Sant’Enea, United Around the Goodness
You’ll miss out on the best in local cuisine – enjoyed with “the locals” – if you miss a sagra while visiting Umbria. Running about ten days, these village food festivals animate the Umbrian countryside from April to late November. At every sagra, an array of entertainment – balllroom dancing will always be part of the program – follows the feasting. The Sant’Enea late April sagra (33rd year!) featured everything from archery to a roller skating show to an acrobatic quad team to a youth soccer match. And every night after dinner, prosciutti were hauled up a flag pole as a suited young man with a mike urged sagra guests to judge the height of the prosciutto! The ham then went to the winning guess. The night we were there, lots of prosciutti were hauled up the pole – and then went home on the shoulders of grinning men of all ages, some with arms linked with their wife..
Of course, prosciutto had to star at Sant’Enea’s sagra, called “Tuttosuino” (“all pork”). As at any sagra, vegetarians, too, can enjoy tasty cooking but the headliners at this sagra included rosemary/fennel-roasted pork shank flanked by potatoes roasted in the juices of the meats (Pino’s choice) and homemade tagliatelle with baby tomatoes, wild asparagus – and local sausage (my choice). Popular dishes at this sagra included penne pasta with peas and pork cheek, pig innards with wild chicory on the side and bruschetta topped with prosciutto and a melted smoked cheese. Grilled pork chops, sausages and roast suckling pig, la porchetta, were other favorites.
As at every sagra, young children served, running between the tables and kitchen tents (where mothers, grandmothers, aunts did the cooking) with the food trays, while older men and women cleared the tables. The sagra unites all ages around the preparing and serving of tasty, simple dishes highlighting Umbrian goodness. United around food? Of course, this is Italy.
As we headed home, we walked past the play area for the little ones, named after I Tre Porcellini (“Three Little Pigs”).
Just to stay with the theme…
Click here to read about a fall sagra near Assisi
Read about another festival where la porchetta is a headliner
Click here to read about a January legume festival
Read about an April wild asparagus sagra
Read about a festival where wines star
Click here to read about a June cheeses festival
Click here to read about a pici pasta sagra
Read about an August chili peppers festival
Click here to read about an a local bean sagra in October
Click here for news on an October mushroom sagra
Click here for news on a November hazelnuts sagra
Click here for news on a November honey festival
Click here for news on an October saffron festival
Click here for news on a November chestnuts sagra
Click here for news on a November white truffles festival
Click here for news on a November chestnuts black truffles festival
Read about a sagra near Perugia starring peperoncino