Friday, January 22, 2016

Sagra del Broccolo Fiolaro

Two chefs perfecting the Gnocchi di Broccolo Fiolaro.
Nearby Vicenza, Italy, is the small town of Creazzo, where a special green grows.  This vegetable, called "Broccolo Fiolaro", dates back to Roman times and almost became extinct (because farmers were growing imported veggies instead) until farmers in Creazzo brought it back.  Now, it's only grown in the hills of Creazzo, and is what would be considered an "heirloom vegetable" if it was grown in the US.  It has quite a large local following- and its very own Sagra, or Festival, that is two weeks long!  You can buy this all around Vicenza right now, and it is also featured in local restaurants.  The harvest time is from November-February.  The broccolo is sweet and not bitter at all, and very good for you. I like to buy it at least once a week this time of year and cook it at home.  I'll share my "recipe" for that next week.
We attended the Sagra twice this year- once on Risotto night, and then again on Gnocchi night.  On Gnocchi night we took some friends with us for their first Sagra experience.  (Pictured below is the Gnocchi; above is a Broccolo Fiolaro plant.)

We love going to local Sagras and experiencing new foods and the Italian culture.  It's also nice to have a Sagra in January, as most of them fall within Spring/Summer/Early Fall.  Sagras usually have music or some entertainment later in the evening.  We usually have the kids with us, so we haven't often stayed long enough to enjoy that.  Maybe in a few years when everybody's older.

Broccolo Fiolaro on display at the Sagra.

Huge skillet of gnocchi!!!
People enjoying the Sagra.

Two pics above; Risotto night!!

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