If it’s summertime, that means loads of wonderful sagre, festivals, in Italy. Many sagre are food-related celebrations and festivals, but not all. But when it is food-related, you know that you’re going to eat well! Even the tiniest cities can have excellent sagre.
Case in point is the Sagra delle Fragole I went to in Fosseno, a little frazione of the city of Nebbiuno, high above Lago Maggiore in the Piedmont region. This sagra is not the only of its kind – there are many many strawberry festivals around Italy.
Every sagra has a special menu, and I love it when they are handwritten (they often are). Prices are bound to be lower and that means that you can indulge a bit more. In my case I got the risotto alle fragole, strawberry risotto and the fresh gelato and cut strawberries for after.
After ordering, we sat down and waited for our food to be delivered.
Let’s take a look at those strawberries! This one is almost ready to eat – as soon as it loses the slightly-white tip, it’s perfect. But you might sneak one or two even now, and they’d still taste great.
Risotto alle fragole, strawberry risotto. It’s not sweet aside from the taste of the strawberries. Not something I’d like to eat every day, but some people were going crazy for it. If you like subtle flavors, definitely try this. On the placemat, you can see the advertisement for the Sagra della Polenta in September in that area.
After the risotto, I got the fresh gelato, which was so fresh and creamy it was almost like fresh whipping cream but even better. This didn’t last very long.
After all that eating, you need a rest while you wait for more strawberries.
Something you’ll see in small towns everywhere: everyone works!
The sagra menu is a bit of distraction from the main event: buying crates and crates of strawberries to take home. Each crate was 15 euro, which is a decent price if you consider in Milan one of the 8 baskets in the crate would cost 3.50euro.
There aren’t only strawberries at the sagra – often there are booths selling other local-made goods or other products. Yum for salami!
More about Italian sagre:
- What’s a sagra? on About.com
- Rowena from Rubbah Slippers in Italy has been to 48 sagre so far (left-hand column nav)
- Sagre in Italia – the Italian sagre portal (in Italian) has a great search by region and type of festival
- The sagra of the Nodino – Mozzarella knot festival on my blog
- Sagre from Episode 4 on the Eye on Italy podcast w/ Leif Pettersen