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People gather at festivals to share their common passion with their like-minded people. Meanwhile, there is one fairly common habit that has not been perceived as a hobby for a long time.
And when people realized that this activity was quite interesting, pleasant and useful, then whole festivals dedicated to this "hobby" were born. We will tell you about the most famous of them.
RoadKill Cook-Off Festival. Gourmets prefer steaks from the meat of rare animals or oysters, and here are those who like meals for animals that died on the road. The festival even hosts competitions in the art of cooking. As a result, guests can taste a unique stew made from a raccoon or possum that died under the wheels of a vehicle. The rules of the annual event state that all participants must come here with the corpse of an animal killed on the road. You also need to bring with you a set of utensils necessary for cooking and ingredients appropriate for the future dish. The cooking takes place in front of everyone, but a special jury will already evaluate it. This takes into account both the appearance of the dish and its taste. More recently, the organizers have introduced a new rule. Now the dishes from the dead animals should look as if these creatures had just been pulled out from under the wheels of a killer car. The winner of the competition is awarded a whopping $ 300 in prize money. For those who could not come to the festival, but want to taste a dish from an animal that died on the road, this can be done in a special institution. So, in the town of Seligman, Arizona, there is a cafe "Road Killers". There you can try Steak "Dead in Peace Deer", fried ribs called "Raccoon Trap" and even "Chicken almost crossed the road".
Sonya Pine Mushroom Festival. This event is held annually in the South Korean Yangyang in September-October. Sonya are local delicacies mushrooms. It is believed that they are inferior in quality only to truffles. These mushrooms were chosen by the pine forest on the Chilbossan mountain. Its name translates as the mountain of seven wonders. The market price for the delicacy is quite high at up to $ 265 per kilogram. Not surprisingly, the dormouse was even nicknamed forest diamonds. When in 2007 the first meeting of the heads of South and North Korea took place in a long time, the first thing politicians discussed were these mushrooms. Kim Jong Il even made an expensive gift to his colleague - as much as 4 tons of recently harvested pine dormouse. These mushrooms can be found in the fall, at the same time in the Yangyang province a festival is held in their honor. Here you can taste unique dishes based on these gifts of the forest, buy medicines, one of the components of which is Sony. I must say that mushrooms grow exclusively in natural conditions. You cannot collect them without a state license. Only once a year tourists and locals get the right to collect unique Sonya mushrooms. But the pleasure is not cheap. A walk with a basket through a beautiful forest in a state of "quiet hunting" will cost a child about 11 dollars, and an adult one and a half times more.
Festival of chestnuts Marunada. This festival is held every autumn for three weekends in the Croatian towns of Lovran, Dobrec and Ligan. The word "maruna" itself has many meanings depending on the language. For example, in Jamaica, these are freedom fighters who fought against the English colonial invaders. And in Croatia the word has a much more peaceful connotation. This is the name of the local ort of chestnuts, which is considered almost the best in the world. Once upon a time, local sailors brought unusual chestnuts from their eastern travels. They were then crossed with European varieties. This is how the maruns were born. These chestnuts gave their name to the festival, which has now been held annually for nearly 40 years. And the season for the celebration was not chosen by chance. After all, it is in the fall that the chestnuts ripen, and the time comes to collect them. Marunada starts in October. The first festivities fall on the small town of Lovran, and the next weekend the festival breaks out in the villages of Dobrech and Ligan. The most interesting thing at the festival is the tasting of maroon. Roasted chestnuts are most often cooked outdoors and sold in paper bags. Also, local chefs have learned to add maruna to fish and meat, cook sauces and soups from them, and also prepare salads. Even sweets are made from chestnuts - there are sweets from them, mousses, cakes and even soufflés at the festival. After all, Croatian poor people learned to extract flour from maruns long ago, replacing the usual flour with it.
Thorrablot Feast Festival. You can get to this festival in Iceland either on the third Saturday of January or at the end of February. This gastronomic festival is directly related to the Old Scandinavian festival. The month that we call January, the Vikings called Torri. At this time they made their sacrifices to the gods, while the soldiers drank, sang and walked a lot. By tradition, the holiday was dedicated to the main god - Torah. Even today, at Thorrablot Feast, they do not forget to devote a few words to this saint. The ancient festival was forgotten for a long time, until the Norwegian students decided to revive the national tradition. It happened at the end of the 19th century. Since then, the guests of the festival have learned what the real Viking cuisine really is. All over Iceland during the festival, you can taste food prepared according to old recipes. Many restaurants and small taverns will be happy to prepare its guests. True, such "wild" foods are not suitable for all pampered European stomachs. Few of the guests will dare to try lamb stomach with minced meat in the form of clotted sheep blood and bacon. And what are sheep's brain jelly or pickled bull's eyes worth? But the real decoration of the festival is the already famous hakarl. This is slightly rotten shark meat, which tastes like squid or sturgeon. Only the smell of such a delicacy is very unpleasant. And such a dish costs as much as 100 euros. It is not embarrassing that at the Torrey festival all the treats are paid - after all, brennivin, a local potato vodka, is attached to the meal for free.
Chinchilla Melon Watermelon Festival. If you love watermelons, then get ready to go to the Australian Chinchilla. The Chinchilla Melon festival is held here every two years. One of its oldest traditions commands all guests to come here in old shoes and clothes. But this is easy to explain. Indeed, during the days of the festival, all the streets of the town are literally strewn with watermelon seeds and crusts. So keeping your balance and not getting covered in sweet juice can be quite difficult. The first watermelon festival was held here in 1994. The celebration quickly became a kind of visiting card of the city. He himself is directly related to watermelons - a quarter of the total volume of the country is grown here. No wonder Chinchilla is called the watermelon capital of Australia. This festival is somewhat reminiscent of the famous Tomatina, held in Spain. If in Europe the inhabitants destroy tons of tomatoes, then in Australia the guests declare a real war on watermelons for a while. It even hosts a number of large berry breaking competitions. Watermelons are thrown into the ring, used as shoes, running a race. The most striking event at the festival is the weighing of fruits. The heaviest of them is solemnly declared the Watermelon of the Year. Well, the most extreme competition is for breaking hard berries with your head. In 2009, a record was even set in the Guinness Book of Records. Australian John Alwood was able to break 47 watermelons in a minute, which brought him fame.
Wild Foods Festival. For 22 years, a permanent festival has been held in the New Zealand town of Hokitika. For the first time such a celebration took place here in 1990. It was associated with the 125th anniversary of the city. Claire Bryant, a native of New Zealand, is believed to have invented the festival. One day she treated her friends to an unusual wine made from wild flowers. This idea formed the basis of the celebration. Local entrepreneurs quickly realized that this gastronomic idea was destined to succeed. This is how the annual culinary weekend celebrates a variety of rare and unusual New Zealand dishes. And on their basis, a festival was born, which eight times increased the number of tourists in a small seaside town. The bulk of food looks like sushi. Only "surprises" are hidden inside - slugs, larvae, worms, bull's eyes. Tourists happily eat crispy grasshoppers with sweet sauce and deep-fried shark meat. But the most famous dish at the festival is smelt pies. These small fish are considered a big treat in New Zealand and the fishing season is very short. If the guests have enough energy for dessert, then it is worth trying the ice cream with wasp larvae. To get to this gastronomic feast you have to pay 30 local dollars, and for another 15 you can get to the night disco.
Maple Syrup Festival. The first major spring festival Maple Syrup takes place in Canada in March-April. And the collection of maple sap begins in the country at the end of February. For this, trees that are from 30 to 50 years old are suitable. A small hole is made in their trunks, from which the liquid flows into the buckets. In the future, syrup is prepared from the juice. At the same time, 30-40 liters of raw materials are used for 1 liter of finished products. But this is exactly how much one maple can give to an insatiable person per season. The collection of juice throughout the country lasts until the end of April. Along with this, a maple syrup festival is also held in Canada. The first mentions of this festival date back to 1760. Then the Indians were still engaged in collecting refreshing liquid. They evaporated the juice and thus obtained sugar. Today the festival features a variety of maple syrup dishes or flavors. Some of them can be tasted only here. The classic use for sweet syrup is with waffles or soup. But on its basis, vegetable soup is also prepared, chicken thighs are marinated with it. And we must not forget about the famous sugar cake without a crust. The Wheelers Maple Museum of Maple Syrup provides a special presentation at the festival. Every time he conducts master classes. Thanks to them, everyone can learn how to cook a delicious syrup and immediately try what he has done.
Roast Piglet Festival. Every year on June 24 in the Philippines, in the city of Balayan, a traditional festival is held. Roasted piglets are a very popular dish on this island. And on the day when Catholics remember John the Baptist, Filipinos have their own holiday. It's called Parade Lechon. This word in the country is the name of a whole roasted pig. Before the start of the holiday, important preparations take place. First, the carcasses of the best suckling pigs are marinated in spices, vinegar and soy sauce. Then the meat is stuffed with pandan leaves and tamarind. The field of this pig is roasted on a spit. However, the finished dish is not served at all, but dressed up in different colorful costumes and worn on the shoulders of the participant along the city streets. The parade features pigs in evening and wedding dresses, piglets dressed in national clothes, sports boxing uniforms or even a Formula 1 driver's overalls. And only when the festive procession ends, the culprits of the festival are undressed and served at the table. Anyone can enjoy a delicious dish here. In the Philippines, they love suckling pigs so much that they treat them not only as a dish, but also as an excellent desired gift. It is not surprising that at the wedding the newlyweds will be presented with a little pig.
Mango Festival. Every year in early July, New Delhi, India hosts a festival dedicated to this fruit. It occupies a special place in the life of the country. The national animal here is the Bengal tiger, the flower is the lotus, and the mango is undoubtedly the main fruit in India. According to legend, it was once eaten by the Buddha himself, when he was in deep thought. The philosopher ordered to bury the seed of a useful fruit in the place indicated by him. They say that immediately a sprout appeared from the ground, and soon a tree grew on which fruits appeared in the plural. Since then, mango has become a sacred plant for India. Here it is a symbol of abundance and health. As many as 9.5 million tons of this fruit are harvested in the country per year. At the local bazaar, a kilogram of mango costs only half a dollar. Fruit harvesting reaches its peak in late June - early July. It is at this time that the Mango Festival takes place in New Delhi. The main guests here are farmers from all over the country. They bring with them new and unusual varieties of fruit that they have developed. You can find here mangoes the size of a chicken egg, and there are those that look like melons. Mango tastings are held at the festival, and there is no need to pay for such entertainment. There is also a competition to see who will eat fruit faster. As part of the holiday, there is also a women's competition for the best recipe for a dish made from the same mango.
Gooseberry Festival. A country that loves gooseberries like nowhere else - England. Is it any wonder that a whole festival was dedicated to her here. It is held at Egton Bridge in early August. There is evidence that the British knew gooseberries even under King Edward I, that is, in the XIII century! Although more reliable is the fact that they began to plant berries here in 1548. In those days, medieval Germany used gooseberry bushes as hedges and fences. But in England, enlightened residents specially cultivated bushes and ate delicious berries. And today the inhabitants of Albion have not deviated from the traditions of their ancestors. On the first Tuesday in August, North Yorkshire hosts a gooseberry festival. The main guests here are gardeners. They meet in the church of St. Gedda and argue about whose gooseberry has grown tastier, more beautiful and bigger. For more than a hundred years, there has been a glorious tradition of identifying the heaviest berry. As once upon a time, the giant gooseberry is weighed on the old pharmacy scales. The weight of the berries is measured in grains and drachmas. The last winning gooseberry was more like a golf ball in size.
Festival La Tomatina. It is one of the most famous food-related festivals in the world. It takes place in late August - early September in the Spanish Buñol. For a week, the life of a small town completely obeys the laws of the tomato festival. An average of 35 thousand people come here for the celebration. But the population of the town itself is 4 times less! And an unusual festival has appeared relatively recently. Tomato throwing is said to have become a symbol of protest against the regime of dictator Franco. But more plausible is the story that the first tomato throwing in Buñol took place in 1945, when the city celebrated the day of its patron Saint Bertrand. Tomatina has been banned several times since then. But since 1959, tomato battles in Buñol have been happening regularly every summer. Until 1975, participation in the "battle" was paid. But in the end, first the monks, and then the city authorities, began to distribute the tomato weapons free of charge. After all, it paid off by the invasion of tourists to these places. The festival takes place in the city for a week. During this time, you can take a walk at a fair, a parade in costumes and take part in a paella eating contest. And on Wednesday, at 11 o'clock in the afternoon, a firecracker is launched from the city hall. This serves as a signal for the beginning of the battle with tomatoes. The battle lasts exactly one hour. There are no special rules - a tomato can be launched at anyone who is near.The most important thing is to comply with the unwritten rules of the festival. According to them, tomatoes cannot be crushed before throwing, as well as tearing clothes on another participant.