La Tomatina festival in Spain gives new meaning to the expression ‘playing with your food’. For most of the year Bunol is a ho-hum industrial town, 40km (25mi) from Valencia, quietly going about its own business. But come the last Wednesday of August, the town’s streets turns into a salsa riot, with over 20,000 revellers pelting each other with large, red, squishy tomatoes.
There are lots of theories on how the festival started; one is that it began in 1945 with anti-Franco protests, although any link between Franco and tomatoes remains ambigous. Another theory is that it started when two friends had a stand-up knock-down argument while sharing a meal.