Artichoke festival honours the ‘carxofa’ in a village near Valencia

by admin
the artichoke

Even without artichoke cultivation of its own, everything in the village of Alaquàs revolves around this vegetable. The artichoke has conquered a special place in the local culture and cuisine. The Plaza de la Constitución always turns into an epicentre of culinary creativity during the Festa de la Carxofa in March.

This annual event, which has been a fixture for seven years now, was further enhanced this time with a tapas competition in which the artichoke shone as the main ingredient.

Local heroes and their culinary works of art

Six restaurants from Alaquàs took on the task of creating the best artichoke tapas: La Sequieta, Quarta Torre, Nova Terreta, Bar Pardala, Galeta and La cuina de Gemma. But the competition was not restricted to the city limits. Establishments from neighbouring municipalities such as Raro, Farigola & Menta, Flama and Casa Baldo 1915 also participated. This made the festivities and the battle for the best tapa even bigger.

A pallet of flavours and textures

The jury has the difficult task of choosing a winner from this rich variety of flavours and textures. Attention was paid to technique, creativity and presentation. All kinds of creative dishes were presented. From artichoke burgers with a spicy raspberry-chili sauce to bao buns filled with pulled pork and artichoke. From beef croquettes with a soft artichoke cream to tostadas topped with artichoke and juicy Iberian cheek – the choice was wide.

Chef Sebastián Romero of La Sequieta ultimately stole the show with his masterful preparation of the artichoke. He managed to enchant not only the jury but also those present with his perfect performance and presentation. His dish, a harmonious combination of the sweetness of raspberry and the sharpness of chili, was awarded as the pinnacle of culinary art with the artichoke in the leading role.

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Much more than tapas

The tapas competition was just one part of the party. Visitors could also indulge in other artichoke delicacies. For example, they tasted fried artichoke with pil-pil of Iberian ham, egg yolk and mint from Raro restaurant. Or an innovative artichoke in different textures with pickled yolk from Casa Baldo 1915. With live music in the background and a cozy atmosphere, everyone was reminded that the countdown to the next ‘cant de la carxofa’ has already started.

Cant de la Carxofa

The Cant de la Carxofa is a unique and special local festival in honour of the artichoke that takes place every year in September. Literally translated it means ‘the song of the artichoke’, but this event involves much more than just music. The celebration is deeply rooted in the local culture of Alaquàs. Although the artichoke is not grown in abundance in the area, the vegetable still has a symbolic meaning. The celebration consists of various activities, including religious ceremonies, culinary events, and often musical performances, all focusing on the artichoke.

The highlight of the ‘cant de la carxofa’ are the dishes in which the artichoke is the main ingredient. Local chefs and home cooks come together to share their best artichoke recipes. These range from traditional preparations to more innovative culinary creations. Anyone who wants to discover the versatility of the artichoke should definitely visit this festival.

Also read: The history of tapas

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