Fall is now embracing our days, the streets are covered with yellow leaves, the sea is getting grey, the air dry and chilly. Chestnuts, mushrooms, apples and pumpkins sit enthroned on the market stands.
All these flavours keep me company and confort me in the kitchen when outside the wind is blowing.
For this reason I think that these seasonal foods need to be celebrated and this is why today I want to tell you that there is a small historic village just behind Genoa where each year on November for celebrating the patron saint a great Pumpkin Fair takes place.
This place is Murta, a bunch of few houses clinging on the slopes of Valpolcevera where in the nineteenth century the nobles’ families of the city used to spend their summer holidays in the countryside. Today this is a residential neighbourhood where county life is no more than a tradition, but still a peaceful place spotted with elegant aristocratic villas.
This year the 30th Pumpkin Fair will take place. It is a very popular exhibition, well known at national level. For two consecutive weekends of November (this year 12-13 November and 19-20 November) pumpkins are celebrated under any aspect.
There will be a competition for awarding respectively the strangest, the nicest, the biggest and the longest pumpkin and a competition among florists for the best decoration with pumpkins. Needless to say there will be also many food stands for tasting the traditional recipes where pumpkins are the great heroes.
One of these traditional recipes are the pumpkin buns, which I decided to cook and share with you for my very personal celebration of the pumpkin.
Murta pumpkin buns traditionally are sweet and the original recipe provides that granulated sugar is spread on the surface before baking.
However, as these breads are not that sweet, I do not cover them with sugar and serve them during meals as well. They are in fact very good companions for chees and hams… or just for glutton diners!
Their pumpkin shape is not part of the tradition – it’s just a poetic license..
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