On 18th December, 1569 Dalmasso Fenoglio and Biagio Pasquerio, who were the Mayors of Borgo San Dalmazzo at the time, obtained by Emanuele Filiberto the grant to organise a Fiera Fredda in honor of the local Patron Saint, celebrated on December 5. This Fiera Fredda could last three days.

Since then, this event has been annually renewed and has always been an important meeting point for all the inhabitants of the nearby valleys who, in the past, used to come to this town to get the latest supplies before the long winter period when such journeys were extremely difficult due to adverse climatic conditions.

The villagers who had gathered in town fair used to go to the local taverns to taste the local dishes which have then become classics of this event: the tripe soup, snails cooked in various ways and pork sausage with sauerkraut. This has led to the development of a strong culinary tradition which is still able to recall many visitors and gourmets who flock to the city during the Fiera Fredda.

The Helix pomatia Alpina, the white-meat snail which has found its natural habitat on the Maritime Alps, has become the most typical product of the event.

According to the oldest town tradition, snails were served simply boiled in their own shells from which they were then extracted with a characteristic nail used to shoe horses (which is still used today) and dipped into a spicy sauce made with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic, called " Cartune sauce". The name of this sauce comes from "cartun", a cart pulled by a mule covered by a cloth supported by four wooden ribs. This cart was the mobile home of the pastors of these valleys: the "Cartune". Those carters passing through the town on their way to France were the main patrons of the local inns, and these very carters gave their name to this famous sauce.
As an alternative to the "cartunera" sauce, boiled snails could also be accompanied by "ajé" (or "aiolì"), a mayonnaise sauce with garlic finely crushed in a mortar which gives it a vaguely Provencal flavor.


Over the last few decades the Cold Fair has also developed two specific aspects of gastronomy: the snail culinary tradition and the local one. The local restaurateurs have, in fact, struggled to search for new recipes to cook snails both drawing from transalpine cookbooks or setting their imagination free in order to offer a complete menu based on snails. Beside this, the fact that the Municipalities of the nearby valleys are present at the Cold Fair and use this opportunity to present their dishes has turned the whole Cold Fair itself into an important showcase of the rich gastronomic heritage of our area.




 FROM 4 TO 8 DECEMBER 2015!!!

sotto il segno della lumaca

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