La Sagra delle Rane

Ok, let’s talk about something very Italian. Le sagre.IMG_1091

A “sagra” is a festival created by people who live in small towns up in the mountains and is normally dedicated to a typical dish of that community. The hill where I live on usually hosts several sagre (eggplants, croquettes, ecc) and they last a couple of days (a weekend max) but basically any little town here in Liguria offers to both tourists and residents a sagra at least once per year. Yesterday I went to the famous Sagra delle Rane (Frog’s festival) with my parents and grandma, it was located in the inner region of Liguria (half a dozen’s miles from my place) and it’s one of my favorites.

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I’m sorry I couldn’t take a picture of the official sign because it’s kinda funny of it depicts a little cute frog smiling at you, whereas the sign’s purpose is to go and eat that smiling frog… Anyway yesterday was the first of the three days the festival will be there and as usual it was pretty crowded. IMG_1092I like this one in particular for a reason: since there are kind of food that need to be roasted with an actual fire, they settle a bonfire on the other side of the road and they send the foodback and forth by using a cart. Apart from that the festival offered the normal stuff you can expect from a sagra: homemade food, eating outside and live music by bands (strictly in dialect for those with a fetish about italian dialects). IMG_1094In Liguria almost every sagra offers Testaieù and Asado: the first one is like a salty pancake with a topping of Pesto Genovese, is really cheap and extremely good and filling. IMG_1100About the asado, people don’t know it’s really common in Argentina, but the truth is it was invented here, in Liguria. By the end of the XIX century Ligurian emigrants went to Argentina and they brought  this recipe with them. It consist of veal meat roasting right next to a bonfire like in the picture. Asado-e1308583653308-267x300Actually I don’t like it because this cooking method doesn’t get rid of the fat which compose a good deal of the dish, but looks like people here love it so why don’t give it a taste?

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Normally people think that frogs are a typical French food or that they’re not THAT good, but I’d like anyone to try them at least once before saying that, because they are THAT good. They served the lower body of frogs, fried and seasoned. On the bad side I have to say they’re little. Too little. Moreover you have to eat them while still warm or they lose all the flavor and start to harden.  They were served with some salad and because they weren’t that filling. I like to have some once per year, especially because I can say “I eat frogs!” and laugh when other people get disgusted by me… I’ve also been to the Sagra delle melanzane  but unfortunately I didn’t take any pics. Anyway it was beautifully located right in the middle of the forest behind my house. I love to go there because I get to be even closer to the lifestyle I feel I like the most.

-Faby

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