Monday, February 24, 2014

2014 – Swamp Cabbage Festival –2/23

*Note: If you are new to my blog may I suggest you read "the back story on the Frozen Canuck" first - Also you might want to start from the bottom up in the blog archives list to the right of the page* 

Today we went on the bikes to the Swamp Cabbage Festival in Labelle Florida. (The festival is a yearly event that happens at the end of February).

It is always a nice ride to get to Labelle going along the North River Road – which follows along the Caloosahatchee River. 

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[The Swamp cabbage festival started way back in 1965 in LaBelle Florida; a little town of only 4,000 people and situated along the Caloosahatchee River. The main entertainment and vendors are located at the waterfront in Barron Park.]

Caloosahatchee River
What is a Swamp cabbage you might ask? — it is the "Heart of Palm," the meat of the Cabbage Palm Tree which also just happens to be Florida's state tree. (Also referred to as The Sabal Palm). 
Cabbage Palm Tree
Apparently Swamp Cabbage is quite a delicacy, and you can find Swamp Cabbage Fritter vendors throughout the festival all claiming to have their own original recipe. 

I personally have not tried it (anyone who knows me, knows if I don’t like the look or smell of it, it ain’t going near my lips!) But from what I have heard from people who have, they love it. Here is a recipe I found online for Swamp Cabbage Fritters  ( just in case you want to try it and happen to be in Florida and come across a Cabbage Palm growing wild in a field – really, they just grow wild here)

This little festival (probably not that little, as I have read more than 25,000 visitors attend this festival every year) has it all from a parade, food, trinkets and live music, to the Armadillo races: you got to see an Armadillo race! I found this video of the Armadillo Races on youtube.

And of course another great place to “people watch”! (Watching people stuff their face while trying to walk at the same time, well you know what I mean…)
It was a very humid day (not that I am complaining  J ) with the temperature soaring into the 36 C (96.8 F) range (not the kind of a day you want to walk around in full motorcycle gear- *mental note – remember to take shorts and flip flops next time!) Suffice to say, we didn't stay long. Anyway,  it was nice to stop and check it out for a bit. 

We continued on to Immokalee to get our fruit and vegetables for the week from the Farmer’s Market. (see my post ‘the unexpected tour’  to find out more about the market) We were maybe about 15-20 minuets from home when all of a sudden I felt something wet hit my face, at first I thought “great, now I have bird crap on my face”, but then another and another, next thing you know that one not so innocent looking cloud decided to open up and pour down on us. 

It was raining so hard that I couldn’t see, so we pulled over (of course there was no overpass or cover to be found) and waited until it let up. After getting nicely soaked (Guess I am just lucky that way!) we took off down the road again. Less then a mile down the road you wouldn’t of even guessed that it had rained!  

I had been thinking on the way home how nice it would be to jump in the pool when we got home because it had been such a hot ride, well I am not hot anymore! - I got my wish lol 

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