Italian weekend #2: Sagra Nazionale del Gorgonzola

Sagra - Gorgonzola 1Let’s go back to Italy, shall we? Because I started telling you about my weekend, but I have yet to tell you about the most important part of it: the Sagra Nazionale Del Gorgonzola, the National Gorgonzola Festival.

As with any food festival, there is a lot to discover. There were hundreds of stands offering a large variety of goodies, from cured meats,

Sagra - Salame

to olive oil,

Sagra - Oli

mushrooms (mainly porcini, morels and black truffle),

Sagra - Funghi

Sagra - Tartuffo & funghi

breads,

Sagra - Pane

Sagra - Focaccia

desserts (yes, that is a cake made with Chantilly cream and gorgonzola cheese – I dare say I did not try this one… yet)

Sagra - Torta chantilly & gorgonzola

or sugared almonds in every flavour you can possibly imagine

Sagra - Dragées

Two stands in particular drew my attention.

Sagra - Crostata - pastrafrola

Sagra - CrostataOne was selling crostatas, some jam tarts with a criss-crossing pastry pattern on top. It reminded me of a Greek pie which we call pastaflora. As it turns out, Greek pastaflora is a close cousin to these crostatas. If I understood everything correctly, crostatas are made with a short pastry called pastafrolla (you may notice the Greek and Italian words are the same, save for 2 inverted letters and an extra L).

The second stand was making and selling farinata.

Sagra - Farinata 6

Sagra - Farinata 4Farinata is a sort of thin pancake, made of chickpea flour, water, olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary, and served piping hot. I have yet to attempt to make some, but it is definitely on my to-do list.

Needless to say, cheese, and particularly gorgonzola, was the star of the day, and there were cheeses of all sorts, shapes and sizes, as far as the eye could see (yes, those little pigs in the first picture are cheese).

Sagra - Gorgonzola 2

Sagra - fromage 1

Sagra - fromage 3

Sagra - fromage 4

Sagra - fromage 5

Sagra - fromage 6

As you can imagine, this being a food festival, lunchtime is the high moment of the day, and one could feast on polenta (topped with gorgonzola)

Sagra - Polenta 1

or risotto (with gorgonzola, of course)

Sagra - Risotto 1

But we didn’t have lunch at the festival. Sofia and Maurizio took us to a restaurant, Vecchia Pesa, which had a special menu, based on gorgonzola (what else?).

Vecchia Pesa 1 - menu

Of course, you could still order off the regular menu if you wanted, such as these tagliatelle with courgette

Vecchia Pesa - Tagliatelle

For antipasti (starters), we had:

Vecchia Pesa 2 - Assiette de charcuteriesA plate of cured meats: coppa from the Piacenza province, salami nostrano from the Brescia province, and bacon from city of Colonnata

Vecchia Pesa 2 - TarteTart with radicchio and creamy gorgonzola

Vecchia Pesa 2 - SaladeSalad of raw fennel with a gorgonzola mousse and pieces of orange

Vecchia Pesa 2 - Assiette de gorgonzolaPlate of 2 types of gorgonzola with chestnut honey

The first courses (primi piatti):

Vecchia Pesa 3 - Timbale de rizTimbale of wholegrain black rice with a gorgonzola fondue and walnuts

Vecchia Pesa 3 - ChicchePotato chicche with gorgonzola sauce and wild rocket (arugula) – chicche are like gnocchi, only much smaller and they have not been rolled (on a fork) so they don’t have those recognizable marks

The second course (secondo piatto) was broiled beef taglia with grilled courgettes and gorgonzola, and rosemary-scented baked potatoes Vecchia Pesa 4 - Tagliata

Taglia is a cut, but I have yet to figure out which one – given the name, I believe it must be some flank cut.

And finally, dessert (dolce):

Vecchia Pesa 5 - Tarte aux pommesWarm apple cake with chocolate sauce and gorgonzola ice cream. Now, I understand that “gorgonzola ice cream” sounds bizarre, but trust me, it was very good. It was a cream gelato with a hint of gorgonzola and tiny bits of white chocolate. It was a perfect balance of sweet and savoury. Just yummy!!

There you go. I hope you enjoyed this (long overdue) review, and maybe I shall see you there next year?😉

3 réflexions sur “Italian weekend #2: Sagra Nazionale del Gorgonzola

  1. Pingback: Coconut milk risotto (Arborio rice pudding) | Ala Lemon

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