Thursday, April 10, 2014

Aspargus festival showcases local produce

The village has moved from its slow winter pace into pre-summer mode. The hotels and restaurants are open and ready to receive visitors on the Easter weekend, when the village will be as busy as on a summer's day.

Sunday was proof of this. It was the asparagus festival, with almost twice as many booths as last year. The festival is a showcase for local products such as wine, honey, tuna, olive oil, crafts and more. For 3€ we got five tickets to spend on samples of food or wine. Our first selection was wild boar pate on some bread, which was delicious. Next came a little pot of meaty wild boar stew. If you have never tasted wild boar it has quite a unique, special taste and is not strong. Then came a plate of freshly made seafood risotto cooked and stirred patiently over an open flame. This was supplied by one of our fishmongers. Our butcher had made sausages with pork and the skinny, wild asparagus, which he barbecued right on the spot. All of these were really superb. By this time we each had only one ticket left, enough for two brunyoles — homemade sugar doughnuts. What a feast for 3€. There were lots of asparagus quiches and pies as well as other asparagussy things but for us this was the best.

We toured around the other booths advertising Catalan Independence, showcasing the Nautica marina and selling clothes. The local children were enjoying the four bouncy castles, a trampoline and some other games all free of charge. Of course the sardana band played, while the locals formed a circle to dance and count 31 steps one way before changing steps to a count of 51. The day was filled with asparagus hunts and another band later in the day. Many of the restaurants in town were advertising special foods made with asparagus.

As it happened we had a party to go to. A friend of ours, an ex-pat, is moving back to Minorca after staying here for a few years. Drinks were flowing freely and there was masses of food, paella, shrimps, salads of every kind, artichokes, meats and pan tomat. I've never seen a table piled so high with food. There was also a karaoke machine, which would have been fine except for one rather inebriated show off. We had a good time and met some new French people, who have bought in the village.

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