I was invited by Heather Jarman of Sapore e Saperi to attend the final of the local Slow Food group’s competition to find the best soup made in the traditional way. Disfida Della Zuppa 2012……La Finalissima!!!!!!!!!
I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. There were 6 finalists. There was much tension in the room. The tables were set.
Places were taken and the soup arrived in numbered bowls.
The first soup arrived.
Then came the second.
And the third. We were given score sheets and had to rate each one according to aroma, taste, complexity and point out any faults, if any. This was serious stuff.
The contestants were not able to cook any soup of their choice, it had to be ‘zuppa all frantoiana’, which is a bit like minestrone, but of this area. It is based on 4 basic ingredients, beans, cavolo nero, olive oil and stale, toasted bread. Each cook can add ingredients to these, using their own recipe, or one handed down from mothers and grandmothers.
Each one had it own character and had to be sniffed, tasted and looked at very carefully before judgements were made.
They were all tasted and judged.
There was music to entertain us while we made our decisions.
More courses were served.
The contestants were introduced.
The winners were announced.
The third prize winner was at our table.
She showed me her lovely prize.
The winner was announced and Heather and I were pleased that it was the soup we had chosen.
I had a great time. There was much discussion about the ingredients and the method of cooking. It was noted that one of the soups contained zucchini, which is not in season and should not have been included. These people take their food seriously, but it was a fun night.
Be on the lookout for evenings such as this on your travels. Take a look at Heather’s website, she knows everything that is going on around here.