Big Picture

Ripe for the soaking


Tomatoes make for great eating but, as this South Korean boy discovers, splashing away in a tomato pool during the Hwacheon Tomato Festival yesterday, they can be great fun too.

The annual festival, held this year from July 30 to Aug 2, takes place in Hwacheon-gun, in Gangwon province, some 90km north-east of capital Seoul.

Now in its 13th year, the festival offers a range of activities centred on Hwacheon tomatoes, which are grown in the mountainous areas in Gangwon-do. The region reportedly experiences a wide temperature range, making the tomatoes extra firm and nutritious.

Programmes at the festival include a gold-ring hunt and a tomato-eating contest.

Winners of the hunt stand to take home 170g of gold rings and - no need to guess - boxes of tomatoes.

The last two days will feature a spaghetti and bibimbap (rice mixed with vegetables) feast, with servings enough for 1,000 people.

"We hope people can come and taste local tomatoes, and have a memorable experience at the festival," said a Hwacheon-gun official.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2015, with the headline 'Ripe for the soaking'. Print Edition | Subscribe