Sagra delle ciliegie

Happy and content with our hoard of cherries and a good night’s rest, we left the farmstay on Sunday morning and headed towards Garbagna (still in the region of Piemonte) for their 48th cherry sagra tradition. The day was heating up fast, the nav wanted to take all these stupid little roads, and I was beginning to get antsy over not getting there before the crowds.

Crowds? What crowds?

Sagra delle Ciliegie in Piazza Doria
Piazza Doria in Garbagna

Perhaps because it was not quite lunch (11:30am) and also because a small open market was in full swing further down the road, the only people in Piazza Doria were languishing under the shade. On one side of the square, cooks and sagra workers were waiting until it was lunch hour proper, while on another side, fruit vendors handed over luscious cherries and huge apricots for 10€ a crate.

Cherry vendors in Garbagna   Apricot vendors in Garbagna
Apricot and cherry vendors at the sagra.

Sagra delle Ciliegie menu
Menu and ingredient list for the dessert and minestrone

The menu at a sagra – clearly one of my favorite and first things to photograph if you’ve read me long enough. At 13.50€ for a complete meal, it was a tempting offer, but the heat was too much to be eating hot soup on a day like this. We were loaded down with more cherries and also apricots, the dogs were doxie was looking stressed, and we both knew the cherries that were already in the car wouldn’t last another minute.

Following the SP120/SP99 from Garbagna to Casalnoceto

The SP120 / SP99 from Garbagna to Casalnoceto

We did manage to taste a dessert specialty – cherries cooked in Timorasso wine – thanks to one of the workers who kindly gave us a sample. A sign listing all of the ingredients reminded me of a cold cherry soup recipe that I make to serve with gelato.

Following the cherry trail. On our way home, we took an indirect route (see map) and were amazed at all of the cherry, apricot, peach orchards, and not surprisingly, many roadside stands selling punnets of seasonal fruit. Piemonte may be famous for its wines and white truffles, but the region nourishes a rich agricultural diversity.

Cherries cooked in timorasso
Cherries cooked in Timorasso – careful of the pits!

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2 thoughts on “Sagra delle ciliegie

    1. Rowena Post author

      If we can get out to at least 6 more this year, that’ll bring me up to this year’s goal of hitting 90. We’ll be getting out to a couple in Tuscany!

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