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Bagna Caude

As a nation state, Italy has emerged only in 1871. Until then the country was politically divided into a large number of independant cities, provinces and islands. The currently available evidences point out to a dominant Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultural influence on today's Italians.
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Bagna Caude

Postby adamf » 31 Aug 2008, 06:18

When I was a kid, my favorite times going over to my great grandmother's house were when she made bagna caude.

Since I am not an Italian speaker, I didn't even know how it was spelled until some trial and error google searches. My great grandmother never really told us where she learned to make it, and I haven't yet figured out where her family came from in Italy. Perhaps this could be a clue.

I was wondering if this is a regional sauce or if it is common throughout Italy.

Its the little pieces of culture like this that are all that remain of my Italian roots. The power of food is quite transcendent!! I would be interested if anyone could tell me anything about this delicious garlic and anchovie sauce.

Thanks.

Adam
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby uantiti » 31 Aug 2008, 07:25

Dear Adam,
Your grandmother was from Piedmont a region of NW Italy where I come from too.
"Bagna Cauda" in Piedmontese dialect means "Warm/hot sauce". It is in fact a sauce made with anchovies, butter, garlic and you dip in it raw vegetables such as cabbage leaves, peppers and fennel slices but the best is with cardoons. Don't think you can find it where you live as this is a particular variety called "cardo gobbo" a sort of hanched cardoon grown in a particular way (they bent and cover it). Am sure there are other Piedmontese members who know it. If you need a recipe I will try and translate one for you. Or someone can find one already in English on the web.
Another typical vegetable for Bagna Cauda is "Topinambur". The dictionary says that's "Jerusalem artichoke". It looks like a potato or a root.
Unfortunately it's breakfast time for me otherwise......yummy, yum-yum.

Ciao Ada
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby elba » 31 Aug 2008, 07:30

Bagna Càude is a regional dish from Piemonte in northern Italy and I must admit, also from it's 'neighbour' - Lombardia. Tradition says it comes from the Langhe, Roero and the Monferrato, in the Provinces of Cuneo, Torino and Asti too. I really don't know about other regions though...

It is usually a dish to make during the grape harvest in autumn and in winter. Legend has it that it was made for the wine 'makers' to remove the clinging sickly sweetness of the picked and pressed grapes from their lips.

Bagna Càuda

Ingredients;

250g extra virgin olive oil
200g anchovies cured in salt
200g fresh garlic
40g butter (unsalted is best)

Preparation:
Remove the salt from the anchovies, and rub them carefully with a clean rag to remove the small bones. Clean the cloves of garlic and slice them very finely. Place these two ingredients in a 15 or 16cm earthenware pot, cover with the e.v.o. oil.

Cover the pot and cook, on a very low heat, for about 30 minutes, stirring every so often. The garlic should cook totally but without discolouring and the anchoves should become a pulp. The sauce should simmer but NOT 'FRY...!'

When the sauce is ready, add the freshly melted butter, take the pot to the table on a small 'table heater' (spirit stove) so the sauce keeps the 'bagna càuda' hot. All the diners can then 'dip' their various vegetables in the hot sauce and accompanying every morsel with, if possible, 'crusty' homemade bread with the anchovies and garlic!
If you think education is expensive - try ignorance!
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby uantiti » 31 Aug 2008, 07:52

I forgot an advice:
This sauce is not recommended if you are going to have close encounters. 8O :lol:
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby adamf » 31 Aug 2008, 16:51

Haha. You all are wonderful. Fortunately, I do still have a recipe for it that has been passed down from my great grandmother. But I might have to try the ones you all suggested too. I'm going to dig out my family recipe and I'll post it as well. My great grandmother had rules about eating bagna cauda. I remember that we usually dipped in lettuce, and fresh homemade bread was used to catch anything that would drip on the way to your mouth. You were not allowed to dip the bread in the bagna cauda, only the lettuce. But you could eat the bread once it was saturated with bagna cauda. What can I say, great grandmothers rules :)

Thanks so much for all of the wonderful information.
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby uantiti » 01 Sep 2008, 07:12

Yes that's the correct way to eat Bagna Cauda. I'm glad to see that this traditon is so well maintained in your family.

Regards from a 'Piemontese'. Ada
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby ItalianLori » 01 Sep 2008, 12:50

Hello: I, too, remember my grandparents making bagna cauda! We would have it at all of the big holiday gatherings and, according to my grandmother from Genoa, it was a great way to get us kids eating our veggies. My favorite was the cardoons which are hard to find today, and the peppers dipped in the "hot bath" of butter, olive oil, garlic and anchovies. What a wonderful memorie. I make it now and then, but I am the only one who eats it in our house. Since your grandparents made bagna cauda, she probably also made bagnet. Only Piemontese know about this - it is a kind of salsa verde, or pesto-like sauce made from finely chopped parsley, garlic, wine vinegar, and a bit of tomato paste, and some hot peppers. Great with boiled meats or just on bread. Now that the cool weather is coming, I can't wait to make these old time favorites.
Lori
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby uantiti » 01 Sep 2008, 14:48

There are two kinds of "Bagnet" (it always means SAUCE): Bagnet vert (or verd) and Bagnet Russ (or Ross): green and red. They are cold sauces.
The one you described is the Red one. The green one has various variations but it's made from chopped parsley and capers, vinegar, minced anchovies, garlic, oil. Someone adds mashed boiled egg yolk and bread crumbs. This one DOESN'T have tomato and peppers in it.

Buon Appetito :lol:
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby ItalianLori » 02 Sep 2008, 19:18

Hi:
Thanks for the info on bagnet! Only a few of my grandmother's recipies were ever written down and this is wonderful new information. My mother
who was German, tried to "doctor" the bagnet by using ( ugh!) ketchup in lieu of tomato paste! I glad to have the original ingredients. Thanks again.

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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby magnaghitin » 09 Sep 2008, 14:23

Non so scrivere in Inglese, per cui ti darò la vera ricetta della Bagna Cauda
100 gr di acciughe a testa
1/2 testa d'aglio a persona
1 litro di olio
latte
25 gr di panna da cucina.
Il giorno prima pulire l'aglio e metterlo a bagno per tutta la notte nel latte (l'aglio deve essere completamente coperto)
Il giorno dopo scolare l'aglio e farlo bollire con altro latte e scolare.
Passare l'aglio cotto con un passaverdure e metterlo in un tegame con le acciughe pulite (togliere la lisca) e l'olio.
Far cuocere piano piano mescolando, quasi al termine della cottura aggiungere la panna.
La salsa così preparata è molto più facile da digerire e non si sente troppo l'odore di aglio il giorno dopo.
Questa salsa deve essere servita in appositi "tupin" ( contenitori in terracotta con sotto lo spazio per mettere una candela che tiene calda la bagna) e accompagnata da tutti i tipi di verdura cruda e cotta.
A proposito di che zona del Piemonte è originaria tua nonna?
Good by
Margherita
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby uantiti » 09 Sep 2008, 15:56

Margherita,
veramente quella che tu dai è una delle tante varianti moderne della bagna cauda e non la vera ricetta.
Personalmente l'aggiunta della "panna da cucina" ..... :roll: Boh!
Quanto ai "tupin", anche questi sono una variante moderna perchè la bagna cauda tradizionale è un modo di stare in compagnia dove tutti prendono la salsa dallo stesso contenitore.
Chiaramente poi i gusti sono gusti e si può aggiungere e togliere tutto quello che si vuole e mangiarla come meglio si crede.

Scusa la puntualizzazione ma non ho resistito: sono figlia di una piemontese, sono nata ed ho vissuto in Piemonte per parecchi anni.

Ciao :lol:

Ada
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby adamf » 20 Nov 2008, 03:34

Just wanted to mention that I have recently come across the towns of origin of my aforementioned great grandmother. As suspected, her family is Piemontese, from the Torino area, specifically Cuorgne and Pratiglione.

Thought it was kind of neat that a food that she made was so indicative of her origins. Thanks again board.
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby Maurizio » 25 Nov 2008, 12:03

HI Adam.
Living in the area, I could show you a couple of good restaurants where you can taste a wonderful "bagna cauda" if and when you'll come here and visit your ancestor's homeland.
However, the best "bagna cauda" I ever ate were homemade: each family has a slightly different recipe, and the variety of flavors and tastes is an asset for all those who love this dish specifically and good eating generally.
Ciao,
Maurizio
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby bonval » 25 Nov 2008, 12:44

I had mentioned writing a family history along with family trees to date as Christmas gifts this year ....I am also making recipe books for each sons' family. We also have many family favorites that have been word of mouth....I have written them out onto ancestry.com templates and photos of famiy eating and/or preparing specific dishes. Try doing that for your own families before those wonderful favorites and traditions are lost to younger generation. Even when I did not understand the language, I would carefully watch and write as my mother in law would cook! I am so grateful I did ...so for daughter in laws now, they want for their familes. We have one 4 yr old who insists mommy doesn''t make "pasta va zoooey" - she's 4 - like grandma or grandpa do!
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Re: Bagna Caude

Postby alex.cuneo.italy » 29 Mar 2009, 11:21

the right name's Bagna Cauda
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