The Toc, a Lake Como food tradition peculiar of the Bellagio area, was once prepared only for very important celebrations such as weddings and baptisms. The farmers prepared it using what they themselves produced: flour, butter and the cheese made from the milk of their cows. Given the considerable amount of butter and cheese needed, the Toc was considered a rich dish.
The cauldron (paiolo) with Toc was usually placed at the center of the hall and the guests sat around it in a circle, as is still done today.
When the cauldron is emptied, it’s the time to proceed to the preparation of the Ragell: the basic ingredient is the red wine to which it is added, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, sugar, of the orange zest and grated lemon and an apple cut into pieces.
The cauldron isn’t perfectly cleaned, it is curious the leftovers of Toc get left in, which will give a characteristic taste to the drink.
The master of the Toc then puts the cauldron on fire with wine and spices and at this point, thanks to the heat, the alcohol contained in the wine evaporate and ignite, creating one spectacular effect of burning cauldron. When the alcohol vapors are exhausted, the Ragell is ready for consumption.
The cauldron is then removed from the fire and placed in the center of the room where using a wooden ladle, we draw the drink that is poured again steaming each of the diners seated in a circle again around the cauldron. And it is in this rite, in this sharing that, also favored by the powers of wine, the socialization of the group reaches its peak.
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NOT TO MISS:
- Lake Como cooking classes: homemade pasta, homemade pizza, homemade bread, farmhouse made cheese, how to make risotto
- Discover the towns on Lake Como Italy with us, click here discover our tours:
- Orrido di Nesso: the hidden waterfall
- The heritage of Musso & The Giardino del Merlo
- Churches, Castles, Ancient Ports and Dream Landscapes. Rezzonico and Santa Maria.
- Brienno.The Labyrinth Village
- The Village of Hell. Lezzeno and the Devil’s Bridge.
- Cantù is Beautiful! Galliano and the Museum of Wood
The tours, courses and events promoted by Slow Lake Como allow you to sample local products coming into contact with farmers, artisans and producers of local foods.