What could be better than a food festival? One you can enjoy at home, of course. Spain's vibrant food scene is full of feisty fiestas, celebrating regional specialties and seasonal ingredients. But why not get in on the fun yourself? Here's a peek at some of the most famous foodie celebrations in the country – and how you can taste some of their trademark ingredients right from the comfort of your own home.
The most famous food fight in the world, La Tomatina, has been going since the 40s. More than 100,000 kilos of tomatoes get flung around every year – so all you need to recreate this festival at home is sweet vine-ripened tomatoes. La Gatta's pizza in Valencia is a top choice. Plump for the Marinara – it forgoes the cheese, giving the tomato sauce space to shine.
Where: La Gatta, Valencia
As the most expensive spice in the world, saffron is highly prized. Its vibrant yellow colour makes everything it touches glow gold, including that classically Spanish dish, paella. Almost all the saffron flowers in Spain are grown in Castille-La Mancha, and at the end of October there's a huge festival celebrating the harvest of the precious red threads from the pale purple blooms. Enjoy its flavours when you indulge in sunshine-coloured paella – just like the ones El 26 make in Madrid.
Where: El 26, Madrid
Artichoke might not be the most glamorous food, but it's an important one. The Valencian town of Benicarlo is certainly a fan – they've been celebrating artichokes every January for years, complete with local restaurants reworking their menus to spotlight this vegetable. Valencia's own Tributo Brasas Bar love artichokes, battering them in a light tempura and serving with Iberian ham for a top-notch starter.
Where: Tributo Brasas Bar, Valencia
Think snails are French? Think again. A cornerstone of Catalan cuisine, the city of Lleida celebrates them every May. 200,000 people appear in the city to dig into 12 tons of snails. Luckily, at Casa Pamplinas, you can tuck into these delicacies all year round. The caracoles are one of the most-ordered things on their menu – cooked in a large pan, and served with spicy sauce, Lleida-style.
Where: Casa Pamplinas, Barcelona
The fun never stops when you order food through Deliveroo.
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