live music at aristo's in barga vecchia

Nov 16, 2013, 06:10 PM once again it was time to get the fires lit in barga vecchia

Mondine, roast chestnuts, music and the smell of cooking sausages on an open fire this weekend at the unofficial cultural centre of Barga -Aristo’s bar in Barga Vecchia.

The regulars of Aristo’s bar in Barga Vecchia during the autumn months sit outside the bar in the piazza and roast chestnuts 2 or 3 times a year. It is a time for all the families to get together and join in preparing the nuts and fire, and then roasting and eating the chestnuts around the flames to the sound of music supplied by four members of The Aristodemo’s.

The humble sweet chestnut has been an important ingredient in the Mediterranean diet – Homer mentions them, and Pliny even says which kinds were grown in Southern Italy. With time their cultivation spread throughout the peninsula, because they were one of the few food crops that could be grown on steep mountain slopes, and also one of the few crops that could be expected to provide sustenance through the long winter months.

By the middle ages castagne were the staple food of the peasants in large parts of Italy. In this area it has been the saviour of many people who otherwise would have starved when times got really bad and the sweet chestnut flour is still known to this day in Garfagnana as “poor mans flour”