Monday, October 17, 2011

National Pejibaye Festival, Costa Rica


Every October the sleepy village of Tucurrique comes alive with thousands of visitors to celebrate the National Pejibaye Festival. Spanning two weekends, the event honors the town's regional specialty – pejibaye, or peach palm fruit.

A unique fruit that tastes like a cross between a baked potato and roasted chestnuts, the pejibaye is yellowish-orange to red in color, and is always boiled before consumption. Delicious even when served plain, the pejibaye is often crowned with a dollop of sour cream or mayonnaise.

At the Pejibaye Festival, the hosts prepare this delicacy in many different ways. You'll be able to try creamy bisque, cakes and breads, sugar cane treats, drinks, and even homemade liquor – all made from pejibaye.

In between mouthwatering goodies, guests can enjoy the festival's other attractions. An adjacent farm gives pejibaye tours on traditional oxcarts or tractors that detail peach palm cultivation and production. Another favorite is shopping artisan and bakery stands, run by locals who sell their handicrafts and typical foods.

The festival also promises a wide range of events, including parades, folkloric dancing, fireworks, contests, rodeos and horseback rides. Live music is always a staple and tunes range from steel band cimarronas to modern favorites like salsa and cumbia. The annual festival is held downtown at the Centro Agricola Cantonal de Tucurrique, located on the outskirts of Turrialba.

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