Weird Food Festivals Around the World

If there is one thing that the people of the world take very seriously… it is food. With thousands of cultures cooking food thousands of ways, there is sure to be something for everyone. Once a year, some people come together in celebration of vegetables. It happens in different ways in different cultures but all of them have one thing in common. When we celebrate veggies, there is sure to be plenty of good things to eat. Of course… that would depend upon your particular tastes. Here a few of the more unusual food festivals from around the world. You are more than welcome to come on out and join the fun.

Tomatina Festival

La Tomatina

In Spain… they love their tomatoes. That is why they hold their famous La Tomatina Festival in the town of Bunol. Once a year, much to the chagrin of the local police, the townspeople get together and have a huge tomato throwing food fight/party. It started back in 1945. Rumor has it that someone threw a tomato at the wrong person during a Rabbit Parade. One thing led to another and the very next year, revenge ensued. Now, they have dropped the rabbits and just come armed.

The women folk take advantage by bringing tomato inspired dishes and when it is all over, everyone pitches in to clean up the mess. If you want to join in the fun, bring your tomatoes on the last Wednesday in August. You might want to wear overalls.

The Potato Festival (featuring Mashed Potato Wrestling)

Barnesville Minnesota is home to the largest potato production area in the U.S. They have a spuderific festival that you will not want to miss if you are anywhere near Barnesville during the month of August. The two day festival features mashed potato wrestling, peeling contests for you G.I.s and a potato sack race that promises to fry your spuds into frenzy. The highlight of the two day event is the crowning of Miss Tater Tot.

This year’s turnout is expected to be around 20,000 so make your reservations early. 24,000 lbs of potatoes are expected to willingly give their lives so that we may enjoy this sputastic event. Okay… no more play on words using spuds.

Turnip-fest

Switzerland is home of the world’s greatest vegetable festival. The Turnip festival is one of Europe’s biggest and brightest of vegetable events. Most people do not realize this but the turnip can be carved like a pumpkin. This festival is dedicated to turnip carving and you will be amazed at what some of these sculptures can do with a good turnip and lots of practice.

For those of you who did not just fall off the turnip truck, the event is held on the second Saturday after Halloween. Called Turnip Fest by the locals, the town of Richterswil, which is just off the road on Lake Zurich, is prepared to welcome 26 tons of turnips. Grab your carving knife and come to Switzerland. If you love turnips, bring a notebook and grab some of the unusual but tasty recipes.

Pea Shooting competition

The World Pea Shooting Competition

In the village of Witcham, which is close to Ely Cambridgeshire England, an unusual event is cooking. This small village is the site of an international competition with serious athletes trying to win the top spot. It is the annual pea shooting contest and these folks are not joking. Competitors come from all over the globe… including a team from the U.S. They have converged on this pea shooting community every year since 1971.  They design their own pea shooters with the only rule being that it must be lung driven. Amazingly, a local pea shooter wins just about every year.

Photo by: www.chicagotribune.com

The funds raised go to the local school. It is held on the second Saturday of July and features men’s, ladies, and children’s events. The town also holds a festival to coincide with the pea shooting contest so there is always something for everyone.

This list is dominated by vegetables. If you are a vegetarian, these events are for you. It is only fair that we list something for the meat eaters as well, so honorable mention goes to the West Virginians and their annual event. If you were not a vegetarian before… you may want to reconsider.

 The Road Kill Grill Cook off

If there are two things that country folk hate, it is wasted food and a wasted opportunity to party. That is why they now get together to celebrate road kill. Of course, they do not actually drive around looking for animals to run over for this event. (Do they?) They do cook the kind of animals that are prone to get hit, like roadrunner, armadillo, possum, and other critters that are just too slow or too dumb to get out of the way.

So you do not miss out… the place is Marlinton West Virginia and the day is the last Saturday of every September. Mark your calendars so you do not miss a moment of the delicious dishes. You might even get lucky enough to be one of the judges. That way, you get all of the squirrel gravy over biscuits, and pothole possum that you can eat. As they say in West Virginia… C’mon down and set a spell.