YBOR CITY — They came for the flan. They stayed for the fiesta.
The streets of Ybor were packed Saturday for the annual Fiesta Day and Flan Festival. Hundreds of people spent the day on Seventh Avenue, perusing booths and sampling cuisine that celebrated Ybor City’s Hispanic heritage.
Fifteen recipes were submitted for judging in the contest for Best Flan in Tampa Bay. They were judged in three categories: traditional recipe, non-traditional recipe and presentation.
Gloria Battafarano took first place in the traditional category, and Dulce Magallanes won the title in the non-traditional category. Each of the winners earned a $200 prize.
Every year, contestants in the flan contest submit their recipes, sure that their dessert is best, said Tony Morejon, Hispanic affairs liaison for the county.
“But anything is up for grabs here,” he said.
Barbara Lence, of Carrolwood, and her 5-year-old daughter Sofia entered their Oreo flan recipe in the non-traditional category this year. They didn’t win, but they took home the trophy for best presentation last year, Lence said.
She started making flans a few years ago, and once she had mastered the traditional recipe, she started experimenting with other flavors. Lence’s banana nut flan placed in the contest a few years ago.
“I just do it for fun,” she said.
— Elizabeth Behrman