The green peas De.Co. of Lumignano
Tel 0444 320854 (IAT Vicenza)
At the foot of the cliff of Lumignano you can see the terraced gardens, the so-called 'masiere', where traditional culture of peas takes place, the contribution of the Benedictine monks who probably started it in medieval times. The farmers of the past understood how to exploit the warmth of the rock heated by the sun to obtain fruit so early to be able to send it to Venice for the banquet of the Doge on the feast day of St. Mark on 25th April.
A traditional way of growing was intercropping peas with olives and vineyards, other typical crops of the Berici, with mutual benefit. The fatigue of the farmers was rewarded with a vegetable of unequalled delicacy, which sublimated the most typical dishes of spring, 'risi e bisi' (rice and peas), more soup than risotto, semi-liquid and rich in peas ('ogni riso, un biso' (a pea for every rice grain)), sometimes enriched with bits of 'oco in onto' (goose meat preserved in its own fat).
In 1931 the Gastronomic Guide of Italy of the Italian Touring Club called the Lumignano peas 'small and very sweet'. As a side dish they are prepared 'in tecia', on fried sweet bacon: "Their right and triumphant death" - decrees Candiago, the bard of the gastronomic joys of Vicenza - "is with sausage or with boiled or roasted meat". In the last postwar period, however, the crisis dictated by the exodus from the countryside and by the rapid succession of intensive agriculture takes over. With the loss of commercial affordability, the production was limited to own consumption. A great pity, because in such conditions some varieties, that were perfectly adapted to the place, were lost.
Fortunately in recent year the cultivation of the "bisi de Lumignan" (the peas of Lumignano) has gathered momentum in the wake of the renewed interest in local products, the evidence of which is the Sagra dei Bisi which fills the village square on spring Sundays.
Trattoria Al Pergolino, Secula, via Secula 18, Longare, tel. 0444 555019
Trattoria Al Volto, Costozza, via Volto 39, Longare, tel. 0444 555663
Trattoria pizzeria Alle Rocce, Lumignano, Longare, tel. 0444 555040
Restaurant Aeolia, Costozza, piazza G. da Schio 1, Longare, tel. 0444 555039, www.aeolia.com