Art and culture

Dinner of the egg singing

April 4, 2011

During Lent people went around egg-singing.They left home on saturday evening, and walk for miles, from farm to farm, from village to village, singing a traditional refrain in front of each door:

Soma partì da nostra ca’ (we have left our home)

fin da la prima seíra (since the first night)

per venirvi a salutè (and come to cheer you)

deve la bona seira (tell you good night)

The landlords offered eggs: eggs were a symbol of fertility, of ground getting ready to give fruits.

The groups, composed only by men carrying accordions, clarinets, and so on, came back home at dawn with a basket full of egg.

Women had to cook omelettes with onions, using the first herbs grown in the fields, or the troublesome omelette. This was also the main dish of the Easter monday pic-nic.

Women also cooked fricieu (fritters): eggs everywhere. Then there was vitel tonné (veal meat with tuna sauce) prepared in the traditional way.

The nights were still cold, so a dish of chick-peas and “costine” soup could warm up and fortify people. The roladine (meat olives) appear, from the old-time cooking, with their fresh parsley, pickled peppers and hot pepper filling.

Pears with wine are another classic dish in this egg-dinner, accompanying the last strophe.

In the end, the hazelnut cake,a very old recipe, told by mothers to daughters, accompanied by a glass of good Barolo for the last toast, which is nowmade usually with Asti sparkling wine.