Since I still wasn't feeling so hot last night, I stayed home while the hubby went with the co-workers to Alta Gracia for the Encuentro Anual de Colectivdades (International Food & Music Festival). This is the very sort of event I LOVE and was very sad to miss it. It goes through Sunday so if I'm feeling better tomorrow the hubby might take me for a bit. The heart does palpitate at the very thought of ALL THAT FOOD!
The dancing was pretty cool, too. The hubby was most impressed with the Brazilian troupe. For one number, the men executed a very precisely choreographed dance with machetes! But the dance was the only thing executed; he said machetes were flung about, sparks were flying, but nobody lost their life or a limb :-)
And the bottle dance by the Paraguayan team was outstanding. Each dancer had a bottle on their head except for the prima donna who ultimately danced with EIGHT bottles on her head. Unfathomable talent! I can't even keep a flat book on mine while taking baby steps. She started with one, and would periodically dance up to a ladder where a man on top would add another bottle (bottles balanced one on top of the other) and then she'd sashay around. I would love to share photos but our silly cell phone camera doesn't have a flash so all the pictures the hubby took are dark and blurry :-(
The food was pretty incredible too. The hubby didn't eat at every booth (I don't see how anyone possibly CAN -- with 15!) but here's what he did enjoy:
Bagna cauda which is basically boiled vegetables and raviolis, served separately and with a third dish of anchovie cream sauce for dipping, kept warm by one of those little sterno pots.
In this booth Muhammad made a big display of preparing the food (which is half the fun, you know!). He was wearing the long white traditional garment and would expertly carve chunks of meat off hanging pieces of lamb and assemble delectable shawarma (pita roll-ups) stuffed with the lamb, lettuce, tomato and onions topped with a creamy yogurt sauce (we called it raita in the U.S., not sure what it's called here).
The co-workers ate some chipas and sopa paraguaya at the Paraguay booth, but the hubby abstained. How anyone can abstain from sopa paraguaya is beyond me. The stuff is AMAZING! The only solid soup in the world, it's more like creamy cornbread filled with wonderful bits of oniony goodness. Be still my heart!
But he totally indulged at the German booth. Early on they shared saurkraut, potato salad and brochette fritz (skewers of frankfurters wrapped in bacon). Later they returned to listen to the music, watch the dancers, and have dessert: mocha cake and streussel.
Between the food and the entertainment, they enjoyed the festival for half the night, arriving home around 3 a.m. As much as I would have enjoyed the sights and sounds and flavors, there's no way I could have made it that late. As it was, I was in bed by 11 p.m. and asleep long before they returned. But it was fun hearing about their experiences and I enjoyed it vicariously. Which is better than not enjoying it at all. (photo is from the promotional material for this event)