Italy gave birth to the Slow Food movement, which promotes the flavors (sapori) of local food and knowledge (saperi) about regional culinary traditions. Lucca’s recent slow food festival, Il Desco, was described as a “tribute to the food and wine heritage of the Lucchese territory.” And what a tribute it was!
This annual event, held over two weekends in late November and early December, showcased the varied products grown, raised, and produced in the area around Lucca. The many booths provided the chance to sample delicious flavors and learn about production of wines, beers, olive oils, meats, cheeses, breads, pastries, nuts and more.
Even better than grazing through and tasting at the displays is to have lunch at Il Desco. Plates of salumi, prosciutto and cheeses, roasted porchetta, and a variety of panini are sold. I was most delighted to find the booth where they were cooking necci, chestnut flour crepes. One of these, filled with ricotta, made a perfect lunch for me (and cost just 2 euro). They were popular with children too - who seemed to have a definite preference for Nutella as a filling.
I’m a huge fan of these local food celebrations - wandering around taking in the sight of all this beautifully displayed food, not to mention the fragrance, is the perfect way to develop an appreciation for local small-batch production methods and the exquisite quality of products that demonstrate why slow food is good food and Lucchese food is great food. -post by JMB