Christmas dining should come with a warning if you take a trip to your local Abruzzo agriturismo and plump for the set “Natale” menu. We did this for the first time this year, in previous years either going out for a 2-course lunch and normally including a Teramo style version of cannelloni, or lunching with friends (except last year when a warm and very blustery sirocco killed all local electricity, so lunch was off the menu everywhere in the area!).
After seeing an advert in our local butchers in Tossicia for a Christmas feast at Agriturismo Viola for €25 that included:
Salumi* Fegato* Minestra di Cardi & Timballo * Chitarra con Polpettini * Gallina Ripieno * Agnello & Patata Forno * Insalate * Dolce *Cafe * Vino * Acqua
We thought “why not?”; Christmas cooking is a pleasure but it’s also a pain too, it can be so time-consuming. Somewhere in that brief decision time our reading eyes were bigger than our bellies, forgetting that Italian feasts that begin with so much pleasure can leave you feeling that you wish your eyes would pop out just to make an extra little room, which was certainly our experience once doing the 7 fish dishes on Christmas Eve. This Christmas Day however it allowed us to finally get to grips with the Italian custom of ‘Portare’ – to take away.
Unlike back in the UK when the pride of having too much food to eat is hidden by asking for a ‘doggy bag’, take-away trays come out as early as the Timballo course in Abruzzo, and clever ladies start shuffling & squirreling pieces or whole courses into plastic trays ready to be eaten at home later in the day, without any shame of it being for the hound back home! For those that wonder how Abruzzo girlies stay so slim, outside there being plenty of hills and mountains to walk up & down to get anywhere, this is their special way of enjoying a feast and remaining trim. Happy Portare everyone!
Address: C. da Viola, Tossicia, 64049 (TE)