OPT-NC is delighted to announce the issue of this 75 XPF stamp, the first part of a new series of stamp issues paying tribute to the rural fairs held in New Caledonia's villages.
Designed by André Lavergne, the stamp depicts the immensely popular Candlenut Worm Fair*, held every second Sunday of September on the townhall square in Farino, a little village set amongst lush green scenery about ten kilometres to the north from La Foa.
Founded on the initiative of local bush celebrity Mamie Fogliani, legendary for her culinary expertise, the Candlenut Worm Fair celebrates long-horned forest beetle larvae. The larvae are white, grow up to 7 cm long and 2 cm in diameter and feed on the soft, damp decomposing wood of the candlenut trees which thrive in the region.
Candlenut worms are prized as a local delicacy and, depending on personal taste or daring, can be eaten raw, grilled or sautéed in pastis or with parsley butter.
Highlights of this unique and unusual gourmet celebration include a contest to grub for the worms, with axes used to slice open tree trunks to find the juiciest specimens, and a champion worm-eater contest which involves swallowing ten raw worms as fast as possible.
The Candlenut Worm Fair is also the perfect opportunity to browse a bumper farmers’ market (fresh fruit and vegetables, local spicy pickles, jams, charcuterie, coffee, vanilla, plants, arts & crafts...) and to roam the glorious countryside with nature trails in Parc des Grandes Fougères nature reserve and bathing in Farino waterfall and plunge pool.
For further details, contact Farino Townhall on 44 31 04.
* the local name for the candlenut worm is “ver de bancoule”. The spelling should be “bancoul” but the Farino authorities adopted the “bancoule” spelling in reference to the hit song made famous by local singing star François Ollivaud.