Hooray for hummus, chicken wings and the humble dumpling
WHAT'S your favourite type of food? Because it’s likely that there’s going to be a festival devoted to it this year. From a day of cheesy indulgence, to a celebration of sushi and even a longstanding chocolate festival, at least one of these is going to make your day this year.
What: Cheese Fest
When: 24 – 25th February
This weekend, Manchester will be turning on the cheese - literally - as a festival devoted to the dairy delight hits Bowlers. Don your eating pants and enjoy everything from melted raclette to gooey mozzarella, halloumi fries and several variations of mac ‘n’ cheese. Some of the UK's best cheese makers will have stalls offering samples and there'll be plenty of boozy matching sessions too. Tickets for the Saturday have sold out, but some Sunday tickets are still available.
Cheesefest UK, Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester, M17 1SN
What: All you can eat hummus fest
When: 1st March
The folks behind the University of Manchester’s Lebanese Society have realised that people can't get enough of their national dish, regardless of nationality - so they've decided to devote a day to this popular chickpea paste. To celebrate homemade hummus and a myriad of different varieties, students and the general public are invited to pop over to the university to enjoy a range of hummus related performances and events, which will include a blindfolded hummus tasting competition. Pots of Lebanese hummus will be on sale for £1.
Hummus fest, University of Manchester Students’ Union, Oxford Road, M13 9PR
What: Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival
When: 24-25th March
Rammy’s famous choc fest turns double figures this year, celebrating a decade of promoting artisanal cocoa goodness. The weekend dedicated to all things chocolate is a well-known, fun-filled family event involving a chocolate-themed street market with artisan chocolatiers and bakers around the beautiful town of Ramsbottom. You’ll also find a children's area with face painting, a family fun area with crazy golf and paint ball and, in good weather, a lovely picnic area for alfresco dining by the River Irwell. Many of Ramsbottom’s restaurants, cafes and bars also get into the festival spirit by including special chocolate-themed items on their menus.
Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival, Ramsbottom town centre
What: Manchester’s biggest sushi festival
When: 19th May
Mad for maki, nuts for nigri, or dreaming about California rolls? If you love sushi like we like sushi, then this is the festival for you. The Manchester Sushi Festival 2018 will involve roll-your-own sushi sessions, free giveaways, sushi stalls plus sake and Japanese whisky tastings.
Sushi Festival, venue TBC
What: Góbéfest Hungarian food fest
When: 22-24th June
The UK’s first official Szekler – Hungarian festival of Arts and Culture - returns to Albert Square for its second year; promising a Transylvanian extravaganza of music, dance, cuisine and cultural activities for all the family. Visitors will be able to taste a range of delicacies such as Lángos (fried dough with savoury toppings), Kürtőskalács (‘chimney cake’) and Gulyás (Hungarian stew) while quality market stalls from Hungary and Transylvania will bring a selection of unique offerings and gifts.
Góbéfest, Albert Square, Manchester, M60 2LA
What: Dumpling festival
When: 14th July
‘We Love Food,’ a community of bloggers and events organisers, are hosting a day devoted to the dumpling (we assume the Asian variety, rather than the northern suet and stew kind.) They'll be celebrating the best and biggest dumplings in Manchester whilst demonstrating how to make your own - all accompanied by live music and DJs - and there’s a free dumpling on entry for first 100 people to register.
Manchester Dumpling Festival, venue TBC
What: Manchester's first chicken nugget & wings festival
When: 22nd September
The UK’s first ever chicken nugget festival is taking place this year. Brought to you by We Love Food, the same team behind the dumpling festival, this will be a celebration of mass-produced, deep-fried chunks of poultry (without which, judging by the KFC charade, we'd all descend into chicken-induced panic.) As well as live music, and nuggets galore - breaded, battered, baked and deep-fried - there'll be an eating competition to crown the ‘Nugget King and Queen’.
More info on the Facebook page