Posted by: debrakolkka | October 17, 2011

The chestnut festival in Ponte a Serraglio

The local Alpini organised a chestnut festival in the grounds of the Villa Fiori on Sunday. The Alpini are elite mountain warfare soldiers of the Italian army. They were founded on 15th October 1872 and are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world.

They are known by their distinctive grey hat with a black raven feather, or white goose feather for an officer. Alpini of all ages were in the park cooking chestnuts and chestnut pancakes. It was a beautiful autumn day.

20111016-043719.jpg

setting up for the day

20111016-044022.jpg

the Alpini get to work

Chestnuts were roasted in the background while the Alpini made the neci, the chestnut pancakes.

20111016-044524.jpg

portable chestnut roaster

20111016-044550.jpg

loaded and ready to go

20111016-044612.jpg

the roaster and his advisor

20111016-045341.jpg

oiling the pan

20111016-045421.jpg

the chestnut flour batter is poured onto the hot pan

20111016-045509.jpg

another is placed on top

20111016-045546.jpg

a very handy spanner presses to 2 pans together

20111016-045651.jpg

the finished neci

20111016-045713.jpg

the happy cook

There was also pasta fritta, which is deep fried pasta dough.

20111016-050444.jpg

the prepared dough

20111016-050512.jpg

the finished product

20111016-050625.jpg

roasted chestnuts

20111016-050720.jpg

it was not an expensive menu

We ordered neci with nutella, pasta fritta and some chestnuts and retired to the shade of a tree to enjoy our feast.

20111016-050747.jpg

neci with nutella

As well as the chestnut delights there were other stalls selling all kinds of interesting things, painting and activities for children and lots of funn things to do.

20111016-050832.jpg

painting for children

20111016-050915.jpg

any excuse to bask in the sun

One of the reasons I love to be in the village is these fun days organised by the locals.

Click here to see the wonderful chestnut festival in Lupinaia, a gorgeous mountain village nearby.


Responses

  1. We loved the farro food festival in Petrognola too – a great Italian community event.

    Like

    • The local festivals are a lot of fun. Chestnuts are an acquired taste. The pancake was greatly improved by the addition of nutella.

      Like

  2. I’d love to be able to smell this post. It looks lovely.

    Like

    • Chestnuts smell delicious when they are roasting. It is the taste that let’s them down.

      Like

  3. Looks Fantastic , Deb bring me back a chestnut pancake please !!

    Like

    • It might be a bit leathery by the time it arrived in Brisbane.

      Like

  4. I wish I was there…..

    Like

    • I hope you come for a quick visit in November.

      Like

  5. What fun- it would be great to be part of a local festival, knowing everyone and knowing that you are supporting your community

    Like

    • Everybody was out enjoying a day in the sunshine.

      Like

  6. This is so not fair, first the porcini now the chestnuts…… you are a lucky being to have such bounty and food joy on your doorstep. Chestnuts are my all time favourite autumnal treat – loved the pictures, feeling the chestnuts warm my cold palms, eaten with a smidge of butter and dipped into salt or roasted with sprouts and other veggies in the oven. I’m not so keen on the cakes and bread but as a proper nut – can’t beat them for loveliness 🙂

    Like

    • I like the sound of a smidge of butter and dipped into salt. I will have to try this.

      Like

  7. Yum, I can’t wait for our chestnut festival in a few weeks. Great post, and love the mouth watering pics.

    Like

    • i’m sure it will be wonderful. I love these local festivals.

      Like

  8. Very nice description of the event. Words are easy on you! Loved it!
    Rose

    Like

    • it is a pity you weren’t there to join in.

      Like

  9. So sorry I missed it-Hope to meet you this weekend-
    Your pictures are always so wonderful-thank you! It was also nice to see some children!

    Like

  10. The pancakes look so yummii, never tasted it with chestnut. and the pans are quite interesting.

    Like

    • Chestnut flour is not that easy to come by in some places.

      Like

  11. The food looks amazing, and I love the feathered hats. Great post, Deb.
    Kathy

    Like

    • I think the Alpini look wonderful in their hats.

      Like

  12. A happy and handsome cook.
    Looks like a nice day.

    Like

  13. I keep hearing about these lovely European festivals. I wish we had some like that here 🙂

    Like

    • Australia could do with some of these little festivals.

      Like

  14. Lovely looking community and the neci’s look interesting – I’d love to try it.

    Like

    • The pancakes themselves are fairly bland. Nutella helps.

      Like

  15. The equipment for chestnuts seemed so interesting, I haven’t seen something like that. We usually make them on barbecue (or something like barbecue)… How much I love chestnuts. I wished to have a day in here like yours. In Milan, I remember there was always a day like this one. Once there was an apple day, and so many apples from the farm villages were at the square in a baskets and being sold… I bought too. How smelling chestnusts…. Thank you, my son, he loves so much Nutella… should all of them so delicious. With my love, nia

    Like

    • Nutella is excellent, but I don’t keep it in the house or I would eat it.

      Like

  16. How fun! I adore chestnuts, but can’t seem to roast them at home in any way that lets me peel them easily! I would have eaten from every stall at that festival!!

    Like

    • I think they are best roasted over a fire. The tumble thing had holes in it so there was a bit of contact with the flame. I did’t like them the first time I tried them, but I have come to like them.

      Like

  17. Wow, love it. Thanks Deb. So informative and I love those local festivals……..enjoy and speak soon.

    Like

  18. Sharon who lives in Tuscany roasted some chestnuts one night over the fire in a special roasting pan and served them with stracchino cheese, so memorable and we were lucky to hit a chestnut festival in Umbria but did not see the great device you photographed. I have even made the chestnut flour pancake/flat bread but just not the same as buying one made for you right there on the spot.

    Like

    • I have had chestnuts roasted for me that way as well. The roasting device looked as though it was made from the drum of a washing machine. They are very inventive, these Italians.

      Like

  19. I can’t believe I missed this. I arrived in Pisa on Saturday but stopped to visit the antique fair in Lucca. I didn’t buy anything so maybe I should have made my way to Ponte a Serraglio instead!
    There’s always next year.

    Like

  20. Chestnut pancakes with nutella?… I think my life will be a little less until I try that one.

    Like

    • You could make them at home with chestnut flour, but perhaps they would not be the same without the special pan.

      Like

  21. […] in front of the casino to Villa Fiori. If you are lucky there will be a local festival in full swing. the walking bridge across the Lima Villa Fiori across the bridge artists' day at Ponte a […]

    Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories