piccoli paesi

terre, paesaggi, piccoli paesi / il blog dei borghi dell'Appennino

L’Americana Facc’ Buccac’ – Qua non si paga

from angela lamericana / calitri

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Moonrise over Monte Vulture as la signora De Cecca picks the last of her crop

Ok, so I am sort of known for not writing/posting about food on these pages but it is certainly not for lack of interest. Qua si mangia bene.

Yet since I live in the Centro Storico – the upper Cascina as I like to call it, the little Bronx of Calitri as most everyone else does – in the middle of all the traditions that are still kept up season after season in and around my street, I have definitely heard seen and tasted it all – from the distant steady clinking of a hand pulled wine press deep in some tufa grotto, to the golden elixir that is fresh pressed olive oil or a deliriously fruity grappa, or the aroma of woodsmoke at the height & heat of an August afternoon.

And I certainly have a fair amount of images to share. But this summer I tried my hand, ever so cavalierly, at putting up a few jars of fresh tomato sauce myself – facc’ buccac’ – so if not now, when?

The inspiration started from a gifted bucket of passed over Marzano tomatoes; just picked, perfectly aromatic and ripe-red, with just a few blemishes that needed to be trimmed and they would be good as new – here we go …

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After trimming and cooking down the fruit, about 20 minutes, I passed it through a ‘passatutto’ to get that lovely dense consistency of sauce that I remember my mother using on Sundays – while
growing up on Long Island –
that of course, came out of a can.


Here, only the inept or unloved have to use tomatoes from a can. Everyone else makes their own. Those who don’t have time are gifted a crate of bottles of home made from their mother or grandmother or aunt … including occasionally lucky me.

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And here, they are not so cavalierly making only a few jars from cast off fruit – they put up several quintali of tomatoes at a time. That’s hundreds and hundreds of pounds of tomatoes & who knows how many bottles of sauce yielded for the year.

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La signora De Cecca and I ran into each other in her field as I went out to shoot the moonrise one night over Monte Vulture. We stopped to talk and I stayed to help pick the last of her tomatoes from their vines as the last of the light waned from the horizon. And for my time and friendship I was given a crate of them to take home to facc’ more buccac’ …

A tavola!

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Written by A_ve

14 settembre 2012 a 20:43

Pubblicato su Varie

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