In November, I was supposed to write a foodie post for the C.O.S.I group; unfortunately I have been much too busy celebrating my birthday. I am not sure how I manage to get away with it, but much to Mrs Sensibles dismay, I manage to squeeze 2 or 3 birthday parties into the month and a couple of celebrationary meals with friends.
So to keep everybody happy, I will start with a brief foodie post on traditional Piedmontese food.
November is cold and wet in Piedmonte, so to stay warm and cosy your average Piedmontese sits down to a bowl of Bagna Cauda.
Bagna Caulda is a hot dip, made from anchovies, lots of garlic and olive oil. It is served with a selection of raw vegetables, peppers, potatoes, carrots etc. The object of the meal is to dip the raw vegetables into your sauce and cook them. The conversation around the table normally goes something like this.
P N: So I dip the potato in here?
Mrs Sensible: yes but be careful the sauce is hot.
PN: Is the potato supposed to stay crunchy?
Mrs S: Tsk! leave it a bit longer.
PN: Can you pass the red wine down this way.
Miss Sensible: I told you it was hot!!
PN: Quick more wine.
An added bonus of enjoying the delicious dish of bagna caulda, is you never have to explain to your friends or colleagues what you had for tea the night before…. they will smell the aroma of anchovies and garlic as you walk across the carpark.
OK back to my birthday.
One of my birthday dinners was an impromptu meal with some friends, as usual we started with the swapping of the presents and the opening of a couple of bottles of wine. We then moved onto a fine selection of cheeses and salami.
Mrs S asked me if I would like a little more salami; of course I nodded and said I prefer the darker salami. She promptly added 3 more slices of meat and added “mmm the asino is tasty”
Some of you will know what asino is, for the rest of you let me enlighten you.
Asino is another Piedmontese delicacy.
We have sagra’s dedicated to the humble donkey, it is available as meatballs, agnolotti and of course salami. It has taken me 7 years to remove the image of the Blackpool Donkey from my mind when a slice of asino is added to my plate.
For many years I refused to eat Asino, occasionally I would unknowingly eat it, only realising after I was asked “did you enjoy the meat”
To finish with
1) If you want to search for Bagna Caulda on the internet, please spell it correctly, my first attempt was bagno caldo and google provided lots of pictures of women in the bath
2) Where are all my presents and birthday cards?
3) If you are a donkey, Italy is probably not a good holiday destination.
Normal food posts by the C.O.S.I group
- “Arm yourselves against Emilia’s arsenal of food.” – Married to Italy
- “Nobody Leaves The Table Until They’ve Eaten So Much That They Hate Themselves”–Observations on Eating in Italy – The Florence Diaries
- Operation: Italian Thanksgiving – “La Festa della Gallina” – Sex, Lies, and Nutella
How (not) to Spend Thanksgiving in Florence – Girl in Florence
- Foraging, Toxoplasmosis, And Eating Until You Die In Cassino, Italy — Surviving in Italy