02/23/2012 07:13 am ET Updated Apr 24, 2012

Eccentric Festivals That Celebrate Single Foods (PHOTOS)

Food festivals can be divided into two categories: those that showcase a broad and diverse culinary spectrum and those that hone in on a single ingredient and celebrate it to the tens.

The first category is where you find the top chefs and $200/ticket tastings. The single-food festivals draw the specialists, the peculiar traditions and the devotees. Whenever hundreds of people gather to wrestle in gravy or hurl buckets of overripe tomatoes at each other, thousands of gawkers will follow. They generally get an eyeful. From bizarre to gourmet, these single-food festivals demonstrate all the ways that an ingredient can transcend the plate.