Thanksgiving and celebrating the harvest and the gathering of family.
November 19, 2015
Thanksgiving and celebrating the harvest
In few countries, gastronomy is connected to seasons like in Italy. The farming customs, the strong connection with nature as well as the family and ritual oriented culture, have helped create a lasting bond between flavours and emotions.
One of the most suggestive seasons is undoubtedly autumn, This season marks a crucial transition. After two seasons living in the fields, in the open air, from sowing to harvest, everything suddenly changes. Products are different, fireplaces are lit, family gathers together and while outside the leaves turn yellow and the sky turns grey, old stories, legends and fairy tales are told around the fire. For children as well as for adults, the crackling fire hides a delicious surprise: roast chestnuts. This is the season for cooking chestnuts on burning fire, allowing their skin to brown, wrapping them in a cotton cloth, like a blanket and peeling them, burning one's fingers a little.
There is always a cooking pot on the fire and one of the ingredients was a fruit with summer colours: the pumpkin. Thanks to its sweet and chestnut-like flavour, it was a good base for restoring soups and these two ingredients were often mixed together to create some sweetish and familiar pasta. This tradition is revived every year.
Very different traditions meet up in the same ritual. In the United States for instance, Thanksgiving Day dates back when the Pilgrim Fathers gathered in the city of Plymouth to give thanks for the harvest. In this holiday, just like in Italy, the pumpkin reigns, as well as traditional turkey. While there is a commitment, also present in Italian celebrations, that strongly bonds this holiday to autumn and to the ritual of harvest: it is inconceivable to celebrate at the restaurant.
Thanksgiving Day is related to the traditional gathering of the family that give thanks to what nature has given in the moment of taking stock, when the harvesting is done and, whatever the result might have been, if family can gather together and eat, the year has been successful.
Are you looking for some interesting dishes to celebrate this beautiful season and enjoy Thanksgiving? Tuscookany chefs have the following suggestions: Franco Palandra - our Italian chef at Torre del Tartufo – recommends Guinea fowl with Jerusalem artichokes, grapes and chestnuts. Laura Giusti – our Italian and Mediterranean chef and the author of the Tuscookany cookbook "The flavours of Tuscany" – thinks Pumpkin soup and Pumpkin nut bread would be great for your thanksgiving table, while Paola Baccetti – the Tuscookany Italian chef at Casa Ombuto – suggests Maltagliati with pumpkin, leek sauce and chestnut flour.
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