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Cabbage festival, but where's the cabbage?

STUPAVA celebrated the Zahorie region's most popular vegetable - the cabbage - at the weekend. But as the annual celebration grows and the range of products on offer widens it is becoming more and more difficult to spot the green-leafed product.

Enormous cabbage heads and creative pumpkins entertained,...
photo: Jana Liptáková

STUPAVA celebrated the Zahorie region's most popular vegetable - the cabbage - at the weekend. But as the annual celebration grows and the range of products on offer widens it is becoming more and more difficult to spot the green-leafed product.

This ninth year of Dni zelá, or Cabbage Days, expanded to adjoining premises. Crowds wandered back and forth, surveying the dozens of stalls selling all kinds of goods - from bonsai trees to pyjamas - and it was a real challenge to get a taste or even a glimpse of a cabbage.

However, in the spacious Harvest 2005 tent visitors received bowls of sauerkraut and while lunching they could gaze on the fascinating display of giant cabbages and otherwise impressive vegetables and fruits, grown locally. The heaviest cabbage-head weighed 16.5 kilos. There was also a "tree" of mixed peppers that captivated the attention, as well as gigantic and tiny, playfully and colourfully shaped pumpkins.

More pumpkins of all shapes and sizes waited outside. Children imagined them to be butterflies, elephants, cars

...but commercial goods led the day.

and people's faces. Folk dances and locals remembering the old times boosted the festival's merry spirit, and visitors could drink the half-fermented grape-cider burčiak and chomp on traditional roasted sausage.

The candyfloss, the excess of meat dishes, the latest models of cars and the cheap clothes, however, obscured the festival's main reason for being - the cabbage. The freshly cut cabbage and its sour versions, cabbage cake (kapustník) and cabbage soup (kapustnica), were on sale at only a few places. And just three restaurants offered cabbage dishes on their menus.

One had to simply wonder what had happened to Slovakia's richly varied cuisine, of which cabbage is a main staple, when visiting this festival.


By Zuzana Habšudová

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