Maybe you like action sports. Maybe you like to eat food. So why not combine the two of them when planning your next trip? There are hundreds of destination food festivals out there, many revolving around a competition of who has the most delicious or unique recipe of a particular ingredient. However, if you really want to talk about being competitive — and go beyond the contests of who can shove the most in his mouth — you want to go to a culinary festival where food can really get physical. Just keep your guard up when a food fight ensues, and bring your appetite for fun.
Video via Tunarama62 on YouTube
In the 1960s, the fishing town of Port Lincoln in South Australia was in its heyday of the local tuna industry. When the fishing fleet was launched to sea each January, the town held a big “Tunarama Festival” in honor of them, in which tuna fish was celebrated by everyone — and in unconventional ways like the Tuna Toss competition, which soon became a local tradition. Fast forward over fifty years later to today, and the tuna fishing industry has changed with the times — but the Tunarama Festival still remains, with folks lining up to compete at how far they can throw a whole frozen tuna weighing about 22 pounds. (The current world record is about 122 ft. by Sean Carlin in 1998.)
Around February each year in the northern Italian town of Ivrea comes the pre-Lent Battle of the Oranges. This centuries-old food fight commemorates the liberation of the town from an evil lord during medieval times — although that story has almost nothing to do with why oranges are thrown these days. (It started as a bean throwing festival until women started throwing oranges in the 19th century to get the attention of men.) Not that any origin story matters these days when the 57,000 crates of oranges arrive as ammunition for a brutal, potential black-eye-inducing, but juicy and fruity food fight.
Oranges too hard for you? Spare those black eyes and soften things up by throwing tomatoes instead. Every last Wednesday of every August, the otherwise sleepy little town of Buñol, Spain (outside Valencia) becomes the stage where tens of thousands of people from all over the world convene to get in the world’s biggest tomato food fight. Five dump trucks carry in 110 tons of ripened tomatoes to overcrowded streets, and once a cannon goes off around 10 a.m., it’s all out mayhem. Tomatoes are thrown in every direction until it all turns into street sauce. If you’re going, here’s a tip: bring goggles and a swimsuit; tomato pulp gets really messy.
Video via NewsOnABC on YouTube
Sure it’s one thing to eat watermelons, but skiing on them? That’s just one of the events at the Chinchilla Melon Festival, where melons are not only eaten, but used as sports equipment and obstacles in a sort of melon Olympics. Every other year in February, competitors strap into watermelons for Melon Skiing, Melon Bungee, Melon Ball Games, and the Melon Ironman. There’s also Melon Head Smashing, where you crack open a watermelon using nothing but your head — the record is 47 in a minute by John Allwood, who set the Guinness World Record.
What do you get when you roll a wheel of cheese down a really steep hill, and dozens of people chase after it? You have the crazy annual event known as the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling, which is exactly what it sounds like. Held in Gloucestershire, England, the event attracts thousands to see a 7-lb. wheel of Gloucester cheese roll down the steep incline, while dozens of guys run after it — with often painful results. What men will do in the name of cheese…