Snails’ Taste, Not Pace in Cantalupo
Snails are served up not at the proverbial “snail’s pace” but with zip and verve by the earnest young wait staff at the August food festival near Bevagna starring snails, la Sagra della Lumaca.
Cantalupo – tiny frazione of the Umbrian walled medieval gem, Bevagna – hosts their snails sagre (local food festivals where volunteers cook and serve) a few times a year and the one restaurant in the village draws snail-lovers from all over.
Pino is an appassionato di lumache so we don’t miss Cantalupo’s Sagra della Lumaca, winter version nor summer edition. He always opts for the antipasto di lumache and then a second course, usually roasted snails.
I may not seek out snails as a culinary enticement but I have to admit that my antipasto, bruschetta con salsa di lumache, was buonissimo – as was the follow-up choice, homemade tagliatelle con salsa di lumache.
I was curious about another primo and ordered it: lumache alla contadina (“snails in the style of the farm woman”). Creamy chickpea soup with snails over toasted bread: who would have imagined? Pino raised his eyebrows at that one as I passed him the dish for a taste. Approved.
All around us in the crowded food tent, appassionati di lumache were relishing the goodness, even little Federico, whose mother was spooning him polenta alla salsa di lumache:
At our table, Anna from Montefalco told Pino that this was her third night at this nine-day food festival!
Her daughter, Chiara, had room for the traditional sweet of the area, panicocoli (made with anise):
No dessert for us. Snails had satiated. As we left, we passed the ballroom dancing area, integral part of any sagra. Many local couples head to the sagre not for the food but for the dancing.
…..and we knew that many feasting in the food tents would be heading to the dance floor afterwards to waltz, polka, tango and fox trot: working off that lumaca feasting.
Read about feasting on snails in Cantalupo
Click here to read about another good place for snails – and not only
Click here for a note on a great place for snails – and more
Read about a snails food festival
Read about nearby Bevagna
Read about Cantalupo’s food festival dedicated to snails
Read about a sagra near Perugia starring peperoncino