The Friuli 411

So everyone reading knows by now that I’ve been in Colli Orientali del Friuli for the past week exploring the region and it’s wine (and food!) Let’s deviate from the wine talk for a hot minute and get the lowdown and run around on Friuli-Venezia Giulia. My fellow COF2012 blogger Wakawaka drew up this very handy map for us all.

Friuli has its own language and several different dialects within that! While tasting with Schioppettino producers the other night, we met Friuli language and culture expert Dino Persello. He is one awesome dude. It’s rare you meet someone so engaging and energetic. And authentic. But, such is the way of the Friuli people.

He said, β€œOne of the things we are proud of is our own language. It is not Italian. Every village has its own dialect. The language I am speaking started here.” Dino calls his people “proud, loyal and selfless.” I am going to agree.

Wanna know some other cool stuff about F-VG? The Bora wind is no joke. Also no joke? Frico. That’s been established.

And fogolar for the win.

The dessert of choice for the region is usually some kind of nut/fig/raisin combo. We had a lot of Gubana, as seen below- a dessert that the locals like to douse with alcohol. Could be Grappa, like the Nonino Picolit we had at Specogna, or Slivovitz, a plum brandy.

While eating with the Specogna family, we ate an amazing soup made with Brovada. It’s essentially pickled turnips that are marinated in vinaccia. Turnips are placed in a barrel or large vessel with alternating layers of leftover grape skins from the winemaking process (the brovada process begins with the start of harvest and gets to fermenting throughout the winter months). It produces such a unique flavor and added a perfect tang to our creamy bean soup.

The thing you see above basically says, “Hey you! There is a frasca over here.” Frasca is not just the name of a very cool restaurant inspired by Friuli in Boulder, Colorado. It is an OG farm to table spot that you see throughout Friuli.Β  The folks in Boulder explain it well:

“Historically found throughout Friuli, Frascas were friendly and informal gathering places, a destination for farmers, friends, and families to share a meal and a bottle of wine. Identified by a tree branch hanging over a doorway portal, they were a symbol of local farm cuisine, wine, and warm hospitality. As the harvest came to a close, the branch would wither and change colors to indicate the end of the season. The Frascas would then close their doors until the next harvest season.”

Hope that got you a little more excited about this often overlooked and super freaking cool region of Italy. Some posts coming up this week: an eye-opening Ribolla Gialla at I Clivi and a jazz fueled Schioppettino vertical tasting at Ronco del Gnemiz.

Instagram photos of Frasca and Frico-razzi by Talia Baiocchi

4 Comments
  • Jeremy Parzen
    April 10, 2012

    I love that photo of the frasca. :)

    what is OG?

    great post…

    • whit
      April 10, 2012

      thanks jar!
      and OG = original. the whole farm to table concept…

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table
    April 10, 2012

    Friuli is such a gorgeous region! I had frico for the first time in Cividale and fell in love. Of course, we also enjoyed the raisin cakes, Ribollas, and plenty of Nonino. :)

    If you are in Cormons, check out Ai Due Fratelli. Fantastic little restaurant with some delicious seafood dishes.

  • Raff
    April 10, 2012

    Nice post! I really dig those cartoon style maps from wakawakawinereview also! Thanks for sharing!

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