When I was deciding what to write about this week, I thought about the seasonal changes and the foods the new harvest will yield. With those harvests come a slew of celebrations worldwide.
Most of us are familiar with summer squashes, vegetables and colorful fruits that will end up in plentiful desserts and cocktails. Oddly, no one veggie or fruit in particular comes with an invitation to a must attend festival in its honor. At least none that have made the chatty web rounds. I was really interested in exploring if there are any over-the-top celebrations that glamorize an ingredient. A bit of research brought me to the Fête du Citron, or the Festival of Lemons, held in France.
A lemon festival! Yes! The little round yellow citrus fruit that bears what seem to be endless uses has its own party. The annual carnival, now its 77th year, originated in Menton, France, a beautiful city on the French Riviera. Interestingly enough, I visited this quaint and very bucolic town three years ago and saw no indication of it being the host of such a world renowned festival. I did fall in love with the views of the Riviera while strolling alongside the boardwalk, but never would have imagined over 200,000 visitors making it their home for a few weeks, all in homage to the citrus.
Read more about the French lemon festival my weekly Dean & DeLuca ‘Gourmet Food’ column.