The Battle of the Sagre
One of the best things about summer in Da Boot is the abundance of sagre. What is a sagra, you ask? Hmm, how can I do it justice? Well, it’s sort of country fair where cheap local food is the star attraction. I love them to death! Except for the live music. Unfortunately, the music often gives me indigestion that not even massive doses of Pepto Bismol can cure. It’s usually polka with a bit of Village People thrown in for good measure. Excuse me a sec while I wretch. I was actually going to add a clip of the band but luckily for you it didn’t work.
Ok, back to business. I’ve been to two sagre recently, in two different regions of Italy: Lombardy and Liguria. It’s always a treat for me to go to these fairs because they serve scrumptious local specialities. It’s a great big party, with kids running around and old folks dressed to the nines in the hopes of picking up.
The sagre I went to were quite different in terms of cuisine and set up. I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast. Here are a few pictures of the sagre and the dishes served:
San Bartolomeo al Mare, Liguria
Fancy shmancy dining area. Just like high school, non?
Tomato and sweet pepper salad
Half-eaten penne with pesto sauce, a Ligurian speciality
Moscardino in umido (braised baby octopus with peas – sounds better in Italian!)
Half-burnt sausage and fries. It tasted better than it looks.
Bettola, Lombardy (Please excuse the lack of good pics. I was being savagely attacked by a swarm of giant, bloodthirsty mosquitoes and got the heck outta that place as soon as I could.)
A yummy Lombard dish: risotto ai funghi porcini (rice with porcini mushrooms)
A slightly revolting Lombard dish: tripe soup with potatoes and beans.
Various dishes: fries, assorted coldcuts, grilled meat. Note classy paper tablecloth.
Grigliata mista (assortment of grilled meat and sausage)
So, who wins the Battle of the Sagre? San Bartolomeo or Bettola?
If you want to see even more disgusting pictures of food, check out these Weight Watchers recipe cards circa 1974. Only here will you see the magic of Fluffy Mackerel Pudding and Inspiration Soup.