Festivals and Swamp Cabbage!

A festival is an event celebrated by a community and centres on some characteristic of that community and its religion or cultures.
It is often marked as a local or national holiday.
Next to religion and folklore, a significant origin is agricultural. Wikipedia

There are enough festivals in most towns in the US and Canada to keep us happy all year long.  So, do we pack our wings and stilts, take our clothes off and paint our bum blue, try unidentifiable street food and circus skills, crowd-surf to the front and launch ourself into space from a giant catapult? And lose it, just for a few days? Will this be the year we finally make it to Burning Man?  Not likely!

There’s been Butter Tart Festivals in Midland, ON;  Jazz Festivals in Oakville and the Beaches (ON); the Sunset Festival in Oceanside, CA; the Ballon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM; the Chili Pepper Festival in Puebla, NM; La Fiesta de los Vaqueros – Rodeo in Tucson, AZ; Mardi Gras in New Orleans; Wine Festivals in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON and Napa, CA;  Busker Festival in Grimsby, ON; the International Film Festival in Toronto, ON – and food and wine festivals too numerous to mention!

However, in its 53rd year, the recent Swamp Cabbage Festival in LaBelle, FL. – complete with fried gator bites, armadillo races, live music and swamp cabbage displays – is the most unusual.  Especially in its name…  

What the heck is Swamp Cabbage?  

Quite simply –

If you pull up a chair at a gourmet restaurant, you call it hearts of palm.
In a Florida Cracker kitchen, you call it swamp cabbage.

Swamp cabbage is taken from the cabbage palm tree, otherwise known as the sabal palmetto, Florida’s state tree.   Supposedly, once the heart is taken, the tree dies. There’s  a lot of misunderstanding about whether it is permissible to cut down the state tree in order to obtain the terminal bud that cooks up into no more than a quart of vegetables.

Sabal Palmetto Trees

Now back to the Swamp Cabbage Festival…

Place your bets folks!

What’s your most unusual festival?

2 thoughts on “Festivals and Swamp Cabbage!”

  1. It was so nice to meet you guys last night and so ironic that we had a Raleigh connection. Love your blog and will be checking in regularly to see your latest adventures. Really great and helpful information on here that will help us in our travels, no doubt.

    1. Thanks your comment Sheila. Great to meet you also – the guys were sure chatting up a storm! I’m working on the blog to create a subscriber box (it got messed up somehow and is floating around cyberspace). When it’s available you can subscribe and you will receive updates as soon as they are published.

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