Italian Table Talk: Grape Harvest And September Jam

Italian Table Talk: grape harvest and September jam

If you live in the countryside, you’d better not be in a hurry when you leave your house in any September morning. Any other time you find yourself stuck behind a tractor bursting of ripe grapes,  carrying its buzzing load to the closer cellar. Arm yourself with patience and get mesmerized by the dull sound of the tractor engine and twitching bunches of grapes, impatient to become wine… you perfectly know you’re not allowed to go anywhere but to follow sheepishly the tractor. The time has come: it is the harvest season.

There are so many traditions, legends and meanings related to this moment of the year that we decided to fully dive into this buzzing period with our monthly Italian Table Talk theme. It is a movement that from North to South touches every region of Italy, each with special recipes they call for grapes as key ingredient.

Jasmine today will tell you about a recipe that is very dear to me, the grape schiacciata, while Valeria and Emiko present recipes from Veneto: Valeria has prepared grape must puddings named sugoli and Emiko a savory dish, the risotto in cantina as described by Elizabeth David. As for me, come and see …

My first paid job required rubber boots, old tattered clothes, thick gloves, a sun hat and pruning scissors, so hard that at first I needed two hands to open and close them.

As soon as I finished my final exams at high school I went to a local winery, a few miles from home, and asked to be enrolled as grape-picker for a month, a rite of passage for many young students, a sticky September between the rigor of the high school and the anarchy of the first months of University, when everything is new and slightly confusing.

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