Commemorazione dei defunti (All Souls’ Day)

Dolci dei Morti

I’ll make this short and sweet. With Halloween on the last day of October, All Saints’ Day on November 1st, and All Souls’ Day today, a little indulgence is to be expected. During this time of year biscotti gets replaced with traditional ossa dei morti (bones of the dead) and pane dei morti (bread of the dead). Sounds morbid but no worries; they’re a real treat with coffee or tea.

Ossa dei morti (on the left in the top image) is like a cross between a sugar cookie and nougat: very sweet and with a texture that’s quite firm. Pane dei morti is similiar to a heavily spiced soft gingerbread and comes dusted in powdered sugar. That’s a 9.5-inch plate in the above photo and the large cookies come from a supermarket. The pasticcini mignon – small-size pastries – in the tray below are from a pastry shop. Chocolate-dipped cape gooseberries and white chocolate mice for something extra. Perfect for bringing to a gathering of the living for the dead.

Drive-thru black-eyed pea sagra

There’s always a first!

Or coronavirus be damned. When the pandemic slammed Italy 8 months ago, there was little chance of any sagra taking place for the rest of the year. From north to south, cancellations rained down one after another, bringing a full stop for events that have been faithfully held for decades. But in the town of Pizzighettone (Cremona province), nothing was getting in the way of the Fasulin de L’oc cun le cudeghe / black-eyed pea and pork skin soup.

Rich and unctuous and a total calorie bomb, we’ve been in attendance almost every year since 2006. Naturally with current health ordinances there was no way of gathering everyone indoors, so organizers planned a drive-thru for takeaway. No extensive menu this year; just the soup and a complimentary packet of black-eyed peas for each portion purchased.

Two double portions; 7 euros (per portion) with complimentary packet of locally grown peas.

Regrettably this will be the only sagra outing for 2020 but we’re so glad and appreciative of how Pizzighettone was able to make it happen this year. One of the double-portions went into the freezer for a snowy day, and I need to check out the recipe ideas that came with the dried beans. Keep safe and stay positive. As they say in Italy, tutto andrà bene. Everything will be okay.