The Tomato and Garden Vegetable Festivals return to Priorat from 19 August to 11 September with greater participation than in any other years, including almost 30 members of Priorat Enoturisme.
This third edition of the Tomato Festival (the first one dating back to 2019) aims to showcase the region’s vegetables, while promoting the recovery of traditional varieties as well as their production and consumption in tourist establishments in Priorat. In other words, the event will celebrate the gastronomic tradition of the region, while mitigating the loss of cultivated biodiversity.
As for the festivals, organised by the Priorat Enoturisme association, the businesses participating include restaurants as well as tourist accommodations, wineries, travel agencies and oil mills.
As for the eating establishments, their menus during the festival days will feature tapas and dishes made with local vegetables accompanied by wines from two destinations of origin in the region – Priorat DOQ and Montsant DO.
As for the tourist accommodations, wineries, travel agencies and oil mills, they are joining the initiative for the first time and will offer tastings of Priorat garden produce in their day-to-day activities, whether it be visits, stays or tourist packages.
The main events of the Tomato Festival will take place in Falset between Friday the 19th and Sunday the 21st of August. On Friday evening, the festival will officially kick off in Falset Castle, with a speech and dinner from Priorat Enoturisme. However, the tomato stalls won’t fill the large square in front of the Falset Cooperative Bodega (Bodega Cooperativa de Falset) until the weekend.
This event will gather gardeners and farmers from all over the Priorat region; no matter whether they are professionals or amateurs, everyone is encouraged to bring a sample of their produce, especially their tomato varieties.
This festival is merely another date in the calendar of initiatives that have been taking place in the Priorat region in recent years. For instance, 2017 saw an initiation of the identification and recovery of traditional vegetable varieties in the Montsant Nature Reserve, as well as formation of the La Safranòria association, whose mission is to consolidate the Priorat seed bank. In the same year, some private initiatives such as La Somaia were launched, dedicated to producing unique vegetables as well as selecting, reproducing and protecting the seeds of native varieties.
In fact, on Friday the 19th at 7pm in Falset Castle, the Miquel Agustí Foundation (FMA) is set to present the first results of their Sembrem Priorat project. The project is coordinated by the Priorat County Council, as part of the ‘Alive and active towns’ (‘Pueblos vivos y activos’) initiative from Territorial Specialisation and Competitiveness Project (Proyecto de especialización y competitividad territorial, PECT), which aims to identify the traditional varieties of garden vegetables and fruit trees in the region.