Still today we are split by the on-going (but friendly) battle of whether tomatoes are considered a fruit or a vegetable.
That’s not what we’re here to talk about today. This is a different type of battle, a summer event were we suggest you wear nothing more than old ragged clothes.
Every year thousands of ‘fighters’ and onlookers travel to the town of Buñol (Valencia) for the pleasure of having a ripe tomato thrown at them! This harmless battle promises you some not-very-dry messy fun in this small town outside the great city of Valencia.
This event occurs in the month of August, in plain summer heat. Crowds gather into the town center (some use goggles, they come prepared) waiting for the gun to go off at 11am. If you happen to be sightseeing this ‘sweet’ town of Buñol, we suggest you be careful if a sleepy morning stroll is what you get unto you — you never know, you may get tomatoed!
Tomatoes, as you may know, came to Europe in the 16th Century from Mexico and Peru and instantly became a hit in Italy — hence their cuisine is top notch and tomatoey.
However, tomatoes are widely used in Spain and very important to traditional and current Spanish foods.
Spain is a favored region for growing both bush tomatoes (that have a salty flavor) and milder cordon tomatoes. Bush tomatoes are perfect for soups, stews with juicy pulp and intense taste, great too for fresh salads. Cordon tomatoes are best used in salads, but mainly as garnish thanks to their vibrant red color.
One of the most typicals ways to eat tomatoes are raw, salted, with garlic and a splash of olive oil. Another typical, traditional and important Spanish tomato dish is the famous Gazpacho soup.
If you’re a tomato lover, Spain is the place for you.