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Fish and Chip Festival 2011 starts in Barga

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All this month thousands of people will be making their way down to the Johhny Moscardini sports stadium to enjoy this year’s annual Fish and Chip Festival. The  covered seating has meant that even if the weather sometimes does strange damp things, it will not stop people from enjoying the very best that is on offer come rain or shine.

Freshly cooked pasta, grilled steak and sausages are on the menu but all eyes are on those freshly crisp fried fish and chips that you can only get once a year prepared by the expert hands of the AS Barga cooking team who have now been serving up pesce e patate for 30 glorious years.

Some of the story behind the Fish and Chip festival: It was from this town, population 10,000, that harsh economic conditions caused an exodus to the industrial centres of Scotland at the end of the 19th century.

In such places as Ayr, Largs, Glasgow and Greenock, to hungry dockers and shipbuilders Italian immigrants sold fish and chips in the winter and ice-cream in the summer and so created a culinary culture that continues to this day.

The names of Nardini, Conti and Marchetti became high street fixtures as the Italians grafted unremittingly. Some of the settlers returned upon retirement and, by way of homage, started the Pesce e Patate festival 29 years ago as a greasy-lipped celebration of emigration and homecoming. source and more from the article about the fish and chip festival from Oliver Bennett

What you don’t expect is for a Tuscan town of 10,000 people to dedicate two or three weeks of every year to fish and chips. And yet it really does happen – in Barga, northern Tuscany. Beginning around the end of July, the Sagra del Pesce e Patate is billed as a celebration of “traditional Scottish fish’n’chips”.

Each day around 500 people sit down to a deep-fried dinner at trestle tables on the sports field. During the festival they munch their way through about a tonne of chips – and even more fish. There’s a huge vat of tomato salad if you feel the need to cut through the grease, and of course, gallons of chianti with which to wash it all down. – source – Mike McDowall – Guardian travel

La Sagra del Pesce e Patate (Fish and Chips Festival) di Barga è una della manifestazioni più longeve e importanti della Valle del Serchio, in provincia di Lucca. Dagli anni Ottanta l’Associazione Sportiva Barga organizza questo evento gastronomico, dedicato a un piatto che ha fatto la storia dell’emigrazione barghigiana in Gran Bretagna, in particolar modo in Scozia. Site with more information is here

Dal 24 Luglio al 19 Agosto, dalle ore 19,30, a Barga presso lo Stadio Comunale nella tenso struttura al coperto.
Tutte le sera musica dal vivo
Ampia pista da ballo
Tutti i mercoledi serata dedicata ai bambini con giochi ed animazioni in compagnia degli “Smaskerando”
Spazio giochi per bambini con attrazioni gonfiabili
Tutti i martedi discoteca e pianobar con Luca e Katia
Giovedì 28 Luglio 2011 Serata Vintage – Musica Anni 60
Giovedì 4 Agosto 2011 Serata Vintage – Musica Anni 70
Giovedì 11 Agosto 2011 Serata VIntage – Musica Anni 80

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Hamish Scott-Brown
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Hamish Scott-Brown

I’m missing it already 🙁
Its the first time in (6yrs) that I havent been there……and I’m sad I’m not there.
Good luck with it all and hope the chips don’t run out this year.
Hamish