La Tomatina: A Food Fight with a Cast of Thousands

comments (0) August 21st, 2009

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Ruth Ruth Dobsevage, member
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Revelers at La Tomatina. No one gets injured, but a lot of tomatoes go to waste.Photo by revolution cycle under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.Click To Enlarge

Revelers at La Tomatina. No one gets injured, but a lot of tomatoes go to waste.

Photo by revolution cycle under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0.


In my garden, every tomato is treasured, especially this year, when blight is rampant unusually cool weather and extensive rainfall has effectively ruined the crop in the Northeast. But in Spain, that is not the case. Every August, the town of Buñol (about 20 miles east of Valencia) hosts La Tomatina, a weeklong fiesta celebrating the tomato, a major crop of the region.

The highlight (and I use the word advisedly) of the festival is the hour-long tomato fight that takes place on the last Wednesday of August. Tomatoes, thousands of them, are trucked in from all over Spain and stockpiled around the town square. At the firing of a cannon, the mayhem begins. People pelt each other with the ripe fruit, and the tomato pulp flows freely everywhere until another cannon blast signals the end of the event.

This year, the tomato fight takes place on April 26. VegetableGardener.com editors will not be covering the event live, but there is still time for you to book a flight and participate. If Tomatomania was too tame for you, La Tomatina might be just the frenzy you're looking for.


posted in: tomatoes