Il Formenton "ottofile"
Somewhere it`s called "the King2s corn" afer the fact that king Vittorio Emanuele II, appreciated a lot this kind of cereal and encorauged the production in Piedmont.
In Tuscany, or better in the Lucca district, it`s called "formenton". In the smallest sectors of history and culture the small corn of this wild cereal are still cultivated. Long and thin, sorrounded by eight ranges - not one more, not one less -of big grain, golden or red depending on the variety.
Once they`re grinded one obtrain a rustic flour to prepare several deliciousness: a classical "polenta" to serve a side of cured meat ad stewed, some cakes and a special bread enriched in zibibbo raisin, even served to accompany cured meat and cheeses.
The seeding is in may, after the ploughing ant the fertilization of the soil.
After the blossoming the young plants are thinned out and harvested manually.
After some 20-30 days of drying, the grains are picked and at last the griding, mainly in the old stone mills of the Valley.
The "ottofile" corn is a carachteristic variety nowaday almost lost. Only 250-30 q. are produced every year and sold mostly in the area and in the rest of Tuscany afetr the growing success of the natural food.
Some ten producers in the district of Gallicano, Camporgiano, Piazza al Serchio, Minucciano, Pieve Fosciana e Castelnuovo Garfagnana protect the production and the tradition, gathering together in an Association wanted to value and preserve the local food culture. The Commeettee has obtained a guarantee label and offer assistance to anyone who wants to cultivate the "formenton"
OTTOFILE WHERE AND WHEN
Passeggiata degustativa del formenton ottofile in Pieve Fosciana in the first week end of august, a particularpromenade through the courtyards of the local farms where the "ottofile" is offered in different preparations: bread, cakes, polenta, biscuits, depending on the creativity of the cookers.Music of the local bands and launc of the hot-air balloon.
Festa del Paiolo Mestato on the square of the railway station Mologno Barga, on the second week end of june. In the big pot boils the polenta to be served with the best of the local cuisine. In the afteroon excurtions to Barga, in the evening music and fireworks.