Pizzighettone, Italy (Cremona) — Black-eyed peas (fasulin de l’òc) with pork skin (cudeghe). I’ve been anticipating this event for weeks after seeing an article in the food mag Vie del Gusto. The information within stated that mothers and grandmothers of the village will cook almost 3000 kilos, the equivalent of over 12,000 portions.
That 12,000 is the total servings of a 5-day period which commenced on the last day of October and the following holiday of Ognisanti (Nov. 1). The women took up their places once more this past weekend, Nov 3-5. I had hoped to be able to take photos of the ladies cooking, but upon arrival, we discovered that dogs weren’t allowed in the building. Still, a polite request and a smile goes a long way, and we were told to go around the back to a secluded dining area. What luck! Hot flames blazed away in a grand fireplace and we had the room all to ourselves. The celebrated dish was more of a soup with lots of black-eyed peas and strips of melt-in-your-mouth pig skin. So simple but so good. This is what I call eating well in Italy.
Imagine the very thinnest of ribbons scraped from young grana (aged 4-6 months) and you have raspadüra. A speciality of Lodi, a blade is used to obtain “shavings” from a large round of granone. Used as a garnish for risotto/polenta, scattered over carpaccio, or offered as an antipasto with salame and walnuts, it is also eaten like a snack, straight from the container.
A gastronomic food fair was being held at the same time with a good variety of products and we couldn’t say no to some salami with white truffles. It must’ve been sensory overload for Maddie who caught me offguard and bolted for the cheese stand. The vendor laughed, “Your dog is a gourmet!”
This is the first time that I’ve seen a menu written in both italian and dialect. Dialect tongue is really cool to hear when my husband is speaking to his parents, even if I don’t get a word of what they’re saying.