Auguri per La Befana!

La Befana

La Befana

January 6 is Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas, and in the past (before St. Nick became as popular in Italy as he is now) was the day most eagerly awaited by Italian children, because they knew that when they awoke they’d find a stocking full of candies and sweets, brought by La Befana.

And who, you wonder, is La Befana?

Popular tradition holds that the Magi stopped at an old woman’s house on the last night of their journey, and asked her to accompany them when they set out the next morning.

She replied that she had things to do, and then changed her mind and tried to follow, but was unable to find either the Magi or Baby Jesus. So she renews her search every year, visiting boys and girls the world over, and leaving those who have been good stockings full of candies and treats. For those who haven’t? Coal, and Italian pastry shops also sell a sweet coal that looks remarkably like the real thing for those who deserve it.

Again, Auguri, and if you have little ones in the house, surprise them!

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Categories: Holiday dishes

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.

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