Why You Should Know About Italian Sagre

 

Italian sagre put you in touch with the best culinary traditions of Italy taking you to outdoor, festive banquets that put to shame mass-tourism food.

If there is a gosh-I-am-so-lucky-to-be-here type of food event, this certainly is a sagra in Italy.

The word sagra speaks for itself, as it means feast and blessing of local produce. In fact Italian sagre are more than just food festivals. They are a way to put you in touch with the heart of Italy and with food that will quieten any storms in your heart.

 

Seasonal, local food only

At their best they see an entire, rural, medieval village involved in making genuinely local food, showcasing local produce, traditions, re-enactments and music. Italian sagre are must-go events because they shy away from busy, modern cities. They thrive instead where authentic Italian food thrives: in the tiny medieval hamlets, villages and small towns scattered across the country; among communities that have preserved Italian culinary heritage to this day.

Take la sagra del cinghiale (the wild boar festival) in Chianni, Tuscany, or the International White Truffle Fair in Alba, Piedmont (see Mesmerized by Le Langhe). When they begin between October and November, the cobbled streets of those places come to life with gods-tempting food, with local chefs, food makers and farmers using their know-how to dish out a bounty of mouth-whetting recipes along with their products. And in all this food galore the truly amazing thing is that in some places many mammas will take to the streets with their own little food stands to give you their homemade food.

Italian sagre will fulfill your longing for good things in life. Nothing you’ll have there will be fake, canned, counterfeit, or shipped. They are a strictly locally-produced affair that ostracizes the very idea of globalization when it comes to food. The community involved in these amazing food festivals stick to one simple idea. There is no need to put state-of-the-art sophistication or high flying culinary technique in your food if instead you can put centuries if not millennia of culinary traditions and know-how.

The icing on the cake is that these unpretentious sagre offer food steeped in Italy’s best traditions at a ridiculously low price. (see Top Italian Sagre in Le Marche)

So if you happen to be in Italy and you decide to go to a sagra, you will only do yourself a favor.

To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.

— François de La Rochefoucauld
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