Although there are a few visitors to Barga wandering through the piazza during the day, it has to be said that this time of year Barga Vecchia is still a pretty quiet place but you would not have thought so had you passed through Piazza Angelio last night. Riccardo’s L’osteria was full to bursting with people inside and out, the smell of something good cooking and the sound of live accordion music floating around the piazza. One of the traditional local dishes was on the menu and there was not a free seat to be had in the house. Polenta di Neccio – polenta made with chestnut flour and Ossi di Maiale – pork bones. As we have often mentioned in the past in articles about polenta and ossi, it is not what could be said to be a pretty looking dish but the combination of highly salted bones and sweet chestnut is something to be savoured. Add to that an omlette with onions and you have food fit for the gods.
Chestnuts – When this area was hit by famine, it was the food ingredient that kept many people alive. Dried chestnuts ground into flour is still known in Garfagnana as “the poor mans flour”.