Food & Wine La Roveja, che zuppa! by Annie April 11, 2019 written by Annie April 11, 2019 The coldest spring in fifty years calls for zuppa di roveja! We first tried this “bonta’” on an icy January night at Cascia’s Festa delle Tradizioni Rurali. The festivities were launched by Peppe de Lillo, leading his long-horned oxen and playing his organetto as he sang le pasquarelle (traditional mountain verses). Medieval hilltown Cascia is famous for St. Rita (born here in the 14th century), black truffles, pecorino cheeses, saffron – and now – for la roveja.Following the 1979 earthquake, the smaller farm villages ringing Cascia were abandoned. Many years and much restoration later, the family homes became summer homes: few people still worked the rugged land.About twenty years ago, Silvana Crespi De Carolis found a battered can of legumes (survivor of the 1979 earthquake) in a dusty corner of the cantina (cellar). She showed it to elderly farmers but they were mystified. Undaunted, con curiosita’ e determinazione, Signora Silvana researched the legume and then relaunched its cultivation. Nowadays Signora Silvana’s family cultivates la roveja as do two other committed area farmers. Slow Food heard of this and declared la roveja a “presidio”, ensuring its preservation. Silvana and roveja-producer Geltrude offered festival visitors steaming bowls of roveja soup, enhanced with Cascia-area saffron – delighted when we asked for seconds! In an adjacent booth, niece Lucia sold roveja beans and polenta flour, enthusiastically sharing “roveja lore” and recipes. Nearby, young volunteers fed the bonfire, and toasted bruschetta. Cheese-producer Roberto slipped wedges of his caciotta (cow’s milk) cheese on top. They went fast. An icy mist draped Cascia but the simple delicious foods – and the festive camaraderie – warmed the winter night. And it may be April now but la zuppa di roveja is bubbling away on our woodstove now. 0 comment 0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail previous post Idyllic Isola di Burano… Bellissima! next post An Explosion of Flora and Fauna in May! Related Posts Health Benefits of Wine October 6, 2020 Rome’s Best Cappuccino July 18, 2020 VideoNote: Rita’s Involtini Recipe March 19, 2020 Summer recipe: Pomodori al Riso July 26, 2019 The Secret Life of Olive Trees September 30, 2018 Italian Peach Varieties July 24, 2018 Mozzafiato Lenticchie di Castelluccio July 16, 2018 Girlfriend’s Recipe: Orecchiette e Broccoletti September 30, 2017 Erotic, Etruscan Chocolate September 30, 2017 Italy Earthquake Aid? Spaghetti Can Help August 29, 2016 Leave a Comment Cancel Reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.