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The Good Life in Aggtelek National Park, Part 116: VII. Clabber Festival in Boldva

clabber festival boldvaThere are all sorts of local festivals, and I suppose every village has to find a hook. There is a hucul horse festival, steamed dumpling festival, apricot jam festival, autumn fruit festival, folk festival, tractor festival, and as we discovered, a curdled milk festival. We were in Boldva a month previously to buy some pumpkin seed oil and had a look around. We went back for the festival in June and dragged along our granddaughter Lili. We arrived at 10am, thinking that things would be hopping by then but it was very quiet. The event was free, but if you bought a "supporters ticket," you received either 2 pancakes, 2 muffins or a kenyér langos straight out of the outdoor stucco oven. We thought we would have some clabber to wash it down, but none was to be found. We imagined that the whole idea was for different farmers to offer their clabber at different stands, and for the cooking competition to include food including clabber. We also assumed that people could buy tasting tickets and sample the different offerings, like at the pig killing festivals we had been at. We were mistaken on all counts. The cooking competition was over by the time we got there, even though there were almost no visitors yet. The food was for the judges only, and even so, was usually bean stew. We finally tracked down some clabber for Lili to try (scrunched up face) at the House of Friends, where we could buy a jug of it for 1200 HUF. They were nice enough to give us a cup free for Lili to try. Instead, I bought a cup of spicy roasted pumpkin seeds. No programme was posted anywhere, and the information desk was equally ignorant of the programme - but after we asked, they thought it was a good idea and arranged with the organisers to post the programme in several places. Lili enjoyed the giant air castle, and we also had an interesting guided tour of the old church.

In the background, an archery competition was taking place, and local bands took the stage. The Retro Boys were just loud, whereas the Dalárda Folk Ensemble's fiddler was horrendously out of tune and screeched through several tunes. We chose this point to make our exit. But just before we left we ran into the cheese maker from Hidvégardó, where yes, you could taste his clabber! We bought delicious Slovak cheese, goat cheese, and sheep cheese from him.