Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...


La Sagra del Cinghiale

I love a good sagra. It's a celebration of all I hold dear in Italy: food and wine. It is exactly the type of thing that made me leave my life with a backpack to get closer.
Something specific and seasonal like la castagna (chestnut), carciofo (artichoke), fagioli (beans), etc., will be granted the spotlight for a weekend, prepared in
a typical local style, and washed down with a little vino paesano. These are community events usually held outdoors and often conducted for charity. (Well, if I ever needed an excuse to fatten up a bit on some Italian country cooking, I think charity would be a great one, don't you?) September, October, and November are full of these events and if you're ever here during a sagra it's a fantastic way to see (and taste) the country.

A couple of weeks ago, I got to attend la Sagra del Cinghiale (wild boar). It took place in a tiny town called Dugenta, in the province of another small town called Benevento, about 40 minutes from Naples.

The menu is simple. There are 3 different pastas all made with ground boar, slowly cooked in tomato sauce. You can then order the misto al cinghiale with sausage, "steak," cheese, and a veggie. There's a panino option if there is someone crazy enough to skip the fresh pasta. The local wine is sold in a carafe or a 1.5 liter bottle. Did you notice how much more expensive Coca-cola is per mL than wine? This is a country with its priorities in the right place.

Could somebody check this dog's pulse?

Let's all say it together, "MISTO AL CINGHIALE!"

Look, paw, they even got 'dem some dayncin'!

Photo Sharing - Upload Video - Video Sharing - Share Photos
I would like to say that I had fun "sampling," but I'll go ahead and admit that I went whole-hog at the feedin' trough. And the post-dinner dance review was just what I needed to get myself on road for home...laughing all the way.



Blogger Travel Italy said...

Too cool. How I wish I were there.

11/07/2006 7:44 AM

Blogger Sicilian said...

You make food so fun . . . and fun to read about too!

11/07/2006 8:12 AM

Blogger Shelley - At Home in Rome said...

The hallowed sagra, yes! I have been to the sagra of polenta, castagna, and... that's all I can remember. But my sagras never had dancin', lucky you! ;-)

11/07/2006 11:07 AM

Blogger nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I have never had wild boar, perhaps on my next trip.

Who was that dancer? LOL

I loved the commentary (the parts I understood anyway, I think I heard bello.)

11/07/2006 12:09 PM

Anonymous Randy said...

Souns lyke you dun went an had yorsef a ole fashun hawg hoe down eyetaly style.

Luv yu, yore Paw.

11/07/2006 12:25 PM

Blogger cammar said...

Oh, that vision of the plastic bottle of water filled with non-industrial wine...

I know, FOR SURE, that the wine in that bottle was much better than any bottled wine you can buy in the US. In fact, even the most expensive wines suck in the US.
I think it's because by law the bottled wine has to contain sulfites, in order to preserve it from going bad and eventually making people that drink it sick. It's a layability thing, like everything else in the States.
You seem to be in (or close) to the wine industry over there. Am I right?

Anyway, drink a glass of Per'e palumm' for me.

11/07/2006 1:03 PM

Anonymous Italian Wine Guy said...

looked like one heck of a Couchon de Lait.Invidio!

better tell Cammar not to eat any bacon in the states. the nitrites'll get him!

for the record.all Italian wines, in fact, all wines of any quality, have sulfites naturally. even per e palumm'

but what do I know?

11/07/2006 2:12 PM

Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Oh Man! This is SO up my alley! Where do you find out about these things? After 3 years in Italy, I've never been to a sagra. Snif. It all sounds delicious, really. But I'm wondering, they didn't serve the strozzapreti with wild boar tracheas, did they? Nah, couldn't be, could it?

P.S. I wholeheartedly adore your and your parents' writing in Texan dialect. It makes me smile every time.

11/07/2006 2:46 PM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

susan--there was a flyer per strada for this one, but if do a search for sagre in your region, you can find them as well. here's one link that'll prob be helpful http://www.giraitalia.it/sagre/lombardia/ and yes, that was trachea with strozzapreti. an it was good! i'm glad that you understand (and enjoy) our hillbilly-ness. it's nice to know that it makes someone else laugh other than my dad and me!

nyc--no that wasn't a dancer, he was just dancin'...non s'e' ne fregata proprio :)

pappy--luv yu tu

11/07/2006 3:47 PM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

cammar and italian--sulfites shmulfites, i say there's more for me! i'll have a glass of per'e'palummo just for y'all. che sacrificio!

...do you smell eggs?

11/07/2006 4:04 PM

Blogger Tracie B. said...

AH! it's me again. what i meant to say was "non SE NE E' fregato proprio."

HEY, at least i can communicate.

11/07/2006 4:16 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, I do appreciate a fellow foodie and wine lover. Delicious post!

11/07/2006 7:39 PM

Blogger Turtle Guy said...

Delightful, truly!

11/08/2006 10:28 AM

Blogger Fruit Seasons said...

I think my produce guide could improve the quality of your ingredients. FruitSeasons.com

Submit your blog to our Food Blog directory while your there!

11/09/2006 4:35 PM

Blogger Cynthia Rae said...

There always seem to be a reason to sit down at the table with friends here in Italy. It is one of the many things I love about this country.

Looks like you had a great time!

11/10/2006 3:04 AM

Blogger Angelisa said...


i had my first sagra in august at the sagra del mare here in monte di procida...ooh, i want me a sagra right now....

11/13/2006 3:46 AM

Anonymous Travel to Central America said...

Great blog !
I really like it.

I will add it to my favourites


11/14/2006 7:40 AM

Blogger Dayngr said...


11/18/2006 1:02 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home