Last Saturday with the same small group of three we met up like last year to participate at the 3rd edition of the enogastronomic walk Gusta il Borgo 2014 held in Ascona, by the Amis da la Forcheta. Even if I had a cold and (from what I learned yesterday) a small stress fracture on my ankle, I would not have missed this event for almost anything in the world. I was right to go anyway because like last year we had a great time filled with laughs, great food and drinks. With our tasting glass around our necks, the map and a few supplementary goodies, we began our walk at half past eleven. At a short distance from the starting point was the first stop where we were served coffee, a croissant and muesli with farina bona flakes and raspberries. While we began eating our “breakfast” a group of men arrived and one of them began to wear strange clothes for a man while the others watched and laughed; soon we found out that they were celebrating a bachelor party. This was an entertaining start.
Walking on towards the second stop with my boyfriend we began to joke about the path towards the third stop which is a walk uphill and which our friend A. was dreading a bit (I guess that if he could he would skip the walking part altogether). The beer and the pancakes with butter and honey we would soon taste might have given him enough courage to begin climbing up the stairs and dirt path which we would soon undertake.
In fact, I guess all of the participant managed to stay nice and fresh until the second stop and then, with the warm sun, by the third stop (which was at the Monte Verità) you could see a tens of shiny foreheads of proud people who had made it up to there. Once you get there you feel you deserve the wine and/or green tea, cured meats with merlot bread and “torta di pane”.
On the road again we headed to stop number four which was held in the cloister of the Collegio Papio, the school my boyfriend and I attended. It’s actually there that we met a long time ago when I was fourteen and he was sixteen years old. To eat the celery and chicken salad with another glass of wine we sat on the very stairs where we would run into one another years ago. I guess there’s a special feel to this place for the two of us.
From there in less than a five minutes walk you find yourself by the Lago Maggiore and that’s where we headed to get our teeth on a pumpkin muffin with a goat cheese mousse and with another glass of wine. From there we went to the next tasting spot where with a very tasty gazpacho and a gazzosa (which is a fizzy lemonade) we rehydrated ourselves on other than water and wine.
Following a path along the lake we reached our seventh stop and by that time I was getting a little less hungry but since I was determined to taste every single bit of the experience I shared my dish of fried fish and rice with my boyfriend. There were still two tasting stops to go and I wanted to keep a little place for them too.
My ever-growing love for polenta was satisfied when we reached the stop of the Terreni alla Maggia where we had a selection of the dish but made with three different kinds of corncobs. Of course we didn’t skip the wine. We didn’t stay too long there and soon headed towards the last point. A close friend of us was there (he produces cheese) and I guess we were eager to see him and taste his product. We had some local blue cheese, white Toblerone mousse and a grape jelly chocolate. I saw this stop as the cheese plate served at the end of dinner and the dessert served at the same time in three separate cups.
We reached the end and stayed over for a few drinks, the ambience is always friendly there. Just like last year I had an incredible time. Unfortunately by the end of the day my cold was getting worse and through the last few stops I was beginning to lose my sense of taste and didn’t enjoy the products as much as I would have liked to. Thanks to the great organisation and one thing is sure, like many others, I’ll be there again next year.