Sunday, November 18, 2007

"Tutto Mele" Everthing Apple

Continuing on with the apple theme, this past week has been the 28th edition of Cavour's Tutto Mele (all about apples). This charming village pulls out all the stops to show case the local produce which is the main source of income in this part of our province. This festival is one of it's main claims to fame as the home of the Count of Cavour, Camillo Benso, who was instrumental in pushing forward the unification of Italy into a united Kingdom and later a sovereign country. It's geography features a huge hump of a hill that dramatically juts out of the plains at the foot of our mountains and yet it isn't part of the Cottian or Maritine alps, it's a separate entity and an interesting physical landmark.

    Fabrizio spent last Saturday, representing our B&B association, ScopriPiemonte, in our Turin Province booth, promoting our B&B's. this Saturday, we just had a stroll around for the day enjoying all the food and drink that was on offer. I like this festival because it reminds me of the apple festivals from where I grew up in southern Illinois. Autumn was always about apples, small town parades and carnival rides that tested your nerve and stomach's ability to keep festival food where it should be, in your stomach.
Tutto Mele 07 folk dancers.jpg

Tutto Mele is a lot like the festivals of my younger days, perhaps just a tad more sophisticated. Instead of corn dogs and caramel apples, we have creamy polenta with sausages or Toma cheese and fresh roasted chestnuts all washed down with the tastiest apple cider. Apple cider where I grew up meant unfiltered fresh pressed apple juice and you could taste all the different varieties blended together. Here the cider is delicious but has a has a bit of a kick, that was not really appreciated in my world growing up in the thick of the tea toteling bible belt.

In addition to seemingly endless varieties of apples, there were plenty of pears and kiwi to burden ourselves as we wandered around through out the village sampling all sorts of tasty offerings.Italy is now the number one producer of Kiwi in the world and naturally all of the provinces are fighting to say they are the most prolific and produce the finest.We came away with several bags of apples, pears and kiwi for under 10 euro. Quite the deal. These varieties are all ones that store well, so we have a nice supply for awhile.
Cafferel our local chocolate factory in Torre Pellice, passed out complimentary(chocolate hazelnut).

We sampled polenta, pasta meliga (rich cornmeal) cookies, grissini, roasted chestnuts, cider, organic apple juice and cider from our friends at
Frutta Permesso along with several varieties of olive oil from all over Italy. Fratelli Carli were one of the sponsors this year and offered a very interesting olive oil tasting with complimentary plates and blue glass for doing our own tasting at home. It was a very interesting lecture, if a bit hard to keep up with the technical and rapid Italian. We enjoyed seeing our dear friend,
Caterina Bruno's latest series on a pilgrimage she did in Spain. She's a home grown talent that's realizing her dream to paint and paint and paint. Her watercolors were shown in a small chapel that has been turned into a Sacred Art Museum. It was a lovely setting and added to the diversity of the festival. Cavour's many bakeries graced their windows with tantalizing apple pastries to entice and satisfy your taste for apples, if you didn't find enough to fill you up throughout the day. It's a pleasant day out and worth the effort if you find your way here next year for all things apple, Tutto Mele!





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