|Everyone enjoying the food. More foto's here.|
I’m back. Where did I leave you….? Ah, the holidays. Mine were good. Hope yours’ as well. Did you join some good food at your holiday destination? I found some nice gelaterie in small villages, had local liquors and tipical dishes. But the thing I will remember best was the lunch I had on the 15th of August. It was my first official Pranzo di Ferragosto.
After a week of walking in Abruzzo, some days of relaxation in deserted Milan (it was seriously difficult to find some open fresh food shops) we headed to the northern lakes to do some mountain biking. On the day after our arrival, we stopped in a nearby village to buy some fresh bread and to have a coffee. As is very normal in Italy we checked the local notice boards to see whether some festivities were planned during our stay.
Big bright colored posters announced a party in almost every village during the hot mid-august week. And especially during 15th day of the month, the day the Italians (and many other catholic countries) celebrate the Assumption.
Italy wouldn’t be Italy as the biggest party of the year wouldn’t be centered around food. A few years ago there even has been published a film about this famous lunch. We headed to a small village not far from our campsite. On a central located square, a big tent was pitched and housed seats and tables for about 100 to 150 people. Members of a local association were ready to host the guests.
At midday we started with a popular aperitivo (normally taken before diner) and some snacks. After everyone paid their bills, (24 euro per person for a 5 courses diner including drinks!) the buffet opened and we could start to collect our antipasta. This buffet thing in Italy is always an interesting moment. For some reason I expect them to be moderate, but when it goes to food they just attack it as hungry beasts.
After we enjoyed the different flavors of the antipasta – one better than the other – a good plate of pasta arrived. Freshly made tortellini filled with ricotta. A good way to continue the afternoon. Slowly the wine started to come down too and talking with the strangers on our table became easier and more fun.
The main dish was a stewed veal served with peas, carrots and puree. Luckily not to heavy so that we had some room left for a piece of local cheese, the Toma Mottarone, named after the mountain we climbed just two days before. After another glass of wine, some more chatting with the locals we joined the table with (thanks for all the suggestions) everyone started to get a little bit impatience: Could we expect a dessert or what?
But then the rumors went down. A sign that the sweets were one their way! A very wellmade ice-cake finished with homemade(?) strawberry sauce. Delicious. Just the right way to finish these almost 4 hours during lunch experience.