Most festivals held in Spain are related to food or drink, usually both of them. Requena and its sausage festival (known as “Feria del embutido”) are no exception.
For three days every February since 1994, my town is full of people who want to try different authentic dishes and tasty wines from this inland area of Valencia. This gastronomic event is celebrated indoors, at the fairgrounds since, at the time of the festival, the weather is pretty cold.
A bunch of friends and I always take advantage of this fete in order to meet and eat something. The festival starts on Friday, but we usually go on Saturday. It’s not necessary to make an appointment with friends because we know we’ll find each other there, just as we do every year.
My partner and I went a bit later than usual, about 1 p.m. It was her birthday, so it was bound to be a great day. A few friends were already there, a true sign that you can trust in their friendship and also that they are always ready to eat and drink, just like us.
When we arrived, they were eating two typical dishes from Requena, morteruelo and ajoarriero. Morteruelo is a kind of paté made primarily of pork liver, and ajoarriero is a potato paste and a few other ingredients, codfish, eggs, garlic… Someone went for bollo (a dough topped with sausages and ham slices, sometimes it also has sardines, but not in this case) and a mixed dish of sausages and tajadillas (fried pieces of pork fat). We bought a wine box with three bottles, one of rosé, one white and one red. Afterwards, a friend of ours bought some goat cheese and more red wine. The desserts were chocolate empanadas, a typical snack from Requena that everyone who comes to this town must try. I realize this fest is not the best option if you are dieting.
People normally buy tickets that include several sausages, morteruelo, etc… tapas and a few glasses of wine. If you choose this option you have to queue several times, so locals, ourselves included, prefer to buy bigger dishes to share with others.
At this point, the fairgrounds became a place full of happy people and red faces, all thanks to good wine and tasty food. In spite of the nice atmosphere, we decided to leave and continue celebrating Diana’s birthday in another quieter place with friends. After all, we have plenty of Sausage Festivals under our belts.