Anne's Blog

“The Bean-Eaters” of Cave di Foligno

Date: October 24, 2014 - categories: , - 2 Comments

Carracci’s painting, “The Bean-Eaters” (1590) lives on in a modern version at the Sagra del Fagiolo in the tiny village of Cave di Foligno (pronounced “ka-vay”) along the Topino River near the city of Foligno. At this “bean celebration,” locals unite for ten days to celebrate two fagioli varieties grown just in the area along the Topino: il verdino di Cave and il giallo di Cave. After putting in your food order with volunteers at the two cash registers (one eating a pizza stuffed with turnip greens, a favorite festival dish, the night we were there), you pass a volunteer selling packets of the bean varieties as you head into the food tent. Groups of families and friends feast at the tables as young volunteers carry out trays from the kitchen (where other volunteers are cooking up the tasty dishes, many highlighted with local beans).

IMG_7057

Volunteers at the cash register snack on the sagra goodness

IMG_7059

Two kinds of beans grown along the riverbanks near Cave

IMG_7062

Bean vendor near the sagra entrance

IMG_7064

“Bean-eaters” of all ages enjoy the goodness

IMG_7066

Francesca and Alessandro, two happy “bean-eaters”

IMG_7069

“Bean-eaters” enjoy the goodness at the Cave sagra

IMG_7070

Young Gianmarco serves up tasty antipasti

IMG_7109

Gianmarco serves up pasta e fagioli

IMG_7111

“Try our wine!”

IMG_7461

A sagra celebrating beans in Cave di Foligno

Not all those at the sagra are “bean-eaters” as other foods entice as well: agnello scottadito (“grilled lamb to scorch your fingers”) won over the man sitting next to me while his wife chose the pizza stuffed with turnip greens. Pino chose the snails (he always will if on the menu) and ordered a plain bruschetta for antipasto. I wanted to stay with the fagioli theme: I chose the bruschetta topped with a tasty paste of turnip greens and the beans. Who could have imagined? (Italy is wondrous for this: the variety of foods, changing even village-to-village). I asked a woman at our table, Rita – who lives in nearby Foligno- if she’d ever heard of such a pate’? “Mai,” she replied with a smile. Rita’s soup, vellutata vittoria (“Vittoria’s velvet” and I can only guess, that a Signora Vittoria was one of the cooks), was a creamy bean soup.

IMG_7091

Agnello Scottadito

IMG_7075

Signora Rita from Foligno enjoys the vellutata Vittoria

IMG_7094

Pizza filled with steamed turnip greens

IMG_7117

Pino always chooses snails

IMG_7072

Bruschetta with turnip green/bean pate’

IMG_7457

The sagra menu

For the main course, I ordered the star dish of this sagra, fagioli alla cainara or “beans the Cave way” (those who live in Cave are called “Cainaresi”), a rich soup made with the local beans, ground veal, tomatoes and herbs. For a vegetable? Turnip greens in garlic and olive oil – with beans, logicamente! We were too full for dessert but when someone at our table was served the crostata ai fagioli (bean torte!), I knew I couldn’t leave this sagra without the full experience. Our server, Pamela, promised to bring a “small slice” from the kitchen…..just to try. As she served us the dessert, I asked her how she ended up here waiting at table. She replied with a grin, “I went from the table to the kitchen: I used to come here just to eat the wonderful food and then I decided I wanted to help out.” I wonder if we’ll see Pamela in Cave di Foligno again next October? One thing is certain: we’ll be returning to this sagra, joining again the other “ bean-eaters.”

IMG_7077

The sagra highlight: fagioli alla cainara

IMG_7076

Pamela serves up the fagioli alla cainara

IMG_7071

Volunteer Leonardo serves the bean soup, la vellutata and fagioli alla cainara

IMG_7125

Bean torte is the scrumptious dessert at the Sagra del Fagiolo

fagiolo

Cave di Foligno is known for two bean varieties

Read about a sagra supporting sports near Assisi

Read more about the sagras

Read about Pino making torta on our wood stove

Read about a Tuscan fund-raising sagra

Read about a spicy Rieti food festival

Read more on sagra pleasures

Read about a sagra near Perugia starring peperoncino

2 Comments

  • Jan Johnson says:

    Heaven! Just love all fagioli dishes (and turnip greens). So simple and so nutritious. Thanks Annie. Here’s to next year’s celebration!

  • Stephanie Webb says:

    I absolutely love the Italian way of celebrating even the lowly bean! My mouth was watering between your pics & description of each menu item. I couldn’t think of a better food item to enjoy during chilly October days. Gianmarco looks to be enjoying himself, that beautiful smile! I would love to be under that tent next yr, reveling in the whole bean experience! Thanks, Annie!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

Privacy Policy

Privacy Italian Legislative Decree n° 196/2003 Under Article 13 of the Italian Legislative Decree no. 196/2003, regulations with regard to the Protection of Personal Data, this is an informative report to all interested parties on the modality of the treatment of personal data, arising from interaction with our website www.annesitaly.com
THE PRINCIPAL FOR DATA TREATMENT During site consultation, personal data referring to identified or identifiable persons can be processed. The principal for data treatment is Anne Robichaud Pian della Pieve Assisi 06081 (PG) Italy. The data will be mainly processed at the mentioned head office by the people responsible for the website or by other people appointed for occasional maintenance operations, provided that their actions conform to of the guarantees enshrined in the Legislative Decree 196/2003.
TYPE OF DATA TREATED
Web navigation The information systems and software procedures required for the functioning of this website, acquire some personal data during their normal service, the transmission of which is implicit in the use of web communication protocols. This information is not collected with the purpose of identifying interested parties, but due to its very nature, the information could lead to user identification through processes and relations with data held by third parties. In this data category there are IP addresses or domain names belonging to computers used by users who connect to the site, addresses with URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) notification of the requested resources, time of the request, used method in submitting the request to the server, dimension of the file obtained in replying, the numeric code mentioning the reply status given by the server (successful reply, error, etc?) and other parameters referred to the operation system and to the user’s information environment. This data is used with the sole purpose of obtaining anonymous statistical information on the use of the site and to check the correct functioning; immediately after processing, the data is erased.
Data voluntarily supplied by the user The voluntary optional and explicit e-mail transmission to the addresses mentioned in this site implies the subsequent acquisition of the sender’s address, necessary to reply to the queries, as well as the other eventual personal data registered in the message.
OPTIONAL PERSONAL DATA SUPPLY Except for the above mentioned navigation data, the user may be asked to supply his own personal data through queries or messages to the email addresses shown in the contact pages. Failure to provide such data may be the cause of the inability to obtain the requested information from the company.
TREATMENT MODALITY The personal data is treated in compliance with the Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 and held only for the time necessary to achieve the aim for which it has been collected. Specific safety measures are taken to prevent any data loss, illicit or incorrect use and unauthorized access.
RIGHTS OF THIRD PARTIES The data subjects are at any time entitled to obtain confirmation as to whether or not data relating to him are held, to know the contents and the origin, to check the correctness, to ask for integration, updating or change (art. 7 Decree Law 196:June 2003). In accordance with the same article, they are entitled to obtain the erasure, conversion into anonymous form or freezing of all data used in breach of the law, to object, on legitimate grounds, to the processing of data relating to him. All requests have to be transmitted to the e-mail address anne@annesitaly.com

Agenzia Viaggi Stoppini in Assisi handles all technical support for my guided visits (bus transportation, organization of meals, etc)