Yesterday we spent a very enjoyable 6 hours at a small town just over the hill from us. "Sagra del Polentone" is an annual festival that has been held in Bubbio for the last 95 years. It re-enacts an event which occurred in the middle ages when the local populace sought the assistance of the local lord during a famine and were given maize. They cooked the maize in the village square and shared it amongst themselves. The re-enactment revolves around a giant copper pot which is heated on a fire of old grapevines. Polenta is slowly added to boiling water and the mixture is stirred constantly for 2 hours by 4 men holding wooden sticks. While the polenta is cooked, members of the local promotion society dress up in medieval costume and re-enact the events of the day. When the polenta is ready, the pot is lifted by winch and the contents poured onto a wooden frame where it is lifted and cheered, then blessed by a local priest before being handed out to the crowd with sausages in tomato sauce and egg fritters.
The historical procession through town
The polenta being stirred constantly with wooden sticks during cooking
The copper pot being returned after unloading the cooked polenta onto a wooden frame for serving
The meal of polenta, sausages in tomato sauce and fritters that was enjoyed by the crowd