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Sagra dei Bigoi al Torcio
On the third Sunday of June in Borgo Vodice in the municipality of Sabaudia there is the Bigoi al Torcio Festival, one of the typical dishes of the Venetian cuisine. The Pontine plain was in fact created largely by workers who came from the Veneto region and who brought to this area customs and cuisine of their territories of origin.
The Bigoi al Torcio are one of the most famous dishes in the area of Padua even so as to have their own Confraternity. Bigoi is a pasta in the shape of large spaghetti dating from 1300s and is made with durum wheat flour combined with flour of soft wheat. The mixture was necessary due to the raids that the Turks made on the durum wheat ships and the consequent lack of this precious flour.
The name ‘bigoi’ given to spaghetti perhaps derives from the dialect word “bigàt” (caterpillar), or from the Latin “bombyx” (silkworm). In that period all the countryside of the Venetian plain was covered with mulberry trees for the breeding of silkworms used in the silk enterprises of the Republic of Venice and exported all over the world.
In 1604 a pasta maker from Padua patented a machine to make these spaghettoni which was then called Torcio Bigolare because the name ‘bigoli’ was now common and widely used among the population.
The machine served to pass the dough through special holes to make both spaghetti and other pasta shapes.
The festival of Borgo Vodice is one of the events to be enjoyed to learn about and taste the Venetian cuisine and also to rediscover the ancient agricultural activity of night-time farming with antique tractors.