France/VÉZÉNOBRES. The commune celebrates its first twinning with the Catalan fig capital

Published on 18/09/2023 | La rédaction

France, Spain

Despite the cancellation of the farmers' market due to the orange alert, the first of the two "Fig Days" was marked by the twinning of the Vézénobres commune with Alguaire, a small Spanish town in the province of Lérida in Catalonia.

The artisans taking part in the farmers' market left the narrow streets of the medieval town with a discouraged look on their faces this Saturday morning, just when they should have been packed with visitors. Despite the presence of a nagging sun amidst the clouds, the organizers of the "Jours de figues" event chose to cancel the day's market due to the department being placed on orange alert.

However, the market will take place on Sunday September 17, while indoor activities and tours will continue on Saturday. As was the official inauguration of the 26th edition of "Jours de figues", during which an unprecedented twinning for the commune was sealed. From the Romanesque hall of the Maison de la Figue, in the presence of three delegations from fig-producing countries (Morocco, Spain and Algeria), local councillor Liliane AllemandLiliane Allemand, president of the Vézénobres Remarkable Taste Site association.

She began with "a moving thought" for the victims of the Moroccan earthquake, and announced that a tribute concert would be held at the local church on Sunday September 17 (3pm). All proceeds from the event will be donated to the victims. The mayor of Vézénobri succeeded him at the podium to promote the fig, which, whether "dry, fresh, green or violet", is always "very good" when "well prepared".

"Figs are not folklore", insisted Sébastien Ombras, recalling that they were the main source of income for the Vézénobriens in the Middle Ages. Cathy Chaulet, vice-president of the Conseil départemental, tried to put the weather's vagaries into perspective, saying that "the fig trees won't complain". Chaulet, who is in charge of Agriculture and Food Quality, praised the fig as a "mythical fruit" that "links the shores of the Mediterranean with short circuits".

The President of Alès Agglomération, who has fig trees "all over my (his) garden", sees the fig as the fruit that illustrates "this Mediterranean friendship" linking Vézénobres to its fig-growing neighbors. Once the inaugural speeches were over, it was time to celebrate the union of identities linking Vézénobres to Alguaire, a small Spanish commune of 3,000 souls located in the province of Lérida in Catalonia.

It's no coincidence that the two towns share so many "cultural", "gastronomic" and "sporting" links. Alguaire claims to be the "Catalan capital of figs", while Vézénobres is the "Catalan capital of figs". "This is our first twinning. It wasn't that easy to obtain," admitted mayor Sébastien Ombras. His Spanish counterpart Imma Roca said a few words in French, inviting the mayor and his team to visit her at the next Fête de la figue d'Alguaire.

Although he gladly accepted the invitation, the Vézénobrien mayor was already dreading the "speech in Catalan". A fig tree, the town medal and the historic Vézénobres coat of arms were presented by the mayor to his Spanish colleague, who had just presented him with a frame housing the Sacré-Coeur d'Alguaire. " Rainy twinning, happy twinning", prophesied Sébastien Ombras in conclusion.


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