Don’t confuse “peará” (an accent on that final “a”) with “pera” (“pear”). A cucina povera dish originating in the 9th-century (according to a much-loved Verona legend), la peará is centerpiece on the table of Veronesi culinary specialties.
A culinary itinerary was not planned but it happened: after our first Verona dinner of bollito con la peará, I was on the hunt for Verona’s best.
At breakfast the following morning our B&B hostess, Signora Maria Teresa, shared peará lore, even revealing how her Nonna Benvenuta made the sauce. La peará (“peppered” in Veneto region dialect), utilizes every part of the foods available, from the head of the cattle, to the beef marrow to stale bread. For the broth: a calf head, a hen (the older, the better) and cotechino (a slow cooked pork sausage), all meats served afterwards as bollito. For the accompanying peará, the bollito‘s broth is stirred into grated bread crumbs (bread at least 15 days old, advised Nonna) toasted ’til brown in olive oil, beef marrow mixed in, then generous amounts of pepper added.
At Ristorante Torcolo (peará first prize for me), il bollito alla peará is served in the traditional way: wheeled around the dining room on a carrello by young host Luca, thus permitting the customers to personally select preferred slices of meat. After slicing and serving the meats, small bowls of other sauces are placed alongside the ubiquitous peará: one of capers/parsley, a horseradish sauce, la mostarda (a Veneto mustard/ fruit chutney) and sometimes puree’ di patate (mashed potatoes).
Luca with his bollito carrello crosses paths with his mamma Paola spinning her dolci carrello through the dining room.
Go easy on the bollito alla peará and you might have room for the temptations on Paola’s carrello.