Festa della Cultura Calabrese 2015

Source: Wikimedia Commons, by: TUBS

I’m about a month late in posting this, but I’m going to say it’s a “better late than never” kind of situation. Back in September, the Calabrese Association organised its 11th annual Calabrese Festival to celebrate all things from the “toe region” of the Italian peninsula.It was endearing to see Italians from the south, who typically end up being the butt of the jokes told by northern Italians, holding their heads high in celebration of their region.

Take that, rich northern region that has industry… and agriculture… and everything else going for them! At least we have…

Let’s begin… with something Calabria is famous for: its red (and various other coloured) HOT chilli peppers!

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Variety is the spice of life!
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Peter Piper’s peck of piquant peppers.

The spiciest of which:

Carolina Reaper: a cross breed between a ghost pepper and a red habanero. Averages a 1,569,300 on the Scoville scale with peak levels of over 2,200,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). (Source: Wikipedia)
Carolina Reaper: a cross-breed between a ghost pepper and a red Habanero. Averages a 1,569,300 on the Scoville scale with peak levels of over 2,200,000 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). (Source: Wikipedia)
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There’s something undoubtedly sinister about this chilli pepper… especially from the inside.

But there’s more to Calabria than chillies!

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Caciomulo: a cheese made of cow’s milk that is traditionally matured in caves and covered in coal to keep hungry animals away.
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Tastes nothing like coal by the way.
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Preserved goodies; everything from tiny fish to pickled vegetables.

And possibly the biggest sausage I’ve ever seen!

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‘Nduja: a spicy, spreadable pork sausage typical of the southern part of Calabria. In addition to using salt to preserve the pork, chilli peppers are used. Lots and lots of chillies, hence the fiery red colour and spicy flavour.
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Despite how it looks, this particular ‘nduja was considerably milder than what I expected and incredibly tasty!

Last, but not least… who says you shouldn’t play with your food?

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At first glance they look like little cheese piglets… but when have you ever known a pig to give milk for cheese? Suspicious…

So… a trip to Calabria anyone?

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