A sagra is a fantastic Italian tradition whereby a food item, culinary theme or even a specific dish is celebrated by way of a food festival.
Often times, the festival consists of a small town putting out some tables and chairs, the local children and the grandfathers donning aprons and being the wait staff for the evening, the grandmothers are in the kitchen preparing the food, whilst the rest of the town and visitors in the know sit around to dine on the village specialty.
Throughout hunting season, the food fair focus is what has been caught in the surrounding land. Mushrooms and truffles are other specialities that are expertly prepared and served when in peak season. Other villages believe that they make the best tortellini in Tuscany and hold a sagra to prove the point.
In Barga, there is an unusual culinary highlight ? the sagra of Fish ‘n’ Chips! Not very Tuscan, but the legend is that some locals left the delights of Tuscany to migrate to Scotland. When they returned to their homeland, they bought with them the Scottish recipes for fish and chips and so around July -August, they host a Sagra di Fish ‘n’ Chips, where you can meet Tuscans who speak English with a perfect Scottish accent, eat fish and chips, and enjoy live music (usually country music to add an even more unique touch!) as you dine.
From the 20th August until Tuesday 24th August, the town of Cutigliano in Pistoia is hosting the 37th edition of the ‘Sagra di Mezzestate’ (Mid-summer sagra), where you can sample local produce, buy local craftwork and enjoy the town! For information call 3338817190.