PRESENT arms, take aim, fire! When it comes to food, Spain is a warring nation so watch out for that grapeshot – it really does come from the vine!

From wine warfare to a ‘Battle of the Flour’, nowhere does it quite like Spain, so if being on the frontline of a frenzied food fight sounds like good fun, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are five of the nation’s biggest and best foodie affrays.

Els Enfarinats, Ibi

ibi fiesta enfarinats Cordon Press
DUCK: Eggs and flour are the weapons of choice in Ibi. PHOTO: Cordon Press

First on our list, although rounding off the year, is the just finished flour fight on the Costa Blanca.

As food fights go, Els Enfarinats in Ibi, Alicante, egg-cells itself, as participants engage in hand-to-hand combat with flour and eggs. The festival has been taking place for two centuries, imitating a mock coup d’etat. The Els Enfarinats Army advances on the town every December 28, collecting taxes which are then donated to a designated charity.

Batalla del Vino, Haro, La Rioja

Batalla Del Vino En Toro
WINE NOT?: Vino is not just for drinking in Haro. PHOTO: Manuel Balles/NurPhoto vis Cordon Press

The Batalla del Vino, or Wine-Throwing Fight, has been ongoing for 800 years. Stare too open-mouthed and you’ll get very drunk very quickly. Starting as a land dispute, it seems the only way to resolve it was by the locals chucking copious amounts of wine at each other. Nowadays, thousands take part in this tipple-tossing event at the end of June. 

La Merengada (Meringue War), Vilanova i La Geltrú, Catalunya

Merengada Billkman, Cc By Sa 4.0 Via Wikimedia Commons
BAKE OFF: Hundreds of people pelt each other with meringue in Catalunya. Photo: Billkman Cc By Sa 4.0 Via Wikimedia Commons

Part of Carnival Week in this Catalunyan town, La Merengada showcases a free-for-all of flying meringues. It’s usually the messy soft sort, but boiled sweets are also thrown into the crowds which is why it’s also known as the Batalla de Caramelos and, ouch, they can hurt! This sweet celebration begins on Mardi Gras (the Thursday before Lent). 

La Raima Grape Throwing Festival, Pobla del Duc, Valencia

La Raima Pobla De Duc Facebook
FOR UVA’S A JOLLY GOODFELLOW: Grapes are the ammunition of choice. PHOTO: La Raima Pobla De Duc Facebook

Head to Pobla del Duc on the last Friday in August and be prepared to be awash with grape juice! The arrival of four trucks bearing some 50-90 tonnes of Garnacha Tintorera grapes is the signal for the fun to start. Every citizen grabs handfuls of grape grenades and starts throwing them around until everyone’s the colour purple.

La Tomatina, Buñol, Valencia

Mondadori Lifestyle Collection August 31, 2021
FEELING CRUSHED: La Tomatina is the grandaddy of all food fights. PHOTO: © Alessandro Vargiu/Mondadori Portfolio via ZUMA Press/Cordon Press

Other food fisticuffs pale into insignificance beside this blood-red, tomato-stained outdoor food fight. Today some 150,000 tomatoes and 125 tonnes of tomato puree are thrown between 45,000 in Buñol. The colour and smell lasts for days afterwards, although the fight itself lasts just half an hour and takes place on the last Wednesday of August.

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