Discover the world of Lucchese food at an exhibition-market, which takes place at the Royal College (Real Collegio) over the following weekends through December 8 (open on Monday and Tuesday as well during the last week). From 10 am to 7:30 pm wander around Il Desco and learn about Lucca’s rich culinary tradition. Entry is free, as are the workshops, concerts in addition to many of the tastings and other special events.
Forty-seven vendors represent the best of what Lucca has to offer. Featured products include Slow Food (food products with special production methods) like Prosciutto Bazzone, a large cured ham made in local Lucchese tradition and Biroldo, a spiced pork blood sausage, as well as items from the famous Garfagnana region of Lucca such as l’accasciato, a soft cheese made from sheep’s milk (or a sheep/cow mixture), mondiola, a distinctively round salami made from quality pork, and farina di mais IGP, a flour of sweet red or yellow corn ground by traditional water mills. Additional products available for purchase include local olive oil, honey, breads, chocolate, gelato, saffron and many more.
There will be special topics of discussion at Il Desco. On Saturday November 21, a seminar on “Etiquette 2.0,” a journey of old and new table manners will be held from 4:30-6:30 pm. On Saturday, December 5 from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm representatives of Marche and Tuscany talk on “Agriculture and Eco-friendliness: Instruments for New Opportunities.” From 4:30 to 6:30 pm on the same date a presentation on “The Foreign Domination and Eating Habits” will analyze the ways historical paths and overlapping influences have changed and enriched the Italian cuisine over the centuries.
“Save the Bees” will be held on Monday, December 7 from 5 – 6:30 pm, expanding on the decline of bees and its serious impact on our planet and our lives. The last special topic will be on Tuesday, December 8 from 5 to 6:30 pm: “We Tolerate Intolerance: Lactose, Gluten…” will feature a panel of experts and speakers to address dietary restrictions.
Workshops and presentations will also be held throughout Il Desco. Some are free, but some require a reservation and/or small fee. There are special learning laboratories for children as well, all on agricultural subjects. These are available every single day Il Desco is open. Check “programs” under ildesco.eu for more information.
Saturday, November 21
There will be a live cooking show featuring the lesser-known products of Lucca from 3:30 to 5 pm. Admission is free but space is limited. At 5:15 to 7 pm there will be a mini wine tasting. Entrance is free, but participants must register ahead of time.
Sunday, November 22
From 5 to 7 pm there will be a seminar on “True Sangiovese” the famous wine grape of the Tuscan region, a basic component of Chianti; fee and reservation required.
Saturday, November 28
A live cooking show featuring autumn products and a behind the scenes look at a Lucca kitchen will be held from 3:30 to 5 pm. Free admission, but limited space. A scent workshop will be held from 5:15 to 7 pm. Free admission but participants must register beforehand.
Sunday, November 29
“Who Loves the Bo…as in Bordeaux, Burgundy (Borgogna and Bolgheri,” a a comparison of three famous wines of the world will be held from 5 to 7 pm. Fee and and reservation required.
Saturday, December 5
The live cooking show will feature “forgotten herbs” and the “flavors of Garfagana”(3:30 to 5 pm). Free admission, space limited. A mini wine tasting featuring terroir and tradition will be held from 5:15 to 7 pm. Free admission, but a reservation is required.
Sunday, December 6
A review of the world’s most famous dessert wines will be the topic at “Liquid Gold” (5-7 pm). Entrance fee and reservation required.
Monday, December 7
From 3:30 to 5 pm, the students of the course in Management of Hospitality and Disciplines Food and Wine (MADE) will present the dish: ash-covered pecorino cheese with chestnut honey will accompany sliced duck in a pomegranate sauce. Free admission, limited space.
Tuesday, December 8
The last cooking show will feature Lucchese legumes and Slow Food (3:30 to 5 pm). Champagne will be the main topic for the very last event, (“Champagne and the Famous Maison: 100% Glamour”) from 5 to 7 pm. (connie chang)