Fonteblanda cacciucco & fried fish Festival

The beautiful location of a nice seaside town for a tasty fish-based experience

From 08 August 2017 to 21 August 2017

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The Fried Fish and Cacciucco Festival, which takes place in Fonteblanda, the delightful seaside resort of the Maremma Sea between Talamone and Costa d’Argento, from August 8th to 21st, is one of the most sought-after occasions to taste one of the the most famous Tuscan culinary specialties: cacciucco. If you have already tasted it, you will know that it is the tasty Tuscan seafood stew served on crispy toasted bread. This is the theory. In practice the best thing to do is go to one of the events in Maremma that fill summer evenings with delicious perfumes. In addition to the king of Tuscan fish dishes, the festival also features the traditional fish fry, another delicacy that does not really need to be described. At Sagra Fonteblanda you will also find meat dishes, sweets and unmissable great wine. Let us not forget that cacciucco is best matched with red wine and that Morellino di Scansano wine is produced on the hills just a few kilometres from Fonteblanda. Like all good festivals, even the Sagra in Orbetello in Tuscany will let you spend a fun evening. For young children, there will be a bouncy castle and rides while adults, after having filled their belly, will be able to burn some calories by throwing themselves on the dance floor. Every night, in fact, engaging orchestras will immediately turn the atmosphere at Ortebello Sagra into that of a dance hall! 

If you have been around Tuscany before, perhaps you've already asked asked yourselves: do you say 'cacciucco' or 'caciucco'? Unfortunately we Tuscans have never had a good relationship with C’s! So in some areas the Cacciucco Toscano is pronounced with only one C while in the other areas with two. However, the Academy of Crusca has established that the correct spelling is with a double consonant and this decision comes precisely from the ancient and fascinating history of the cacciucco. Are you curious? Well we would like to satisfy your curiosity because once you start eating, the origin or the Tuscan fish stew recipe will not interest you any more: you will be too busy enjoying it!

The typical Tuscan Cacciucco seafood stew actually comes from Turkey and, precisely, according to embellished version of the story, from a young fisherman from Smyrna, who owned the recipe of a soup his mother used to prepare using the scraps of fish sales. When he moved to Livorno he set up his tavern where he prepared the delicious dish that was even tastier if cooked with smaller fish. So when he went to the market he repeated the word 'küçük', which means 'small' in Turkish. This Turkish word was then Italianised and became 'cacciucco': a typically Italian fish soup, but first and foremost from Livorno.

So what is the cacciucco recipe? How will what you will enjoy at the Tuscan fish festival of Orbetello be prepared? Every chef naturally has his secrets, but the 'basics' are the same for everyone. First of all you must know that cacciucco is a modest dish that was prepared with the fish that remained at the bottom of the boat, which were boiled in a pan while fishermen exchanged stories of their day out at sea. There has never been a precise indication of what and how many fish to prepare, since it depends on the preferences of the chef, the diners or from what you can find at the fish market. So even at the Cacciucco Festival you will find a unique and special version, different from all the others but just as tasty. The original recipe included thirteen different varieties of fish, molluscs and crustaceans, but today there are six or seven of them: pumice, scorpionfish, chamois, trachea, octopus, cuttlefish, cobwebs, cicadas and scampi. The first step is to prepare the fish stock with the varieties used to make soup, after which the fish is stir-fried in good olive oil, that is Tuscan extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, onion and celery. At this point you add the octopus and cuttlefish and a glass of red wine which mostly evaporates, after which the slices of peeled tomatoes that will create the succulent sauce of the dish are put into the pan. All the varieties of fish are gradually added, spraying them with red wine while toasting good Tuscan bread on which the soup will be served once the cooking is completed. Here is what you can taste at Fonteblanda at the Cacciucco Tuscan Seafood Festival!

Can you already hear pans bubbling, smell the delicious fish and feel your mouth start to water? You have no choice: there are many festivals in Orbetello throughout the year, but you cannot miss the one in Fonteblanda where cacciucco reigns supreme. On this point we would like to give you some advice: the soup is the most popular dish so if you do not want to risk ending up empty-handed, avoid going too late. Kitchen doors at one of the most anticipated summer events in Maremma at 7.30 pm and a little wait will be repaid with so much deliciousness! 

If you are on the Maremma or Argentario Coast in summer, Sagra di Fonteblanda is an unmissable fish festival in Tuscany where you can go for an evening full of tastiness, summer relaxation and some good fun. And why not make the most of the opportunity to visit the city from where Cacciucco spread? In fact, why not book one of our hotels in Livorno and take advantage of our interesting offers to spend your days in anticipation of the festival? What about one of our fantastic excursions from Livorno, which will take you to some of the most beautiful destinations in Tuscany such as Florence, Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano? And what about something less challenging and suitable for kids too? Then go for a ride on one of the red buses of the City Sightseeing Livorno: with a 24-hour ticket you can visit the city's most important attractions without getting tired and with the wind in your hair... what a beautiful way to spend your summer! It will keep you nice and fresh and relaxed to enjoy your Italian fish stew ‘Caciucco’ in Fonteblanda!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff