Santa Tecla diary 2013 – day four


The first Tuesday of Santa Tecla is home to a  lovely Slow Food initiative in the old plaça del Rei and a very special meeting for all the children with the  Vibria of Tarragona.

Slow Food Tarraco  is slowly coming of age and the only surprising thing is that is has not happened earlier as the hilly, rugged landscape of the Tarragonese is ideal for small scale traditional agriculture. The produce is superb: organic wines, and bread,  artisanal beers, and food sourced locally and ethically by some great restaurateurs like El Llagut, Bar Cortijo and Quinta Forca among other. And its all here in this beautiful old square where you can eat, drink and shop all in one go.

Personal favorite are the great selection of artisanal draft beers  which are almost impossible to get in normal days due to the overwhelming power of the big breweries. There are around 16 varieties on offer, each with it´s own strong clean aromatic and bitter notes, rich in hops and full of flavor.

A beer is one Teca (the event own currency and equivalent to 1 Euro) and a tapa is 2 . This gastronomic event runs for two days and will be missed when it´s gone.

Turn a leaf and something very strange is happening at the foot of the Cathedral: the fearsome Vibria, this beast with the tail of a snake, the breast of a woman, the head of an eagle and the wings of a bat is casting an unusual benign look upon thousand of children. This is one of the most endearing moments of Santa Tecla when the children donate their dummy to the Vibria in exchange of a contract on paper in which the Vibria promises to look after the dummy for all eternity.  The dummies are ceremoniously hung on the Vibria and the children move on. One of the most endearing rites of passage I have ever seen.

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