Thousands flocked to Aegean town to enjoy herb festival
Thousands of people flocked to the Aegean town of Alaçatı to celebrate the traditional herb festival, giving a much-needed hope and boost to the tourism sector that has seen a hard time with the effect of the pandemic in the last two years.
Organized by Çeşme Municipality of İzmir following a COVID-19 hiatus, this year’s Alaçatı Herb Festival, the 11th of its kind, was more of a diverse affair, influencing areas ranging from gastronomy to wearable textile art to biodiversity.
Every year, the festival highlights a particular indigenous green that is featured in dishes prepared in cooking competitions and on menus in restaurants throughout the town. This year’s herb of honor was “labada,” a species in the buckwheat family.
On the last day of the festival, thousands of people who wanted to enjoy the beautiful weather with events where local flavors were served flocked to the resort town.
Dishes prepared with some of over 125 herb species that germinate during the spring rainy season in the region, including radicchio, wild radish, leaf mustard, hibiscus, ivy, and blessed thistle, were among those offered to the visitors.
Several events such as exhibitions, seminars, and concerts also took place on the sidelines throughout the festival.
“How we missed hugging together under the sun, giving and receiving hope from each other. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this organization on this beautiful day,” İzmir Mayor Tunç Soyer said during the event.