The Battle of the Sagre

22 July 2008 at 11:19 pm 8 comments

Ciao Bloggisti!

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.


Entry filed under: Food, Italy, Travel.

Summer romance I am outta here, bloggisti!!!

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sue  |  23 July 2008 at 7:18 am

    I’m hungry.

    Ok, I’ll send you some tripe asap!!

  • 2. nyc/caribbean ragazza  |  23 July 2008 at 8:28 am

    I want to sagre! I will have to pass on the tripe soup though.

    I’m sure they have sagre outside Rome. Take a drive in the country one weekend and look out for the posters.

  • 3. joanne at frutto della passione  |  23 July 2008 at 10:20 am

    Love sagre. I think that in this case I’m going to vote for Liguria.

    They are the best, aren’t they? Thanks for voting!

  • 4. My Mélange  |  24 July 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Sagra. I learned this word as part of my Italian class in Spring. In my mind I thought it was a festival that was centered around a particular food coming into season.

    I love the look of that pesto….would have gobbled that right up!! You can keep the tripe and squid. Blech. 🙂

    Hey Robin! Perhaps in some areas sagre centre around seasonal cuisine but in the ones I’ve been to, they mainly focus on local dishes, even if they’re not in season. I have to admit I was surprised to see risotto coi funghi being served in July. I don’t know why my hubby insists on making me taste tripe. He’s sick!

  • 5. anne  |  25 July 2008 at 6:50 pm

    I like the look of the Ligurian food best..but I am sure the other is just as tasty!!

    There in no way on this earth that I would even contemplate trying Tripe… fact, I wouldn;t even buy it to try….mind you, is it any worse than Chitlins…maybe they are the same thing…whatever they are, a lot were eaten at this festival. I do know that they are eaten alot in France as well… my husband found out…and after one or two bites…refused to eat his dinner.!!

    Just the thought of what passed through the tripe before it became tripe gives me the chills. Thanks for the link to the history of chitlins, Anne. I’ve heard of them but never knew what they were.

  • 6. anne  |  26 July 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Linda that is so funny that you commented about a red wine from Liguria…we (husband) and I have been web searching on that area….

    Here is another link for you..

    Anne! You are a life saver!! I’m actually doing research for my next post on my visit to a Rossese producer. So you’re link was great.

  • 7. anne  |  26 July 2008 at 11:47 pm

    There are lots of sites to look at for this wine, but just found this….

    Thanks for comment tonight….I certainly didn;t encourage my boys to have children, the children just came along….I don;t mind having one at a time…..and the older the better, we can do more things…

    Another good site. Thanks again!
    Yeah, I know what you mean. My mom told me from the beginning that there was no way she’d be able to babysit toddlers- -too much hassle. But she loves them to death.

  • 8. Debby  |  7 September 2008 at 12:39 am

    Sagras are such fun and the music is so, well, the same every where you go in Italy. The food rarely looks as good as it tastes, so close eyes and open wide…mmmmm! Of course there are those occasions when the music is better than the food…oh my GGG.

    You’ve been to places where the music has been better than the food? Yikes! That would be awful 😦


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July 2008


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