Chilly days, in Monferrato, bright and ‘sklint’ or foggy and romantic, share distintive smells. Wood smoke, the earthy scents of fallen leaves, truffles and porcini, and the pungency of Bagna Cauda.
In Piemontese dialect, bagna cauda (or bagna caoda) literally means ‘hot bath’. It is the name of a traditional dish, served at convivial lunches that often continue for entire afternoons. Long tables are laden with platters of vegetables: fresh fennel, celery, endive, the crunchy tubers of topinambor (Jerusalem artichoke), cooked potates, roasted onions and beets.
The sauce, at its most simple, consists of excellant olive oil, anchovy paste and significant amounts of crushed garlic. Every cook has his prefered and exact proportion of the ingredients and much polemic swirls around the additions and uses of butter, milk, nuts. (There even exist, heretical versions, without garlic – though no one would take them seriously).
The sauce is brought to the table in terracotta burners (fujot) and kept hot with candles. The ambiance always warms up, as well, as everyone spoons and dips; sharing local red wine and opinions.
The bagna caoda is often followed by plates of freshly made pasta and of Bollito Misto, or boiled meats. And, never finishes without a sampling of traditional chocolate bunet, panna cotta or nut cake.
The ancient city of Asti is at the heart of this tradition, so it is fitting that the event known as Bagna Cauda Day was born there.
It is celebrated over three days, on the final weekend of November, in restaurants, trattorias, pro loco dining rooms all over Monferrato and Langhe area and beyond, to Turin, Valle d’Aosta and into Liguria and even in selected restaurants all around the world!
The organizers suggests that all who partake of the Bagna Cauda event, join in the post prandial tradition: the Barbera Kiss and they offer a “After Bagna Caoda” kit, including toothpaste “Kiss-me-quick” made of magnesium, cola, grappa, and honey, and a mascot, “Acciu”.
November 24th (dinner), November 25th (lunch and dinner) and November 26th (lunch and dinner). You can find a list of venues on the Bagna Cauda Days’ website (see below).
Menus are fixed at € 25 per person, with bottles of local wine for € 8 each.
Reservations: you can book by calling directly the premises.
Various premises, read the description
From 24th to 26th November 2017