For more than 100 years in the Italian town of Castel d’Ario – Province of Mantua, Lombardy region – every year there has been the Gastronomic festival Bigolada, the historical roots of which go back to the far 19th century.
On the festival day right in the central square they place huge pots for cooking the main dish of this culinary festival – the tons of spaghetti Bigoli! Bigoli – thick and long spaghetti, one of many sorts of italian pasta. To the pots of bigoli they generously add tuna and salted anchovies. At 11 am the most impatient guests can already try “bigoi con le sardèle“, as they call this dish in the local dialect.
The festival is organized and conducted by the Italian Association Pro Loco. The associations Pro Loco in Italy are absolutely voluntary groups engaged in the support and development of the centuries-old traditions of Italian towns. Usually Pro Loco organizes traditional festivals and fairs, trying to recreate the historical details of the event.
Organizing gastronomic festivals, Pro Loco always strictly follows the recipes of culinary dishes and uses traditional ingredients of the area. In Italy, such products are called “chilometro zero“, that is, local products grown and produced close to the place of cooking. They are always fresh, without addition of any conservants, that is “straight from the garden” :)
You can taste and purchase all products and delicacies “chilometro zero” of the region Lombardy right here at the festival fair. In addition to degustations and fairs the festival holds a variety of shows, games and contests. For example, who eats a plate of spaghetti the first. The winners are announced as King Bigol and Queen Sardèla :)