The widely famous Norsk Eplefest is happening these days in Gvarv, Norway. Speaking about Gvarv, it is a small village in Telemark where according to some 1 of every 3 norwegian apples is produced. Other theories say 1 of every 6, so just choose what it fits you better, what you prefer to believe, what makes you more happy and expand the rumor!
Every nation has food-parties. In my village in Spain we are proud of being the paradise of the seafood and each October we celebrate the Seafood party, check O Grove and visit!. It is a huge event where people basically eat sea food and drink white wine outside under a very crowded carp during 2 weeks. In the neighbour village (Cambados) they celebrate every august the Albariño party (the white wine of the region). And so and so it applies to every village in Galicia, examples are the Empanada party (Allariz), the octopus party (Carballiño), the callos party (Salceda), lamprea party (Arbo), langosta party (A Guarda) etc etc… We like to be out, eat and drink, it is the way we celebrate the summer.
What about Norway? Norway and its alcohol policy. Is it a requirement to enjoy to drink a glass of wine? No, it is not, but but… What is an apple party without a cider tasting?… Probably they are not very good in merchandising, or they basically do not care about attracting more people than those that live in the neighbourhood. I just believe it is strange to call something Eplefest and have basically the same market as everywhere, with the same kind of stuff plus two-three stands where they sell apples and apple juice. You may call me crazy, but I believe that under a fruit like the apple there is a huge world of possibilities. Examples that the organizers of the Eplefest in Gvarv could consider in the future:
* Food context. Utilice the goods the land is providing you (aka apple). One of the contest could be for the best apple cake. Introduce a fee, give a prize, set a jury and lets eat apple cakes and be happy. A second contest could be the same but for a salty dish made with apples, who is the best chef of the city?
* Games for kids and adults. Play around with apples. Lets have an area full of trees and make a 10 minutes context to see who picks more apples. The winner gets the apples he/she has picked, the rest of the apples are happily collected and can even be sold in the party. Other games? Brainstormming of ideas in the village!
* Folkens! Learn out of the apples! From juice to cider, from cider to calvados! How? Let’s enjoy the learning process all together!
Etc etc etc…
Nevertheless, it is always nice to be out in a norwegian market, expend a few hours outside and get a bit inside of their culture. So if you are in the area go and check the norsk eplefest på Gvarv, you may end up disappointed but with a few kg of apples in your kitchen…