Posts Tagged With: La Tomatina

De Lancey’s European Fun Festival Tours

Aleta, your tour guide

Have fun! Come travel with me.

First Weekend in July – The International Witches Fair –  Watch reenactors capture witches and heretics. Watch the lost souls get tried. Be enthralled by their torture. Be entranced by lovingly recreated witches’s covens. Listen to the excommunication of the entire town. Watch as Pope Julius II curses the entire village of Trasmoz, Spain. The festival sports an authentic medieval market place and medieval camp. There are parades, magic shows, musical shows, and medieval combat. You’ll want to go year after year just to see everything. Learn about medieval plants. Learn how to poison someone. Or maybe you’ll want to heal people with medieval medicinal plants. To each his own.

August – World Bog Snokeling Championships – LLanwrtyd, Wales. People come from all over the world to race 120-yards through a peat bog. Is it difficult? Dunno. But it is only 120 yards long. Many find the competition to be intense. People root on their favorite snorkelers.If you’re an ironman, if you’re a triathlete, you simply must enter in the Bog Snorkeling Championships. It consists of an 8-mile run, a 12-mile Mountain Bike ride, and a 60-yard bog snorkel. There’s lots of fun for the spectators as well. Graze and quaff your way through the food and drink stands. Work your way to the ale and cider bar. Listen to live music as your kids stampede the bouncy castle.  The festival encourages fancy dress.
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August 26 to 28 – Redhead Days Festival – Held this year in Tilburg, Netherlands. Be there to strut your awesome redheadness or if you’re not redheaded yourself, to absorb the sunshine emanating from so much redheads assembled in one place. Be sure to check the event’s website before you bring your clothes. Attendees all dress in the same color, which will have been decided by voting. Planned highlights include: dress-up contest, pub crawl, kids playground, hot tubs (not in the kids playground), food stands, cocktail workshop, BBQ, art exhibition with a red-haired theme , open stage, singing, salsa dancing, lectures, photoshoots, poetry, and cycling tours. Spend your days at the festival, then head to the exciting after-festival parties. There’s even a late night, redhead party at Netherland’s best known gay bar, The Lollipop. All are welcome.
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Last Wednesday in Augsust – Last La Tomatina – The world’s best tomato festival, La Tomatina, is held in Buñol, Spain. The festival starts with the eating of many different tomato-based dishes. Yum! However, dining on the tomato is not the reason for La Tomatina’s extraordinary popularity. The festival hosts the world’s biggest tomato fight. Yippee.

Note: festival dates are prone to change. Check before you book. You don’t want to lug your broom all the way to Spain only to discover the International Witches Fair won’t take place another two weeks.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

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Fun Festivals – Tossing Tomatoes at La Tomatina

The world’s best tomato festival, La Tomatina, is held in Buñol, Spain. The festival starts with the eating of many different tomato-based dishes. Yum! However, dining on the tomato is not the reason for La Tomatina’s extraordinary popularity. The festival hosts the world’s biggest tomato fight. Yippee.

Strangely enough this fun festival grew out of parade where musicians and people dressed up as giants and big heads. The local youth, decided to join the parade, as who would not? I mean giants and big heads. The teens got rambunctious. One of the marchers lost his fake head in the commotion. He became angry and started hitting all the young folks that came near him.

The teens took offense at this battery. As fate would have it, the young ones were next to a vegetable cart. The local youth grabbed tomatoes and other veggies and threw them at the battering marcher. Well, the aim of most people is rather poor and most of the hurled tomatoes missed their target. The people hit by these errant missiles got angry. So, they hurled tomatoes back. And missed. Hitting still others. Soon, the tomato tossing became general, just like all those bar fights in Western movies.

The following year, Buñol’s youth commemorated the event by staging a fake argument that deteriorated into a tomato-throwing free for all. The authorities, not foreseeing the tourist draw this tomato hurling would become, broke up the fight. But the tomato-hurling came back the next year. Now la Tomatina happens every year. Why? Because it’s such great fun. Locals hose down the participants. Authorities hose down the streets. So much citric acid, from the tomatoes, gets everywhere that the washed streets will sparkle.

I want to go to La Tomatina. So let’s go there some time. We’ll arrange a meeting. Stay tuned.

Authorities banned this tomato tossing once. Possibly to honor my birth. Possibly because police traditionally look askance at anything resembling a riot. Anyway, devotees of the festival protested this by carrying a huge tomato in a coffin through the center of town. Buñol’s authorities relented and from then on allowed the La Tomatina Festival to continue. Really! Is that all it takes to make the authorities relent? Just carry a tomato-laden coffin through town. (Writes this down for future reference.)

La Tomatina increases in popularity every year and occurs on the last Wednesday in August. Up to 100,000 people attend. It’s so popular that you must buy tickets to attend. Now, the world has finally taken notice. Similar events take place in Colorado, Nevada, Colombia, Costa Rica, China, and India. La Tomatina has made its way in to movies around the world and even into a Mickey Mouse(tm) episode.

Unfortunately, the festival was not held in 2020 and will not be held this year, because of the Covid pandemic. Let us strongly hope that we can soon, and safely, engage in boisterous fun once again.

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., travel adviser

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

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Paella

Spanish Entree

PAELLA

INGREDIENTSpaella-

l pound large shrimp
4 chicken breasts
½ pound chorizo sausage links
5 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1 red bell pepper
4 Roma tomatoes
½ teaspoon paprika
2 ½ tablespoons parsley
½ teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice (additional 1/4 cup later)
1 tablespoon olive oil (additional 1 tablespoon later)

1 cup water
7 cups chicken stock
½ teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 lemon
2 ½ cups short rice

SPECIAL UTENSIL

Dutch oven
sonic obliterator

PREPARATION

Peel shrimp, leaving tails. Cut chicken into 1″ cubes. Cut chorizo sausage links into 1″ slices. Devein shrimp. Mince garlic cloves. Dice onion, red bell pepper, and tomatoes. Make spice blend by adding garlic, paprika, parsley, thyme, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon olive oil to mixing bowl. Blend with whisk. (There is a lot of prep work here. Be sure to strike a heroic pose while mentioning this to guests.)

Add water, chicken stock, and saffron threads to large Dutch oven. Blend with whisk. Bring to boil on high heat. Add rice. Stir occasionally. Cook on low-medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent rice on bottom from burning. Be sure to keep Dutch oven covered when not stirring. This helps cook the rice on top.

While rice cooks, add onion, bell pepper, chicken and second tablespoon of olive oil to large skillet. Sauté onion, bell pepper, and chicken for 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Stir occasionally. Remove chicken and set aside. Add chorizo to skillet. Sauté chorizo for 2 minutes or until chorizo browns. Remove chorizo and set aside.

When rice is done, add chicken, chorizo, sautéed onion, bell pepper, tomato, and spice blend from mixing bowl to Dutch oven. Reduce temperature to low and simmer for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.

While chicken/chorizo/rice mix simmers, add shrimp to skillet. Sauté shrimp to 2 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove shrimp and set aside. Add shrimp tail-side up to Dutch oven. Simmer on low for 2 minutes or until shrimp has turned orange and is no longer translucent. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup lemon juice. Garnish with lemon wedges.

This is an expensive dish. Use sonic obliterator on anyone who doesn’t appreciate it.

TIDBITS

1) “Paella” is the Spanish word for “paella.”

2) More Spanish people live in Spain than in any other country. A good way to become Spanish is to have Spanish parents give birth to you there.

3) Sevenish means around seven o’clock. However, Spanish does not mean around Span o’ clock.

4) Rabbits like to frolic at seven o’clock. Indeed, the word Spain came from the word Ispania, which means the Land of the Rabbits.

5) Someone in Spain invented the mop. You will lose a tooth if an angry rabbit hits you with a mop. Be sure to put that tooth under your pillow at night, so Ratoncito Perez, the tooth mouse, will see it and give you money.

6) Mice do not play tennis, not even in Spain, but the Spaniard Rafael Nidal does. He has an asteroid belt named after him.

7) Spain is the only European country to produce bananas. It also has bullfighting. Coincidence? It would seem so as Iceland grows bananas but has no bullfighting.

8) In Barcelona, on St George’s Day , 23 April, sweethearts take a break from going to bullfights and exchange books and roses with each other instead.

9) On May 15th all the senoritas in Madrid head to the chapel called Ermita de San Isidro to prick their fingers with pins. They put the pin in a vessel. This will get them a husband. And if the husband misbehaves they can point to the bloody pin as a warning.

10) If pricking your finger is not your thing, consider going to the town of Buñol for La Tomatina. It’s the best food festival in the world and is held every last Wednesday in August. People descend on this Spanish village to eat tomatoes and throw them at each other. What more could you want?

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Tomato Potato Soup Provençale Recipe

French Soup

Tomato Potato Soup Provençale

INGREDIENTSPoToPrS-

1 white onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 russet potatoes
6 Roma tomatoes
32 ounces chicken broth
1 tablespoon red wine
1 1/2 tablespoons herbes de Provence

PREPARATION

Mince onion and garlic. Put onion, garlic, and olive oil into frying pan. Sauté on medium high for 3-to-5 minutes or until onion is tender. Put onion and garlic into soup pot.

Peel and chop potatoes into cubes small enough to go into food processor. Mince potatoes. Mince tomatoes. Add to soup pot: potatoes, tomato, chicken broth, red wine, and herbes de Provence. Cook soup on high until it starts to boil. Turn down heat to warm and simmer for 40 minutes.

TIDBITS

1) The world’s best tomato festival, La Tomatina, is held in Bunol, Spain. It occurs on the last Wednesday in August. Up to 100,000 people attend. Why? Because it’s fun!

2) The festival hosts the world’s biggest tomato fight. Yippee. Up to 30,000 people participate, hurling some 200,000 overripe tomatoes at each other.

3) But just try throwing a rotten tomato at home or at the school cafeteria. Or at your local mayor or police officer for that matter.

4) And you get to eat fantastic tomato-based dishes before this culinary melee.

5) I wanna go there. I wanna go there. I wanna go there.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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