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03 OCT 2014 - BY BEN TAUB
So, if you spent all spring dieting in order to achieve that summer bikini body, now is the time to reward yourself by loosening your belt a little and heading off on an autumn foodie getaway. Here's a look at a few of the delicious eatables to look out for during the season, as well as the best places to find them.
The English Riviera is the place to be when the summer ends in the UK, as this corner of south-west England tends to benefit from the best weather in the entire country, meaning it's likely to stay relatively warm and sunny well into autumn. Anyone who has ever been to Cornwall will know all about how proud the locals are of their iconic cuisine, with delicacies like Cornish pasties and Cornish ice cream being among the most famous local exports.
However, visit in October and you'll have the chance to sample one of the region's finest seasonal offerings, as it's at this time of year that the oyster dredging season begins. The ocean floor off the coast of Cornwall is blessed with one of the largest oyster beds in the British Isles, so if you fancy shucking on a few of these classy molluscs then the Falmouth Oyster Festival, which takes place each October, could well be the perfect event for you.
Aside from getting to sample a huge array of seafood, visitors to the festival also have the chance to attend talks by celebrity chefs and enjoy a range of fantastic live entertainment, including sea shanties, open-air concerts and more.
Late September is harvest time in most of Europe, and that's great news for all fans of the amber nectar, as the weeks immediately after the ploughing see tonnes of hops and barley turned into beer all across the continent. If there's one place that's synonymous with this process it's Bavaria in Germany, where the annual Oktoberfest celebrations are held.
Taking place in Munich, the festival attracts huge numbers of people from around the world each year, and only serves beers which have been brewed within the city limits and which comply with the famous Reinheitsgebot, or German Beer Purity Law.
Of course, Europe isn't the only place that enjoys the harvest season with beer, and anyone who wants to sample some American brews may well find a visit to the Great American Beer Festival to be right up their street. Taking place each October in Denver, Colorado, it showcases the produce of around 700 breweries from around the US.
In the States, the months of October and November are represented by one food above all others: the pumpkin. Aside from being used to create delicious treats such as pumpkin pie and other delights, the squash has also become a significant part of the culture across the country, most notably in the way that pumpkins are used to make jack-o-lanterns for Halloween, and also form a major part of the traditional Thanksgiving feast.
A great way to learn more about the role that pumpkins play in autumnal American life is to visit a pumpkin patch in the north-east of the country. States such as Massachusetts, for instance, are famously awash with these throughout the fall.