The criscioletta comes home! After 25 years at an off-site location, Cascio’s 45th Sagra delle Crisciolette returns to the heart of the village. Criscioletta is a type of flatbread cooked between 2 iron plates over a flame. Made with a blend of flours, salt, and water, the finished product is served piping hot off the griddle with cheese, pancetta (the pancetta is placed on top and cooked into the bread), or plain. The cooking method yields a firm – I would say almost chewy – texture that you have to sink your teeth into, and is great cibo da strada (street food). Attracting hundreds on both weekends during which the sagra is held, I’m glad we got there early. Cascio may be small (give or take 400 inhabitants), but the popularity of its tasty specialty is BIG.
About 9 inches across, criscioletta looks like a folded Breton galette but it’s not. This was part of the Piatto Cascerotto (8€) and came with an assorted mix of olives, pickles, cheese, etc as shown below. We split this and bought more crisciolette to have with ice cold beer.
Prosciutto Bazzone: a local prosciutto, hand-carved to order. Excellent, and a mere 7€ for all that manual labor that went into getting the slices onto the plate.
This is the first sagra we’ve been to that greeted guests with an offer of prosecco – a nice gesture for such an important occasion as this. There were 3 dining options: the restaurant (see menu), the Piatto Cascerotto and Prosciutto Bazzone station, and the criscioletta line. Plenty of seat yourself communal-style tables under the tuscan stars. The hardworking line cooks were fun to watch as they worked continuously to keep up with the queue, sliding the tasty flat rounds down a chute where servers completed orders. This is a food festival “must” if you’re in the Garfagnana at the end of July/start of August. The event was well-organized with entertainment for the kids, live music, ample parking, and free shuttle service for those who were forced to park their cars further away. Just get there early and buon appetito!