern Italy’s South Tyrol, also known as Alto Adige, one is more likely to hear German spoken than Italian. The region’s culinary traditions also skew to the north, with the South Tyrolean Bread and Strudel Festival a good example of such. For three days, the town’s bakeries and pastry shops showcase their tasty wares at booths set up in the pretty Cathedral Square. Vying for center stage is apple strudel, served traditionally or with adventurous tweaks to the recipe. Musical entertainment, a children’s bakery, and carriage rides through the Old Town promise a fun day out for all Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Online:

Stuttgart, Germany: Leinfelden-Echterdingen, a suburb just south of Stuttgart, is known for its local crop, a special type of cabbage known as Filderkraut. The pointy-shaped veg is lauded for its tender leaves and mild, sweet taste. Visitors can sample dishes with this as its main ingredient at the annual Krautfest, scheduled for Oct. 13-15. Live music and other shows turn the feast into a fest. Online:

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now