Spanish cuisine is celebrated across the country and even internationally, with a variety of food festivals and "fiestas." Regional dishes go far beyond the well-known and traditional tapas and include seafood and artichokes among other ingredients. Food festivals in Spain are also a celebration of local culture, and often include music, dance and religious ceremonies.
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Fiesta del Marisco
This sea food festival started in the 1960s and happens in the municipality of O Grove, province of Pontevedra, Galicia, every year in October. During the festival, there are several stands selling mussels and other kinds of seafood, such as oysters, squid, shrimps and velvet crab. Gastronomic competitions and folk music concerts of Galician bagpipes with the local group Gaiteros de Cantodorxo happen right along with the festival, according to Turismo O Grove.
Fiesta de la Alcachofa
The artichoke festival happens in Benicarlo, located in the Valencian Community, every January. The highlight of the festival is "la torra," when a big quantity of artichokes are traditionally cooked in a bed of hot coals. Artichokes cultivated in Benicarlo have a Designation of Origin seal, a regulatory quality system also used to identify wines, cheeses and other food products, according to their origin in Spain.
Rioja Grape Harvest Festival
The Rioja Grape Harvest is a medieval festival that attracts thousands of people every year to the Northern town of Logrono, capital of La Rioja Community, according to Revista Iberica website. There are stands offering dishes of the regional cuisine, such as the pintxos of mushroom, rice-stuffed peppers and other traditional tapas. The visitor have opportunity to appreciate local music, dancing and traditional ceremonies, such as the "Pisado de la Uva," when men in simple Rioja folk costumes press the grapes with their feet.
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