Thursday, November 24, 2011

Waiting for the Cinghiale

Due Cinghiale
Festivals in hillside towns in Tuscany are a real taste of Italian country life. We attended a Cinghiale Festival. Cinghiale (pronounced ching galley) is wild boar and it is a favorite in Tuscany. As we were driving to the beautiful hill top town of Chianni, sounds like chianti but without the "t", we notice signs to stop and park and they will shuttle us to the top. We pulled over walked a bit and there was a line for the shuttles. There were shuttle buses, small ones to the very large tour bus. We waited in line talking and watching children play tag in the field. He who was "it" was the cinghiale and the others chasing him were the hunters. The third bus, after a brief wait in line was ours.
We followed the crowd off the bus to the town square and stopped as we encountered the crowd, this was the line to the dinner. And my what a line! There was live music and a lot of good people watching. We took turns waiting in line as one would go off to look at shops or bring back local bottles of wine and cheese  all of which made the waiting easier. Menus were handed out in line and we checked off which antipasti,first, second plates and sides we would like. The excitement was growing and our tummies were ready for this feast as we got to the front of the line. Our Turn! We handed them the menus and paid and they told us to stand in the next line to the building where we would be served!!
Thank goodness this line moved quickly. We were seated at a long table. Young kids set our places and served the antipasti. Older folks served our meal and teens cleared the plates. It reminded me of the church dinners I used to attend.
The food was amazing. The  cinghiale ragus over pasta and the stew of cinghiale with olives, the soft polenta with cinghiale, the sliced cinghiale filets and of course the cinghiale sausage and yes the sides of white beans. We walked around town after dinner buying homemade sweets and tasting local limonchello and grappa. We watched as little boys fired toy guns at the paper cinghiale for prizes and watched the video of the hunters with their many cinghiale. I'm wondering if there are any left in the valley for next year!
We went home happy and full after a lovely autumn day waiting for our Cinghiale.
Do not sit on the Cinghiale
The first line
Making the wait easier

A view while in line

Vino Rosso Locale

Ragu de Cinghiale
Cinghiale with Polenta

Cinghiale with olives

Fagiolo Cannellini
Sausage de Cinghiale
Shooting paper Cinghiale for prizes

Videos of the Cinghiale Hunters
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