Artichoke Fun Fact! The origin of artichokes is a mystery, though they’re thought to be natively from North Africa.
Benicarló is a small seaside town on the northern end of the province of Castellón, near Peñíscola. It’s become a tourist haven during the summer, so winter is the perfect time to explore the village.
But don’t expect peace and quiet from the 22nd to 28th of January… expect artichokes! This is the week Benicarló celebrates one of its most important festivals, dedicated to the strange little plant.
Artichoke Fun Fact! Artichokes are virtually fat-free and have strong digestive properties. They lower cholesterol and strengthen both the liver and gall bladder.
Benicarló’s interest in artichokes is strong… it’s been farmed for centuries and is the only vegetable grown in Castellón to earn the Denomination of Origin seal of quality. The festival features tastings, conferences, exhibitions and artichoke-related events. My imagination is not nearly agile enough to guess what an “artichoke-related event” might be.
Artichoke Fun Fact! Castroville in Monterey County, California calls itself the Artichoke Capital of the World… even though the plant wasn’t even introduced to the continent until the 18th Century! Pfah, just like Americans to claim ownership of everything!
Benicarló is easy to reach by car, 90 minutes north of Valencia along the AP-7. There’s also a train station in the town. This year’s festival runs from the 22nd to the 28th.