Last Saturday saw the return of Calentita. A food festival that embraces all the different types of cuisine you can find here in Gibraltar.
I went down to the event with my neighbour-friends with their granddaughter and saw a whole host of people there. This is another of those Gibraltarian events that attracts everyone, regardless of age or gender etc…
This year saw the event expand into Market Place, buses were diverted to the nearby stops so craft stalls, big long tables where people could eat, a huge screen to watch the GBC coverage of the event and also a live kitchen demo as well as more food stands could be set up.
Casemates Square had the lions share of the food stalls and also had the main stage area, where local bands and dance / theatre groups put on performances. I have to say that I enjoyed the fire-breathing man the most. I could actually feel the heat from where we were standing.
At the end of the event (before Headwires came on, I confess I left before they played, shame on me, I was super tired though) there was a fireworks display which took a few people by surprise, none more so than my friends granddaughter who at three-years-old finds them terrifying and immediately started to cry! Which wasn’t nice to see, the poor little lady. But being the grown up I am (not heartless) I really enjoyed them. I bet she’ll love them when she’s older. They were very loud and very unexpected!
The main part of the night though is the grub!
I had Greek, Nepalese, Gibraltarian, Chinese and British. I know what a cop-out, British isn’t exactly pushing boundaries for me. But it was cake, and I am helpless when offered cake (orange chocolate if you are curious). The Gibraltarian dish was none other than Calentita. Chickpea flour mixed with water, left to ‘set’ (someone correct me if I am wrong) then flavoured with salt and black pepper. I liked the firm top part, the flavour was simple and nice, I didn’t like the squishy underneath bit though, I have to confess! It was really bizarre texture. And the flavour put me in mind of a very bland version of hummus!
Again the thing about the event were the queues / crush of people, it was crazy. I have to say I wasn’t the only person who got a bit overwhelmed by the pushing and shoving, I am only small people, but I would like some space! Lol. I am guessing the expansion into Market Place was an attempt to divert the flow of people and offer more space? My suggestion would be to hold the event earlier in the day as well as the evening, enabling people to take their time and not all rush down at the same time? I have to say though the addition of the benches and tables to eat at was most welcome. I almost feel this event has become so popular it could almost become a weekend thing? Plus this would give me longer to space out the dishes and scoff more! 😉 Or alternatively some kind of queueing system like you get at fairs or airport security could be introduced, to funnel people through to the stall and then into the space of the square. I guess anything where this number of people are involved would be a logistical nightmare!
Either way I ate loads, enjoyed the show and I for one am looking forward to next years Calentita!