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Coca de San Juan - St. John's Sweet Bread

In Spain, the feast of St. John is celebrated on the night of June 23 with huge bonfires, fireworks and lots of festivities and continues the following day. This ancient festival coincides with the summer solstice, celebrated by the Celts and the Romans. The beaches around Spain fill with tents on the Noche de San Juan, or St. John's Night and everyone lights fires and camps out.

How does all this relate to food? Well, as with most festivals in Spain, there is a special dish that is prepared for it called "Coca de San Juan." A coca is a cake or sweet bread that is like a flat, oblong sweet bread, topped with candied fruits.

In Alicante, part of the Valencia region on the eastern coast of Spain, the celebration is particularly fun and large fires or hogueras are lit. Visit the Official Tourism web site of Valencia and read the article Alicante lights up with the Hogueras de San Juan Festival. Under the photos on the left side, click on the "+info" link to see a page with links to photo galleries, online brochures and webcams of the area.

Coca de Frutas de San Juan - St. John's Sweet Bread (c) 2008 Lisa Sierra Licensed to About.com

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