Here we are talking about another absolute excellence of Umbria: the onion and the festival dedicated to it which takes place every September in the historic center of Cannara.
This town, although not in the main circuit of cultural and tourism visits of Assisi and surroundings, can boast of illustrious historical past with churches, medieval buildings, museums, archaeological excavations of the Roman era, and important Franciscan sites. But what distinguishes Cannara and gives it a nationally renowned it’s the cultivation and trade of onion, for centuries main gastronomic product of the area.
The natural inclination of the land, the ancient tradition and craftsmanship of “cipollari”, contributing, therefore, to making the Cannara festival between the most important and awaited events of Umbria.
The highlight of the September in Cannara, held in conjunction with the celebrations in honor of the patron St Matthew (21 September), offers: art exhibitions and photographic moments of theater, live music, dance and folklore.
The opportunity to taste incomparable onion specialties is however the main reason why so many people participate at the feast of Cannara. The six district taverns distributed in the city: “The Flower Garden”, “El Cipollaro”, “The Old Courtyard”, “The Fisherman”, “The Castle Tavern” and “The Refuge of the Hunter” propose every evening a full menu entirely based on onion, appetizers, pasta, main courses, side dishes and even desserts. The dishes are related to culinary traditions of the past Umbria: the cipollara penne, sausage Cipollaro, roasted onions, onion soup and a bagel with onion, just to let you get your mouth watering.
Along the streets of the town it is set up a small local produce market, where you can watch the tying of onions and buy the characteristics “braids” of the three main varieties of Cannara’s onion: the Golden, the Flat and Red; the latter, with its unmistakable red-coppery skin is by far the most tasty, delicate and sweet.
In this humble and seemingly anonymous ingredient of Italian cuisine, more and more experts attribute therapeutic properties and, entering into one of the festival’s stand, you will be amazed of what kind of dishes you will be able to cook with it.
The Onion Feast of Cannara 2019 will be held from September 3 to September 15, certainly one of the best times to visit Assisi and Umbria and, given the opportunity, combine art and culture with foods and tradition.
If I could I would certainly love to attend this. I am such an onion lover and have plenty on hand all the time. Things like this should take place in more places too.