Sagra dell’Oca (Goose)

 2012 marks the 30th year of the annual Sagra dell’Oca in Bettona, a tiny and very picturesque hill town near Bevagna.  Geese were always raised on local farms for those  special summer meals, especially for celebrating the end of the wheat harvest in July.  While thirty years ago all the Umbrian sagre were closely linked to local traditions, more recently, unfortunately, some have been invented, having absolutely nothing to do with the territory.

 The Sagre we enjoy are those linked to the local traditions and with all the volunteer workers from the villages themselves, the two fundamental ingredients for authentic sagre.   We are dismayed when we find that some sagre have sold their souls, out-sourcing the work (organization, cooking and serving tables) to a national consortium of seasonal workers who run from one region to another to work the sagre!

golden view from Genius Loci Umbria

a golden evening last night at Genius Loci for our annual Sagra dell’Oca dinner

While most often we have gone to Bettona in these thirty years to eat on the main square, festive with live music and general merriment, more recently we prefer to pick up the roast goose in Bettona, bringing it to Genius Loci where we have readied an outdoor table with a view in its honor: crusty Italian bread, a full-bodied red wine, fresh tomatoes and a seasonal homemade dessert (fresh peach tiramisù).

Bettona - Umbria

tiny Bettona –  the Umbrian village of the annual  Sagra dell’Oca

Roast Goose - Genius Loci Country Inn - Umbria

the beautifully roasted goose – an annual treat to be enjoyed in late July – early August

sun-ripened tomatoes at Genius Loci Country Inn - Umbria

sun-ripened, just picked, gorgeous juicy tomatoes to accompany the roast goose – along with an exceptional full-bodied Tuscan red 

The annual Sagra dell’Oca in Bettona, one of our favorites.  A mid-summer treat…a cherished tradition!

-Mary