Maialata stems from the italian word for pig: maiale. What this boils down to (or gets cooked for that matter) is a whole lot of hog plus a great amount of people at La Maialata. These convivial pork roasts occur all over Italy, but the great thing about the ones in smaller communities is that good food, cheap wine, and a guy playing the accordion can be had for a steal in a place where the population numbers not more than 200.
Instead of one gigantic pig there were smaller ones on the spit. A basting brush fashioned from several rosemary branches tied together was used to coat the skin with olive oil.
Fagioli con cipolla (beans with onion) – beans w/onions is more of a tuscan dish but the appetite for beans has no regional boundaries.
Nervetti – the word means “little nerves”. It’s a salad of pickled calf’s foot, usually with onions and beans or mixed vegetables.
Casoncelli alla bergamasca – another pasta named after its environs (Bergamo). Filled with seasoned sausage and laced with melted butter and grated cheese. Delicious!
Porchetta and polenta. We also got some grilled red bell peppers and zucchini, plus a side order of fried calamari with lemon. All of this was enough for both of us until I saw an order for pork ribs, and why not add on a serving of that nervetti salad?
How long is the salame? Guess and it’ll be yours!
There was no blue ribbon pie competition or watermelon-eating contest to speak of, but the chance to win a salame had patrons handing over euros without hesitation. Too funny where they decided to hang it. When we seated ourselves in the food tent, I looked up and said, “Wha…! Hey, there’s a salame dangling from the rafters!!”