In Italy, food is more than just something to eat. Food is family and friends; it is good
wine and lots of laughter; it is the slow swirl of wood smoke and the aroma of onions sautéing in olive oil; it is a recipe passed down from generation to generation but still never quite as good as when Nonna makes it; it is huge misshapen but oh-so-sweet tomatoes and aubergine that go straight from the vine to the saucepan; it is cheese ripened to perfection. In other words, it is serious stuff.
The Sagra dei crotti is a four-day gastronomic adventure centred around the crotti of Chiavenna, Lombardy, in September every year. It celebrates all that is wonderful about
the area’s food, wine and tradition. The crotti are hollows formed by rock movement in prehistoric times still cooled by the sorei, a natural breeze from underground which keeps at a steady 6-8 degrees, perfect for maturing cheese, hams and salami and storing and ageing wine. Highlight is the Andem a Crot Chiavenna where you create a full meal by choosing four different crotti, enjoying a different food tasting at each. All four are accompanied by a boccalino of selected local wine, drunk from traditional pottery di vino “jugs” which you