You may have never heard of Bunol, Spain, but your tomatoes have. These people go a little overboard at the end of August after their tomato crop has been picked and mostly packed. Sadly many tomatoes are not good enough for the sauce. Sometimes as much as 25,000 pounds of inferior (but not rotten) tomatoes are the leftovers. What can these poor small town farm people do with them?… Have a party and invite the rest of the world – ‘The World’s Biggest Food Fight.’ Since 2013 official ticketing has been in place limiting the number of participants to just 20,000 lucky people, greatly expanding Bunol’s normal 9,000 person population.
Thouands, including many tourists, pasted each other with tomatoes Wednesday in Spain’s annual “Tomatina” street battle. Workers on trucks tipped 120 tons of overripe tomatoes into the main street of the town for participants to throw. The street fight leaves both the street, its houses and participants drenched in red pulp. One story says: The festival was inspired by a food fight between local children in 1945 in the town. Another story is that during the political campaign season the local farmers wanted to express their dissatisfaction with the regional mayor and first doused him with tomatoes and then the party was on. Media attention in the 1980s turned it into a national and international event, drawing participants from every corner of the world.
At around 12 Noon a number of trucks haul the bounty of tomatoes into the center of the town, Plaza del Pueblo. Technically the festival does not begin until one brave soul has climbed to the top of a two-story high, greased-up wooden pole and reached the coveted ham at the top. In practice this process takes a long time and the festival starts despite no one reaching the meaty prize. The signal for the beginning of the fight is firing of water cannons, and the chaos begins. Participants use swimming goggles to protect their eyes and usually dress in T-shirts and shorts. Once it begins, the battle is generally every man for himself. After one hour the fighting ends. At this point, no more tomatoes can be thrown. The cleaning process involves the use of fire trucks to spray down the streets, with water provided from a Roman aqueduct.
After the big hour of chaos, Bunol hoses down the area and the revelers shower off with the help of the locals’ garden hoses. Since the event garnered more national and global media attention, thousands of people from around the world have trekked to paint Buñol red with pulp. Tomatino tours are available.
Saucy tomato tickles
A man tried to start a fight by throwing dough, shredded cheese, and tomato sauce at me.
So I yelled, “You wanna pizza me?”
Where do the tomato and pasta go to dance?
At the Meat Ball.
Q: How do you fix a sliced tomato?
A: Use tomato paste.
What do you call a tomato that self-identifies as a carrot?
September 11th Birthdays
1988 – Elizabeth Hentstridge, 1980 – Araiana Richards, 1967 – Maria Bartiromo, 1961 – Virginia Madsen
1965 – Moby, 1885 – D. H. Lawrence, 1977 – Ludacris, 1967 – Harry Connick Jr.