It’s very easy to travel Emilia Romagna, just following it’s food and sometimes it’s even harder to resist to these temptations. If you would like to search for traditional fairs, you would discover that most of them are dedicatd to a Saint or better to a food or to an animal (pork, most of the times).

I was invited to Massa Lombarda, a little town near Lugo di Romagna, for the traditional Sabadone fair on the day of Saint Paul, January 25th. It’s a very simple cake (you can eat the original version only in Massa Lombarda), made with Saba, water, chestnut flour, dry chestnuts, chocolate, and mustard (which is not the french one!).

Sabadone was tipically fried since it was done near the Carnival time but ita was also cooked in the water or on the barbecue, depending on what the family had. Even the ingredients could be different, depending on what it was available. The recipe was given to me by the lovely girl of the Proloco, the local association of touristic promotion!

Saba is an ancient sweet sauce. I have found a very useful definition that will let you understand what it is like.


This is how it looks like!

sabadoni emilia romagna

And this is me eating!

sabadoni emilia romagna


The recipe is quite secret, every family mother inherited that from her mother or grandmother, but anyway I will try to give you one that is as right as possible.

For the filling: 1 kg of chestnuts, 300 g. chestnut flour, 250 gr. jam mustard, lemon zest, saba (to taste), a glass of rum.
For the dough, 1 kg. of flour, 250 gr. of sugar, 100 gr. of butter, yeast per 1 kg, 4 eggs.

Cook the chestnuts in water. Whip. In a bowl, put the chestnut puree, flour, jam, lemon zest, saba, rum, and mix everything. Roll the dough thin and cut into squares, put on a little squares of dough and seal. Place the filled squares in the oven to bake.

I haven’t tried yet, but if you will, let me know how it was like:) Enjoy!



Writer and Travel Blogger. Strolls around Romagna with her little sheep. Curious about life and history!

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