Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A little bit of Italy in Broke

One of the great things about being a travel writer, is being given the opportunity to roam the world tasting and experiencing the best of what the country and the world has to offer.

And I'm a huge fan of festivals and events. It's funny that it's usually the big festivals that get all the attention - cultural, writing, arts, music, food and wine, the lot. And yes, the iconic ones, that involve motorised eskies, cheese rolling, tomato crushing, and cockroach racing are huge hoggers of PR and hype.

But it's usually the lesser known, much-loved local festivals that I enjoy the most. There is ease of attendance - park, walk, or car-pool with friends. Free or cheap entry. And the luxury of finding a seat with friends, at least, early in the day or evening.

Then there is the priceless relaxed ambiance you just don't find in the moshpit  anywhere else. Where you can chat to local growers or producers, knowing you're not holding someone up and they are actually one of the people behind that product. Or pull up a chair next to a local you may not know, but will pretty soon later.

One of my favourite kind of festival is the cultural experience where you to feel like you're in a temporarily in another country,  or even better, a country within a country - for a certain time. 

Take, for example, A Little Bit of Italy in Broke Fordwich, NSW, Australia.

This flavoursome festival in the Broke Fordwich wine region of the Hunter Valley celebrates its 10 year milestone pn April 11 and 12 2015.

That's right, this weekend, the Broke Fordwich Wine Region of the Hunter Valley will become all things Italian, providing rustic ambiance and mouth-watering aromas, all in the one location.

Known as the picturesque and more tranquil side of the Hunter Valley, Broke Fordwich will have an array of gourmet delights and world class wines, on offer to provide the ultimate Italian experience, without the hassle of overseas travel.

The renowned event was initially born in 2005 from an intimate Italian dinner that was hosted at a local home and catered by Italian chef Bruno di Sarno.  That initial dinner was so popular, the next one was even bigger and more delicious. Next thing, there was a full-on festival, which has grown by word of mouth - get it - to attract more than 3,000 people to the region during the weekend.

With wine-tasting, cheese-making (and tasting), olives and oils, and loads of other farm-gate produce on display to taste and talk about, the festival authentically celebrates the traditional Italian lifestyle revolving around food, music, wine, family and community.

Starting at the ‘Passport Office’ on the main street of the historic village of Broke Fordwich, visitors can pick up a passport which will outline all the venues that are participating in the Festival. 
The price of entry is $10, which includes a $10 souvenir tasting glass to be used for a complimentary sample of local wines from each of the region’s top 12 producers. 
As you travel around from venue to venue, get your passport stamped to go in the draw to win over $2,000 worth of wine, food and accommodation.  Plus, to make getting around easier, there will be a shuttle bus available all weekend for only $5 per day.
In love with Italian food? Indulge in nonna’s old-town recipes with live cooking demonstrations happening at several locations across the two days, or enjoy a luscious spread of woodfire pizzas, gelato, olive oils, formaggi, wines and fresh local produce. Gosh, I can taste it from here.
Other highlights during the festival will include live entertainment, market stalls and puppet shows that are fun for the whole family.

President of Broke Fordwich Wine & Tourism Association, Eden Anthony says, “We have had a great time in bringing to our Festival the love for good food, wine, music, fun, warmth and friendship that is always Italian, and so reflective of the general way of life in the Broke Fordwich region.”
Their motto? Che sta per essere un buon weekend! Buon Appetitio!! - It’s going to be a good weekend, have a great meal!
Maid In Australia's Motto? Fancy Italian? Don't mind if we do...

Can't get to A Little Bit Of Italy in Broke Fordwich? Don't cry into your home-made espresso. Thanks to the festival organisers we have a $120 hamper of goodies to give away from Belarna Grove, which are best known for their olives and olive oils. To enter, leave a comment below and share your favourite Italian 'taste' - whether it be food, wine, oil, music, culture or - it's up to you. Entries close 5 pm AEST, April 15, 2015. 

The competition has closed and the winner was Karlene. Congratulations! 


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That's wonderful that it all stemmed from one dinner event! Clearly everyone enjoyed it! :D

Char said...

Looks like a really great event. I'm just wondering about all the wine drinking and travelling between venues - are the cops out in force over the weekend?

Unknown said...

They have it all sorted Char - they have a bus for $5 if you don't have a designated driver. And there are so many wonderful places to stay, including cottages in vineyards. That would be my plan!

Marisol said...

Hi Bronnie, what a fun, delicious festival! I, too, love festivals where I feel I travel to another country - especially if it involves great wine and cheese! The origin of this event sounds so charming. The shuttle is a great thing.
Linking through #TPThursday.

karlene75 said...

Just asked hubby and he said his favourite Italian taste is the Ferrari...?
We have Italian-Australian neighbours and my favourite taste is whatever they marinate their chicken in before they put it on their BBQ and grill it so that the smell wafts into our yard and makes me hungry and jealous.

In The Good Books Blog said...

My favourite Italian taste would probably be tomato and basil. So simple, yet so, so perfect!
A close second would be the succulent flavour of tirimisu; coffe, chocolate and marscapone is a marriage made in heaven for me!

Shelly - Tropical Mum said...

I simply love carpaccio!