It was only last month that we were in Piemonte for the cheese fair in Bra, so it felt very much like déjà vu when we visited again this past weekend. The region continues to call our name whether it be for food fairs, festivals or gastronomic meals, but the event that has eluded us until now is that which celebrates one of Piemonte’s most famous and traditional of dishes: the bagna cauda.
Oh dear, was that a collective moan of hunger pangs I just heard? Italian foodophiles will know what this dish is, but for the record and for those who may have never heard of it, bagna cauda or bagna caöda is literally translated as “hot bath” and pronounced bah-n’yah cow-dah. I think of it as the Holy Trinity of sauces where a marriage of garlic, anchovies and olive oil turns an array of raw and cooked produce into a smorgasbord of dipping heaven.
Faule (province of Cuneo) – the festa is held in mid-October for 5 nights in a row. Service is cafeteria-style where you select dishes as you go and pay at the end of the line. We took 2 orders of bagna cauda (10€ each), a bottle of Dolcetto (7€), and made ourselves comfortable in the very large covered dining tent. There were A LOT of families on a Friday night, some who also brought along extra vegetables of their own to supplement the boiled potatoes, baked onions, raw leeks, raw cabbage and roasted bell peppers included in the dish. Other menu items included the usual plate of cured meats, french fries and homestyle desserts.
Things that make you go mmmmmh!
It was interesting to note that Faule’s bagna caöda included cream as an ingredient and there’s a glimpse of a how it’s made here (italian). Lighter in garlic flavor although there was no mistaking the anchovies, the sauce had a velvety texture, almost as if processed with an immersion blender. We had a GREAT time even if the weather wasn’t the best with all the rain, and look forward to perhaps attending next year. The scheduled dates for 2014 will be October 10-14 with dinner starting at 7pm.