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Gastronomic tourism

Tasty and healthy food is an indispensable component of quality rest. Nowadays gastronomic tourism is popular and actively developing all over the world. Belarus was no exception, where this type of tourism has been gaining popularity and gaining real features in recent years. The organization of gastronomic tours not only introduces the dishes of the Belarusian national cuisine prepared according to old recipes, but also contributes to the revival of the culinary traditions of the Belarusian village, provides an opportunity to taste dishes from natural, environmentally friendly and high-quality products, touch the original folk traditions, including culinary ones.

In 2021, a Roadmap for the development of gastronomic tourism in the Republic of Belarus was developed, which provides for a number of activities aimed at developing, promoting and popularizing gastronomic tourism:

  • expansion of the network of public catering enterprises;

  • development of a network of objects of Belarusian cuisine;

  • holding events to promote the peculiarities of local cuisine, culinary traditions and the gastronomic potential of the country as a whole (master classes, tastings, festivals, exhibitions, fairs);

  • formation of gastronomic tourist routes, inclusion of gastronomic objects and events in complex tourist routes.

Now in Belarus there are more than 150 catering facilities that specialize in national cuisine, 62 tourist routes with a gastronomic component have been developed. It should be noted that in Belarus, not a single folk festival is complete without interesting competitions, master classes and, of course, various types of treats. At the same time, there are events that are completely dedicated to cooking or a specific product. Many different gastronomic festivals are held annually in different regions of the country, which offer not only a great time with the whole family or a large company, but also try unusual dishes or products of culinary masters. Let's dwell on the most popular and already become real brands.

Gastrofest is a series of gastronomic festivals, which have been organized by BelMediaStandard LLC since 2016, unite connoisseurs of delicious food and quality drinks and are aimed at developing gastronomic culture in the Republic of Belarus. Since 2021, the Republican festival "Gastrofest" has been held simultaneously in all regional centers of Belarus. As part of the festival, participating establishments develop new dishes on a pre-announced theme of the festival and offer their best sets at a fixed price in a certain period of time. This is a great opportunity to visit various cafes and restaurants in the city and try something new from the culinary world. All participating establishments fight among themselves for the title of winners of the "popular vote" on the website and Telegram channel of the Festival. The guests of the establishments have the opportunity to determine the leaders of the festival by voting for their favorite sets. After the end of the festival, the three leaders of the popular vote in each city, who received the most votes, are announced.

Beer Festival in Lida - "LIDBEER" - a unique interactive Open-air, which for one day turns the historical center of the Belarusian brewing capital Lida into a large-scale festival site. The festival has been held since 2015 and is one of the most anticipated events of the year both among the residents of Lida and among numerous guests who are waiting not only for refreshments, a tour of the Lida Beer factory and a crafts fair, but also performances of the knights in the Lida Castle, concert and entertainment programs, master classes, etc.

Recently, the culinary festival "Motalsky prysmaki" (organized since 2008) in the agro-town of Motol, Ivanovsky district, Brest region, has received the greatest regional fame. The festival deserved its high marks both from the guests and from the experts of the Swedish organization Regional Culinary Heritage of Europe. Every visitor is waiting for exhibitions of unique works of folk artisans, demonstrations of traditional Jewish rituals, theatrical performances and, of course, many treats for every taste. The agricultural town of Motol is the center of Polеssya tourism, the small homeland of the first President of Israel, Chaim Weizmann. Motal land is famous for its crafts, rituals, cuisine and other components of the intangible historical and cultural heritage.

Every year since 2007, at the beginning of August, a regional celebration of the summer harvest “Cucumber Day” has been held in Shklov (Mogilev region), which is rightfully considered the most cucumber city in Belarus. Organizer - GUK "Centralized club system of the Shklovsky district". In Shklov, a monument to the cucumber was erected (author - sculptor A. Vorobyov, 2007), which has already managed to become one of the symbols of the city and entered the city folklore. A popular belief among locals and tourists alike is that one must rub one's pocket of a cucumber to ensure one's financial well-being. The program of the gastronomic fest includes the Cucumber Parade in costume, theatrical performances and sports competitions, trade and tasting of original dishes. Various competitions are necessarily held: “The most original cucumber backyard”, “The best dish of the cucumber holiday”, “The most original vegetable”, “The brightest cucumber costume”, “The most interesting agricultural equipment”, “The best advice for working on a personal plot”, as well as the poetry competition "Dedication to the Cucumber", master classes in artistic carving on vegetables and pickling cucumbers according to "grandmother's" recipes. On this day, guests and participants of the holiday are offered cucumbers for every taste: fresh, salted, lightly salted, fried, steamed, baked in pies, boiled in soup and in exotic jam.

"Cherry Festival" in the town of Glubokoe (Vitebsk region) is an annual celebration of the spring beauty, which pleases the inhabitants of all Belarus with its color, and then with its fruits. They say that there is no tastier cherry than Glubokoe, and therefore it is no coincidence that the Cherry Festival has been held in Glubokoe since 2013, and Glubokoe is rightfully called the cherry capital. During the celebration, guests can participate in various sporting events, tree planting, entertainment programs, including the procession of the Cherry Queen. Of course, the festival is not complete without delicious treats with the hero of the occasion: drinks, pies, fresh berries, etc. residents and guests of Glubochchyna.

The regional festival "Gaspadarchy cheese" has been held since 2012 in the city of Slavgorod (Mogilev region) and is dedicated to homemade cheeses. Since 2021, the Gaspadarchy Cheese gastronomic festival has expanded and developed into the Cheese Fest culinary festival. The goal of the project is the revival of the ancient traditions of Slavgorod cheese making. For tasting and sale, more than 30 types of homemade cheese are provided for every taste: hard and soft, processed and cottage cheese, suluguni and cheese, syrnitsa and cheese cakes, sweet and salty, with various seasonings and fillings. In addition to the fair and sale of homemade cheeses with tasting, master classes in their preparation, games, competitions, thematic excursions and concert and entertainment programs, an agrotourist village is presented at the festival, where the owners of the farmsteads of the region present opportunities for receiving tourists, present their local tourism products, as well as treat with national cuisine and ancient traditional drinks. The organizer of the event is the Centralized Club System of the Slavgorod District.

 Every year since 2017, the city of Cherikov (Mogilev region) hosts a delicious and sweet holiday-fair "Day of Jam", which is timed to coincide with the Orthodox holiday "Apple Spas". The holiday begins with the procession of the Queen of Jam. It continues with a theatrical concert program - "The sweetest holiday of summer." Throughout the day, musical and entertainment programs for guests, attractions, exhibitions and sales of artisans' products are organized, thematic sites work, conversations over the samovar "Sweet stories", literary readings "Stories about jam in books" are held. The highlight of the holiday is the collective preparation of Druzhba jam. The culmination of the creative project is the regional competition for the best preparation of jam. The “Jam Festival” is held in four nominations: “The Best Jam”, “Grandma's Jam” - according to an old recipe, “Jam is the Best Medicine” - the most useful jam, “New Taste” - involves revealing the exotic taste and color of jam. In addition to jam, participants present a wide variety of culinary products: drinks, herbal teas, fragrant honey and pies with a variety of fruit and berry fillings. The final chord of the holiday is the summing up of the results of the competition and the presentation of awards.

The festival "Luninetsky klubnitsy" in the agro-town of the Palace of the Luninets district is dedicated to one of the most delicious berries in Belarus - strawberries. Exhibitions, games, entertainment programs are dedicated to her. Berries made of paper, fabric, balls decorate the costumes and the territory of the event. All guests can taste various dishes with delicious strawberries at the culinary exhibition, as well as participate in the festive procession led by the Strawberry Beauty.

Connoisseurs of wild berries are invited to visit the Polotsk Blueberry Eco-Festival, which is held in July. The berries are sold fresh and dried, they offer to try compotes, fruit drinks, unusual liqueurs.

The Lake Vitebsk region in September boasts of a harvest of cranberries at an ecological festival in the city of Miory "Cranes and Cranes", which tells about the main natural resources of this region - common cranes and cranberries. You can look at the birds, find out what cranes eat, where they hibernate, why they fly in a wedge and why they coo so beautifully when flying over us, as well as participate in games and competitions, walk around the farmsteads and choose the best farmstead in the area, buy souvenirs from local craftsmen. And most importantly - to taste plenty of cranberry juice, pastries with this berry and buy cranberries for the winter, because cranberry juice perfectly treats a cold.

Dairy festival in Brest "Clouds of fresh milk" is held by the well-known company "Savushkin Product". The festival program is very rich. Guests of any age can not only have fun at numerous themed venues, but also learn a lot of new and useful things about milk and dairy products, as well as taste milkshakes, drinks and ice cream, visit summer cafes with pancakes, pancakes, cottage cheese desserts and even take part in cow milking competition on 3D layout.

The event “Queen’s ear invites to make friends!” has already become a branded event, which since 2017 has been gathering everyone who loves Prynemanye and its gifts in the agro-town of Peskovtsy (Lida district). Guests of the holiday will be treated to fish soup for every taste: white and black, classic and triple, hangover and amber. The program also includes a master class on cooking special Peskovskaya fish soup, competitions of fishing epics and fables, the Fishing game attraction, presentations and tastings of Neman fish dishes, performances by local amateur art groups.

Fans of meat dishes can be recommended to visit the May barbecue festival in Logoisk (Minsk region). Unusual combinations of meat, sausages, dishes from farmsteads are waiting for all tourists. Particular attention is paid to the gastronomic component when organizing and holding in all regions of Belarus, especially in ethnographic museums, various folk holidays and festivities, which include Maslenitsa, Gukanne vyasny, Kupalle and others, where you can taste dishes of Belarusian national cuisine .

More information about the numerous gastronomic events, holidays and festivals planned to be held in Belarus in 2022 and aimed at developing gastronomic tourism, popularizing dishes of the Belarusian national cuisine is presented in the "Gastronomic Calendar of Events for 2022", which is posted on the portal of the National Agency for tourism.