Piazza Vittorio Veneto, 9
18030 Apricale (Imperia)
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Coniglio "brüscau"
A caracteristic way to prepare the rabbit with the antic origin from Val Nervia and especially from Apricale.
My grandfather Baci “Giürumin” was a resident of Apricale but in fact lived up in the hills, in “Foa.” He was born in 1887 and had participated in the First World War. During his last years, my mother my brother and I went to see him once a week to bring supplies. This meant walking one hour and a half up a donkeypath passing by “Consigliöl, Cola, Bligagnöl, Albareü” before arriving in “Foa”.
In the evening before starting the journey back home, my grandfather went to his storehouse, picked up a rabbit, slapped it hard over the ears and when it was dead, prepared a fire outside on which he lay the rabbit to burn away the skin. When this was done he washed it thoroughly with Marseillesoap, which was also used for washing laundry, and then again he rinsed it well. .
He removed the intestines, rinsed it again and the next day “u cunigliu brüscau” would be ready on the table
The rabbit hang outside during the night where after my father cut it in suitable pieces so that my mother could start the cooking procedure. Under slow fire, in a covered claypot, the rabbit cooked until it was dried and the oliveoil was added together with two big onions, a head of garlic, thyme, salt and rosmarin.
After a while of further cooking, my mother added half a liter of Rossese and a handful of salted olives. When everything was almost well cooked (about 45 to 60 minutes) a nice peeled tomato together with the liver of the rabbit was thrown in. Meanwhile potatoes were cooked in oil and thereafter ready to join the rabbitin the pot. Everything was then left to rest for 15 minutes under cover and finally the party could begin. If eventually there would be any leftovers it would taste even better the next day, reheated.
To propose “coniglio bruscao” might not be very popular today because of it’s strong taste of “wild”, but we must not forget that in those days when food was a result of great effort and hard work, people utilised everything and wasted nothing.
That is how the culture from farmers and people from the countryside created so many good recepies.
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