Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My favourite far

Some of you may already know that I really enjoy discovering the many and varied festivals that we celebrate, not only here in Galicia, but all around Spain. I think I have perhaps already written about the Chicken Festival of Barrantes, the Cocido (pork stew) Festival of Lalin, and others such as the famous 'Tomatina' (tomato throwing festival) in Valencia. Now I think I have a new favourite, most probably influenced by their wonderful brochure..........
The Kiwi Festival of Tomiño!

I'm not quite sure which part I like the best. The fact that the Kiwi fruit on the cover is clearly not a Kiwi fruit at all, and appears to be made out of papier mache, or the hair and legs made from strands of wool.

Then of course there is the festival programme itself, two days of celebration centering around the humble Kiwi fruit.... who would have thought it possible? I certainly didn't.

There is however, a very relevant footnote to this tale - the relationship between the Kiwi fruit and the Albariño grape itself..... Back in the 1980's, when Kiwi was a comparatively recent discovery, it quickly became fashionable and as a result, quite expensive. It was also found to be well suited to the Galician climate, and was therefore planted extensively around our region. As these new, abundant, local supplies arrived to market, so the price plunged, and the proverbial 'golden goose' had been buried almost as quickly as it had emerged.

The Galician small holders started to seek an alternative and possibly more lucrative crop - consequently many opted to plant Albariño, just at the moment that it started to gain in popularity. The rest, as they say, is history.


  1. Que haces!? The Spanish are having a festival with our fruit! We dont even have one here for it! Actually it not really ours - we used to call it a 'chinese gooseberry' back in the 80's ?

  2. Ah yes, I forgot to mention that they did originate from southern China, and were introduced into New Zealand at the start of the 20th century. They were originally known as Yang Tao - the sunny peach.

    I think they are possibly still celebrated in China.... Doesn't the year of the gooseberry come between the year of the dragon and the year of the snake?!!!