The small town of Cannara, my temporary home during my 3 month Italian sojourn, is undeniably small. And this is a great thing! ...
Returning to Italy today, to our home town of Cannara, brought a tear to my eyes. Literally.
Welcome to the 33rd edition of Cannara’s Festa della Cipolla, the annual fall Onion Festival. For our September visit we arrived just in time to catch the last evening of the event that put Cannara on the map, transforming this sleepy little farming village, for two weeks at least, into the center of the universe. Or at least that’s how the townsfolk must feel as they are invaded by thousands of visitors seeking everything onion.
Our visit to the festival was a short one, with a stroll around the hamlet’s streets followed by dinner at Perbacco restaurant. On a normal evening in Cannara you would be hard pressed to encounter a half dozen people as you walked from one end of town to the other. During the Festa, the streets are packed with partygoers, perusing stall after stall of Cannara onions – red ones, white ones, round ones and squat ones – the soft, slightly sweet onion that has given the town its reputation throughout Italy. And tucked away in the larger sqaures pop up tavernas are erected, with wooden picnic tables providing seating for the crowd that has come to taste onions in every dish – antipasti with onions, pasta with onion, secondi garnished with onion and even dessert featuring onions.
We enjoy the rare festive mood in the town and then wander to Perbacco, past tables adorned with pretty much anything someone can think of selling, past local winemakers’ tables where samples and explanations are freely provided (ok, we did stop there for a while) and finally into Ernesto’s welcoming osteria, packed to the gills this evening with large tables of smiling patrons. We were soon to be counted among that crowd.
Ernesto’s menu was, as we had imagined, imaginative and yet well grounded. And all the while delicious. And on this evening he feted us with some unusual wines, to accompany the unusual fare. And for dessert we had an onion semifreddo with orange cream.
It is the kind of adventure that is a good omen for a successful food and wine tour. Keep checking back for updates and in the meantime enjoy the slideshow. Just click on any of the images to launch it.
Bill and Suzy
Returning to Italy today, to our home town of Cannara, brought a tear to my eyes. Literally. Welcome to the 33rd edition of ...