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Italian food festivals: polenta 'sagra' in Lazio

An unusual Italian food festival celebrating polenta will take place at Castel di Tora, Rieti in the region of Lazio.
The ‘sagra‘ will take place on February 21st at the gates to the historic town centre where an enormous copper pot will be heated and an expert polenta stirrer will continually turn the polenta in the pot.

The traditional way of making polenta is in a large copper saucepan with a handle, and it’s generally hot, hard work to continually stir it.
The polenta from Castel di Tora is generally served with herring sauce, tuna, codfish and anchovies.

Other features of the polenta festival include the opportunity to taste other traditional products from the region, including bruschetta with extra virgin olive oil from Sabina, and the world famous “spaghetti all’amatriciana”.
The town not only provides the polenta party but also a historical renactment and fashion parade of medieval times.
In the afternoon, a parade of medieval costumes takes place around the streets of the town, and then medieval jousting and fighting tournaments are conducted by masquerading actors.
Castel di Tora is one of 16 towns in Italy that is part of a cultural polenta association (the Associazione Culturale dei “Polentari d’Italia”), which celebrates the cultural significance and history of Italy’s unsung traditional cuisine – polenta.

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