The clotxa, the peasant dish that unites the people of the Ribera

It looked like a spring day. Around noon no one was wearing a jacket anymore. If it weren't for the fact that the fields were green and brown, instead of pink or white because of the flowering of the fruit trees, the scene could be placed in April: people at tables and standing eating and drinking, laughing and chatting, enjoying a splendid time. The radiant sun in a cloudless sky yesterday also celebrated the return of the Clotxa Festival. An appointment that nobody wanted to miss yesterday, after two years of pandemic.

The clotxa is a dish of peasant origin typical of the Ribera d'Ebre and other territories in the area. It is prepared with a round bread, tomato, onion, garlic, herring or sardine and olive oil. Since 2003, the Ribera de Ebro Regional Council has publicized this gastronomic proposal through a traveling festival through all the towns in the region. The first edition took place in Móra la Nova, where he returned yesterday after having already passed through each and every one of the riverside towns. Although this festival was usually held in March, this year it has been held in the autumn, in order to deseasonalize tourist proposals, since the flowering of the Ribera d'Ebre, in March, already attracts many visitors to the region.

Outside the Móra la Nova fair pavilion, which hosts renowned fairs, more than a thousand people gathered yesterday morning to enjoy the clotxa and an atmosphere full of animation. The flixanco group Es cosa de 3 also performed at the party. In addition to visitors from all over Ribera d'Ebre, the party attracted a large number of people from outside the region. This is the case, for example, of Rosa Mari Rufà, who came from Perafort with her husband and her son. «We were encouraged to come because we did not know him and we had heard him speak. We liked it a lot », she valued. Some also took advantage of the fact that the Train Festival was being held this weekend in Móra la Nova. This is the case of Miranda Pinedo, from Tortosa, who came to the Clotxa Festival for the first time with her friends from the gym: «One of them had come to the party a long time ago. I didn't even know what this clotxa thing was, but it looks very good », she explained, before starting to prepare and taste it. "It's a beautiful day and then we're going to the Train Party, so we already have the perfect day." Some preferred to make botifarras or sausages on the grill, like the couple formed by Beatriz and Jorge, who came from Reus. «I have taken the sausage from home because the herring is very strong and I don't like it, and that's how I loved it», she pointed out. "I think that after the pandemic we do more local things, and now we will go to all the parties and fairs in the area," they affirmed.

The Clotxa Festival now also marks the beginning of the Gastronomic Days, during which twelve restaurants in the region incorporate the dish.

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