Always on the lookout for a local sagra (food festival) when visiting the countryside, it became evident that the Sagra del Bico nearby had the requisite bonafides.
Except, we had no clue as to what a bico was.
It was beautiful drive from Cetona over hill and dale until we reached Piazze, parked the car and walked towards the sagra grounds where we would soon find out what the sagra was all about.
Bico is a local, traditional flat bread, a mix of Umrbian torta al testo (consistency) and the piadina romagnola from Emilia-Romagna (in that it splits naturally when baked). A pane povero (poor bread) made of water and flour, it was originally baked under a bed of ashes. Nowadays, it generally is baked like a pizza, yet still retains its mouthwatering aroma if done in wood fired ovens.
As a pane povero it is unlikely that it traditionally received the fillings that were available on the sagra menu, but we certainly did not complain. We ordered one with verdure e rigatino (transl. “greens and little striped” ie. slices of pancetta), and another with prosciutto e stracchino (a runny, soft cheese), both delicious. Read through the menu to understand our selection conundrum…
Like all self-respecting sagre, the dancefloor was ready for ballroom dancing later on, although it was being used only by the children as a play area by the time we rolled out of there, well satisfied (read sated) from our personal discovery of the bico of Piazze.
The following great series of images of bico preparation by the Piazze townsfolk at the Sagra del Bico are courtesy of Laura De Vincentis, (blogger at Antro Alchimista). Grazie infinite!
(Bico recipe by Laura coming soon!)