Sunday, May 1, 2011

Festival Special, Sagra della Ricotta e del Formaggio: A.N.A –Amber

Ciao, Amici! Benvenuti alla sagra della ricotta!

Today, my boots took us to the Sicilian town of Vizzini and to my favorite festival of the year!

This sign makes me laugh
every time I see it!
37th Annual

Located 60 km from Catania in the Hyblaean Mountains, on the most northwesterly slopes of Monte Lauro, Vizzini is a Sicilian town of 7,000 in the province of Catania.[1] The writer Giovanni Verga used Vizzini as the setting for his Cavalleria Rusticana and Mastro Don Gesualdo, describing places and scenes that are still recognizable (the prickly pears of Cunziria, and in a sloping alley the house of the Trao family).[2]

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of ricotta cheese until four years ago, and every year since (every ricotta cheese festival since), I have have grown to love it more and more.

For the last three years we have lucked out…we have happened to be standing or passing by the Briganti stand when fresh hot food is coming out of the establishment, and we happen to be first in line.

Giovanni Briganti

After eating their ricotta pastries, we don’t bother trying any others. Theirs are the best…by far!

Connoli, lobster tails, tarts, raviola (fried and baked)…all made with sweetend ricotta cheese and a hint of cinnamon…where does one begin, you ask?

This year I started with a fried raviola…it was so good, I had to go back for another!
Take One!
Take Two
(And yes, I am eating behind the stand)

As all sagre, each festival is steeped in tradition: from the decorated horse n’ carts with men dressed in traditional Sicilian garb playing tambourines & wooden flutes…
Alfio Romeo
Can you spot Alfio?

…to the centuries old method of twice-cooking (re-cooked = ricotta) the cow or sheep’s milk (sheep’s milk has a higher fat content and the preferred ingredient for making the cheese)…

…and the drum & trumpet players and flag throwers…their banner boasts the year 1692.

Next, we headed to the stairs to work off some of calories from the sweets in which we indulged, and for the first time noticed that even the stairs (this year is the fifth time we are climbing them), were decorated with ceramic tiles painted of historical figures and locations of the town.

Giovanni Verga

This is the one festival I wish came more than once a year!

Note Bene:
We like to get to festivals (all festivals) early. Why? Better parking (today, we parked at the Campo Sportivo –the sports stadium) for only 3€ and we had our choice of parking spots; the food is fresher (it hasn’t had time to sit around or be picked over) and there are less people (did you notice how the steps were empty…we took shots all the way up, and were only passed by two other people!)


Stella Notte

Day 43: 05-01-2011
Shoe: A.N.A (A New Approach) –Amber
Color: Black
Style: Riding Boot
Heel: 1 inch
Material: Leather Upper with Gored Panels

[1] & [2]

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