My Favorite Food Fight
Yes ladies and gents, the world renowned Tomatina has just been completed. Although I should say that I have a burning desire to participate in a large pie fight. You can blame that upon the Three Stooges.
BUNOL, Spain (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people armed with 100 tonnes of plum tomatoes took part in the “Tomatina” on Wednesday, joyously splattering each other in the Spanish town of Bunol.
The town hall of Bunol, which lies just inland from Valencia on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, spent 24,960 euros on the fruit and dumped it the streets for the chanting masses.
Five truckloads of vitamin C and fiber were soon pureed on El Cid Street, the ripe redness smeared over walls and people.
“I feel like I connected with a lot of people today,” said Karina Evans, 21, of Australia.
Frenzy erupted around the dump trucks and competition for the edible missiles was fierce. Whole tomatoes on the ground were treasured like ruby Easter eggs.
Kate Monroe, 28, and Ryan Altman, 31, both of San Diego, California, reflected the general lack of inhibition by rubbing their barely clad, pulp-slathered bodies against each other.
Some gave a moment’s thought for the less fortunate.
“We were just talking about (famine in Africa). We thought we should get some garlic, make pizza and send it off,” Altman said.
The origin of the tomato fight is disputed — everyone in Bunol seems to have a favorite story — but most agree it started around 1940, in the early years of the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.
“There are several versions, but the most important thing is that it was started by the people,” said Eusebio Carrascosa, 66, a member of the Tomatina commission.
Like the weeklong celebrations held throughout Spain in the summer, the Tomatina encourages all-night public revelry and behavior that’s frowned on for the rest of the year.
“This is even better than the running of the bulls in Pamplona,” said Australian Sandy Koch, 25, referring to another one of Spain’s famous events.
Not everyone in Bunol joins the party.
“These are human degenerates. This isn’t culture,” said Pilar Masmano, 81, peeking out on the messy aftermath from her front door. “I’m going back inside.”