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Gastronomic adventure in Chiavenna, Lombardy, Italy

In Italy, food is more than just something to eat. Food is family and friends; it is goodIMG_2674
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
IMG_2772the 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


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