Il Bico

June 30, 2016 / Food & Wine
Piazze, Tuscany

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.

sagra-bico-01

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.

sagra-bico-02

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.

sagra-bico-07
sagra-bico-08
sagra-bico-109

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…

sagra-bico-03
sagra-bico-04
sagra-bico-05

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.

sagra-bico-06

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!)

preparazione-bico-vincentis01
preparazione-bico-vincentis03
preparazione-bico-vincentis05
preparazione-bico-vincentis06
preparazione-bico-vincentis02
preparazione-bico-vincentis04
preparazione-bico-vincentis07
preparazione-bico-vincentis08
preparazione-bico-vincentis09
preparazione-bico-vincentis10
preparazione-bico-vincentis11
preparazione-bico-vincentis12
preparazione-bico-vincentis13
preparazione-bico-vincentis14
preparazione-bico-vincentis15
preparazione-bico-vincentis16
preparazione-bico-vincentis17
preparazione-bico-vincentis18
preparazione-bico-vincentis19

preparazione-bico-vincentis20

GB

by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

13 Responses to “Il Bico”

  1. A true journey off the beaten track, what I wouldn’t do for a Bico con stracchino e rucola after reading that

    Reply
  2. Rosemary Connelly

    My mouth is watering just looking at the photos! I had to laugh remembering our first days in Italy when we would see posters for “Sagras” and with our limited language skills had no idea what it was, where it was or how to get there! But you can be sure we figured it out and were never disappointed.

    Reply
  3. Joseph Paglino

    So wonderful to see food prepared using tradition, pride and 2 hands . . . not a microwave in sight!

    Reply
  4. GB:
    You always seem to be able to find absolutely outstandking stories.
    Mille Grazie:
    S & R
    Kris, Wayne and Ruben

    Asked Wendy Lerrick, my outstanding hospice nurse and caregiver, what her expertise and role was in their Journeycare organization was and her answer was”
    “Helping people to die comfortably”

    We really like and trust her experience and judgmen. Jornneycare is a group of outstanding caregivers to those who have a limited time left on Earth

    Lour loving brother, Ron

    Reply
  5. Pat Carney Ceccarelli
    Pat Carney Ceccarelli

    Great! Reading about Bico sagra a very welcome relief from Brexit confusions! A reminder of grass root sanity!

    Reply
  6. Carole

    Stupendous! Superb! GB you’ve outdone yourself again. Soooo wish we had something even close to this stateside.

    Reply
  7. Angela Sopranzi

    Great post! Now I’m waiting for the recipe! Also, please tell me again how to make a monetary contribution to your wonderful post. I never got around to it when you posted it last time.

    Reply
  8. Marianna Raccuglia

    Another interesting article, with mouth-watering photos. Thank you!

    Reply
  9. Joseph Spano
    Joseph Spano

    non parlare del vino paese superlative, per lavare via un assaggio prima di un altro

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Suzanne and Ron

Click here to cancel reply.