Apecchio, Pesaro-Urbino (Marche) – What is bostrengo? The woman at the bar described the pudding-like sweet as such: “It used to be a peasant food, and back then they used the blood of the pig to make it but now…” she trails off, “Nobody would want to eat it if made with blood. Bleh!” (And here she emphasized her distaste by making a face).
Initially bostrengo was blood pudding (sanguinaccio), then evolved into a simple sweet treat that headlines a 3-day celebration in the medieval town of Apecchio each year. I marked the sagra as a “must” because of bostrengo’s ingredient list: chocolate, boiled rice, dried fruits, sugar and pinenuts. That’s it in the image below, and as you might guess, I was a little disappointed since it wasn’t what I had envisioned at all. The closest I can come to describing bostrengo is that of a dense bread pudding. It actually tasted fine, simple and true to being a farmer’s dish. I’ve also seen it named as bustreng and I’m going to try a recipe later that looks a little more “embellished”.
Another dish to try was coratella, a seasoned mixture of lamb intestines, heart, and lungs. I know, not something you might expect to come across but we took several bites (my husband loved it) and in the end there wasn’t a whole lot left for the dog. Not wanting to pass on a good thing, we also got bruschetta after finishing a plate of pasta with ragu, some spiedini (grilled pork kebabs), and the coratella.