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I sighed when I read the weather report last weekend.  More rain was predicted, all day, every day.  We took our chances on Saturday morning, scuttling over to the 14th annual Fête de la Tomate in Carouge.  As luck would have it, the clouds parted and we enjoyed a glorious day of sun, fun, alphorns, and of course, tomatoes!

It was our first time visiting the festival and we weren’t sure what to expect.  Although the Fête was small, and not so easy to spot (being stashed behind the Migros grocery store near MParc), we were pleasantly surprised by the food and activities on offer.  The layout was simple: a couple of large tents with food and drinks available for purchase, picnic tables, carnival rides for the kids, and a barn with a petting zoo and tractor/bicycle “race track.”

Let me expound a little more on the food, but first a warning to skip this post if you’re feeling peckish!

The star attraction of the festival:  Delicious tomatoes of every color, shape and  size: 

Also on the menu were peppers, radishes and many other kinds of fresh and local produce.

Hungry festival-goers were in luck!  Free samples for all!  The highlights:

Handmade sausage:

BBQ’d pork:

Artisanal sauces, jams, mustards and confits.

Freshly baked bread being removed from a portable wood-burning oven:

We couldn’t pass up an opportunity to snack on these mini-tresses:

Or the handmade cheese, for that matter.  You may be picking up on a theme here:  This festival is designed with both the gourmand and the average hungry person in mind!

Chilled gazpacho soup, served from a gigantic cauldron:

Even more than the food, I appreciated the festival planners’ consideration for children and young families.  This is rare praise for festivals in the Geneva region, or at the least the ones I’ve attended so far.  My two-year old had the best day ever riding on antique tractors:

Getting up close and personal with some 4-footed friends:

Not to mention riding the carousel and other age-appropriate carnival rides.  Last, no Swiss festival would be complete without an alphorn concert, and Fête de la Tomate was no exception:

So in sum:  Pros: Free admission, free samples, good food (both at the on-site restaurants and from the vendors selling their artisanal wares), ample parking and seating, and a fun and lively atmosphere for all ages.  Cons: A bit crowded under the tents and long lines for the restaurant food, ditto for the restrooms.  All in all, I’ll definitely check it out again next year.

We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland.  If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/.

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