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Reno tomato fight kicks off 'America Revealed' series

April 11, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

There's something wonderfully cathartic about watching this big tomato brawl that took place last summer in Reno.

It wasn't unplanned. Participants pay $10 each to grab and hurl the fruit (yes, it's a fruit) from a mountain of tomatoes at an annual event called La Tomatina en Reno, named for the bigger and more famous event held in Valencia, Spain.

The tomato fight helps kick off "America Revealed," a four-part series that starts at 10 p.m. tonight (Wednesday) on PBS. The series looks at how the country feeds itself, clothes itself and operates itself, according to the PBS website, which starts to sound a little like Economics 101.

But there's also a bit of adventure and travel showcased, too, from what I've seen of the trailers. Tonight's episode focuses on food production that starts with a pizza deliveryman in New York City and follows the food chain to the fields of California's Central Valley. Upcoming episodes focus on transportation, electric power and manufacturing.

The host is Yul Kwan, an attorney who's better known as winner of the 2006 TV reality show "Survivor: Cook Islands." He jumps out of planes, inspects beehives and gets splattered at the Reno tomato fight.

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