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Feast of Monaco’s national dish Barbagiuan
June 3, 2020
Barbagiuan is a savory, filled pastry originating in Monaco and is mainly found in the eastern part of the French Riviera and in northern Italy.
Barbagiuan, in the Monegasque language means ‘Uncle John’. It is thought that, long enough ago for the story to become the dish’s folklore, someone named Jean didn’t have a sauce for his ravioli and so stuffed it with Swiss chard and fried it instead. This new creation spread in popularity and became known as ‘Barbagiuan’ – a nod, in name, to its famous culinary creator. Across the border, in Italy, this pastry is called ‘Barbagiuai’ and the main difference is that it is filled with pumpkin.
Being Monaco’s national dish, Barbagiuan is most notably eaten on the Principality’s national day, on November 19. On a daily basis, Barbagiuan is considered an appetizer or a small snack, so you’ll find it in the markets of Monaco. If you’re visiting, head to La Condamine market or find it served as a starter when eating out.
More recently, the Fete du Barbagiuan, which is celebrated in June, – a festival of all things connected to Barbagiuan – has been set up to celebrate and educate on the national dish. Cooking demonstrations, classes and events are put on by A Roca, a company that promotes regional gastronomy.