I already knew about the many varied cuisines of Spain thanks to my research on Eat the World, but I didn’t realize until I visited just how enthusiastic they are about food. While I haven’t been to any of these festivals, they are definitely each worth planning into your Spain itinerary.
Spanish cuisine is famed for being varied, intriguing and above all, absolutely delicious. No matter which part you choose to visit you’ll have plenty of opportunities to sample the delicacies, especially if your trip coincides with one of these fantastic food festivals.
Fiesta de la Alcachofa, Benicarlo – January
Spain’s artichoke festival takes place in Benicarlo, in the heart of Valencia each January, for a very specific reason. The artichokes grown at this location have been given a ‘Designation of Origin’ seal to mark their unique taste and quality, and when you visit for the artichoke festival you’ll be spoiled for choice of ways to enjoy these vegetables, including ‘la torra’ where large quantities of artichokes are roasted over a bed of hot coals.
La Tomatina, Buñol – August
Like tomatoes? You’ll love the La Tomatina festival, which takes place in the normally peaceful town of Buñol on the fourth Wednesday in August each year. However, if you’re expecting a dignified festival of tomato appreciation, think again – La Tomatina is also known as the world’s biggest food fight, as thousands of people congregate in the Buñol streets to throw ripe tomatoes at each other, all in the name of good, messy fun.
Fiesta de la Butifarra, Majorca – October
On the island of Majorca, you’ll find that many restaurants serve ‘butifarra’, a sausage made from pork and various kinds of spices. Residents of the town of Saint Joan are particularly large fans of butifarra, so much so that they hold an entire festival dedicated to the sausage on the third Saturday in October! At the Fiesta de la Butifarra there will be numerous stalls offering freshly cooked butifarra as well as many other types of sausage, as well as music, dancing and plenty of drink – don’t forget to arrive hungry.
Olive Festival, Majorca – November
The delicious small green and black fruits are celebrated in spectacular fashion on Majorca in November, as the small town of Caimari lines its streets with olive branches and hosts a fair where you can enjoy as many olives as you can handle! Caimari is situated at the foothills of the Serra de Trumantara mountain range, where olive-oil has predominantly been produced in Majorca since Roman times, so as well as sampling the freshest and best quality olive products you can also try almonds, figs and more, plus watch how olives are pressed in the traditional fashion – by a donkey pulling a stone mortar.
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