Tigliole (Asti) – if heavy storms hadn’t been part of the forecast, I’m sure a lot more people would’ve been circulating in the Langhe picking up crates of luscious, sweet apricots and then scurrying off to chow down on carne cruda at Stelle in Stalla (Stars in the Stable) this past Sunday. Despite the inclement weather, lunch was scheduled as part of the 64th cattle fair showcasing Piemonte’s prized “star” Fassone breed, but those in attendance barely filled half of the large tent. It poured!
Carne cruda alla piemontese is finely chopped/minced lean, raw, Fassone beef that needs nothing more than a drizzle of olive oil, a spritz of lemon, and s&p to taste. We aren’t big meat-eaters but when it comes to beef from Piemonte, that line of thinking gets the boot. Plates of carne cruda, vitello tonnato, agnolotti, and arrosto di vitello (veal roast) were part of a 22€ set menu (water included), and ended with bonèt (a kind of chocolate pudding).
I had also penciled in a visit to the 2nd Sagra dell’Albicocca in not-so-far-away Montaldo Roero to see if they might have something interesting on the menu, but when we got there lunch had been cancelled and market vendors were packing up. Fortunately for us, local grower Roberto Nada still had his beautiful display of apricots and after a nice chat, we left with some of the season’s crop. These should be wonderful in an apricot-lavender tarte tatin !