Notte di Note in Bolbeno

Held on the 2nd Saturday of August, Notte di Note (Night of Notes) is a happy celebration of folk music, traditional trentino cuisine and the famous capuss (stuffed grape leaves, trentino-style, and yes they are very delicious). Live demos of old-time skills such as wheat threshing, basket-making, distilling grappa are staged along the narrow streets and corners.

The chow line. To the right is the cooking area. They kept the serving trays filled so there wasn’t much waiting. It reminded me of the family luaus in Hawaii where you say what you want scooped onto your plate. These people were super-organized.

Clockwise from top: crauti (kraut), peverada (named because of the heavy use of pepper, it’s a thick gravy that at one time was considered poor man’s marrow), cotechino (pork sausage), bracciola (pork chops).

A generous portion of polenta, the local spressa cheese and sauteed funghi (not sure what they were but they looked like chanterelles).

I counted 7 of these large, wood-fired cauldrons in the cooking area. Water was brought to a rolling boil, salted, and in goes the polenta. Cooks timed the process with precision, beginning another pot of polenta when the previous one was just about done.

You know that tasty almost burnt bottom when cooking rice? This is what polenta looks like, and they were free for the taking.

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