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The Festival de l'Alicoque
Each year, in the southeastern town of Nyons, specialists, producers and aficionados gather to taste the 'Huile Nouvelle' or New Oil, the oil equivalent of Beaujolais Nouveau, a celebration of the new harvest. It's a fun affair, with song and dance and oil tastings and the Confrerie or Brotherhood of the Olive Tree. Several restaurant menus are turned over to the olive for the duration, featuring some sort of olive dish for every course. Unlikely as it may seem, fried olive paste (hidden in a bowl of garlic soup) and olive foam nestled under verbena ice cream and marshmallows are just two of the creative outcomes of some interesting culinary risk-taking. And worth the risk, I'd say. The festival is held on the first weekend of February and if you're a foodie you could hang around for the truffle markets held in neighboring towns at the same time of year.
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