The first summer that we were here, the fiesta included an International Gastronomy Day which was held in the Plaza Concordia. The idea was that the different nationalities in Bigastro would produce traditional fare from their native countries and serve it free of charge.
I remember that there was a small British contingent the first year that served sausage and mash with baked beans followed by crumble and custard. They sat alongside Moroccans who did some wonderful things with lamb. The main stay though was the Spanish contingent who educated us into the fine art of home cooking with a wide range of delicious savoury and sweet dishes. We sampled everything from suckling pig to meatball stew.
As the event became popular, long queues of hungry souls formed well before the scheduled start time. Sadly, there were a few who abused the situation by loading several plates full of food much of which went into the bin bags at the end of the event. That meant that those at the back of the queue were faced with empty tables when it was their turn to sample the food on offer.
Within a few years, it was down to just a handful of Spanish cooks and the Brits to prepare food. The Gastronomy Day had turned into a soup kitchen for the less fortunate neighbours.
At the same time, the Fiesta Committee decided to enlist the support of local bars to provide tapeo on one of the streets near the park. For just a few euros, you could enjoy a snack and a drink Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Last year, tapeo was more popular than gastronomy and so it seems that one had to go.
In a sense, it is a shame because we quite enjoyed providing the local folk with a taste of Britain and we would like to think that many found what we offered enjoyable.