You can spend practically the whole of carnival week eating: starting with an omelette competition at a market omelette on Maundy Thursday and continuing on with a communal meal on Friday, a kids’ chocolate fest on Saturday, a cookery-history workshop on Monday, a sardine fest on Wednesday and so on. Food is one of the highlights of the carnival festivities. And not just any old food: calorie-laden meals featuring pork and eggs are especially preferred, given their ban during Lent.
Omelette competitions are the star attraction of Maundy Thursday
One of the city’s most firmly rooted carnival events are the omelette competitions, generally held on Maundy Thursday. There are lots going on at the city’s markets, one of the first places in the city to revive Carnival after the Franco dictatorship. This year’s will be taking place at the Mercat de la Llibertat, Mercat de Sant Andreu, Mercat de la Mercè, Mercat de la Marina… and at a several civic and neighbourhood centres throughout the city. Note that the ones being held at the Violeta de Gràcia festival centre and the Catalan Culture Promotion Institution Association.
The competition rules vary, but generally prizes go to the tastiest, most original and most elaborate creations. In some cases the winners are chosen by a public panel and the prizes are usually always in kind: gift vouchers, food products and so on. And if an omelette isn’t enough for you, go to the Parc Sandaru Civic Centre, where any dish made with eggs gets a prize.
‘Pel Dijous Llarder, botifarra menjaré’
The city doesn’t just eat omelettes on Maundy Thursday! So if you still have an empty stomach, there are some neighbourhoods that organise slap-up carnival meals, chocolate fests and communal meals consisting of whatever people bring along. Other places combine blow-outs with fun, offering make-up workshops, concerts and performances as well. And, as the line from the popular song above says, the evening will be rounded off in Sarrià with a “botifarra” [Catalan pork sausage] fest.
Carnival is ending, let’s eat sardines!
Carnival kicks off with some big meals… and ends with another blow-out. On Ash Wednesday, many places in the city finish off their sardine burials with a communal supper where large quantities of sardines are eaten. Such is the case in Sants, El Clot and Sant Martí, where, after bidding farewell to His Majesty the King till next year’s carnival, they organise a big “sardinada” or communal sardine fest. And if you want to mix traditional food and folk culture, don’t miss Ash Wednesday in Les Corts, where the local devils put on a fire display before their “sardinada”.
And if you are still hungry…
There are no end of opportunities to stuff yourselves between Maundy Thursday and Ash Wednesday. There will be a botifarra sausage fest on Friday 1 March in El Clot, and haricot beans, after the local Carnival King has read the festival’s opening speech. On the same day in La Marina, the Carnival associations will serve up a “ranxo”, a communal meal that is very typical in various parts of Catalonia at Carnival time.