Gastronomic traditions: erbazzone and truffle

The erbazzone is a typical dish of these geographical area, also called scarpasün by the local population. This dish is part of the culinary tradition of the Apennine areas, particularly in the Mont Fosola territory and the city of Felino, Carpineti and Casino.

They are two types: a “town recipe” and a “mountain recipe”, the second one is characterized by the addition of rice to the traditional recipe. The main ingredients are chard, replaceable from spinach, Parmesan cheese, herbs and ricotta.

Erbazzone history

The erbazzone, or scarpazzone, is a dish of humble peasant origins; the name scarpazzone comes from the fact that families used in the preparation of this specialty the stem of the chard, known as “the shoe of the chard”. It was traditionally cooked during the season of the beets, from late June until the first week of November.

The origin of the small difference introduced by the mountain recipe, which involves the use of rice, is to be found in the first half of the twentieth century: during the spring and summer the women of the place, known as weeders, worked in lowland rice fields. They had the right to take along, at the end of the workshift, a kilo of rice. In this way an unknown product in the mountains met the culinary tradition of the place.

The gourmet element of this dish is to be found in the cooking method: the tradition teaches that erbazzone is cooked in a wood oven in the “Sol”, the typical copper mold with metal handle hinged in the middle. Thanks to the central hinge it is possible to check every stage of cooking and make sure that the heat is properly distributed throughout the vessel in the same way.

Erbazzone recipe

To cook the erbazzone you will need the following ingredients:due-querce-ricetta-erbazzone

  • beets
  • ricotta cheese
  • lard
  • Parmigiano Reggiano and pecorino grated
  • eggs
  • parsley
  • garlic cloves
  • nutmeg, salt
  • to prepare the mountain version of the recipe you will also need rice (cooked for 10 minutes in 2 liters of milk)

Preparation:

Place garlic, parsley and bacon in a pan to brown with oil. When the lard melts, add the chard previously made blanch in boiling water. Prepare the dough by adding internal chard, rice, ricotta, Parmesan and pecorino, eggs, nutmeg and salt.

The puff pastry outside, or fuiada, is prepared with flour, milk, oil and salt. This is then applied on the mixture and covered with an egg that creates a homogeneous layer. Bake the Sol in the wood oven already heated for 30 minutes.

This dish can be accompanied with the renowned truffle cheese, which can be tasted during  the Truffle Festival of Cavola scheduled for 13 and 20 November, with many handicraft stalls and tastings.