Spiedo at La Torre

Posted by Laney Sachs on September 25, 2011 5 Comments

The day was gorgeous – sunny, blue sky with a few puffy clouds and my friend Deborah from the Strada dei Vini e dei Sapori del Garda and I were headed to La Torre Vineyards in the province of Brescia (Brescia is the province in Italy that borders the western end of Lake Garda and is located in Lombardy).  Yes we were going for the wine, but we were also going for what Deborah promised me was an authentic Brescian meal – Spiedo and Polenta. 

The driveway passed through the lovely vineyard which has been in the Pasini family for 3 generations and we parked in front of the 18th century building which houses the wine cellar (la cantina). Already I’m getting excited….And as we got out of the car, I smelled the most amazing aroma but it had nothing to do with the bouquet of wine; it was smoky, meaty, herby and fabulous.  I asked what that wonderful smell was, and Deborah proudly told me that it was dinner (at this point, my heart skipped a beat). Our noses led us to a large shed-like structure where Attilio Pasini, the owner of La Torre and a couple of other guys were poking and prodding at something and as they stepped to the side, I saw one of the oldest forms of cooking – meat roasting over a fire…sort of.  The special oven is called a tombolo and as I found out later, Brescia is the only place in the entire country of Italy where you can find a tombolo.

And turning round and round was a beautiful sight of chestnut hued meat rotating on 3 foot long skewers with butter and sage gently drizzling down from the top.


Olive wood was fueling the fire producing the most sublime smoky aroma.


I asked what kind of meat was on the Spiedo and the response was pork, chicken and bird.  So then I asked what kind of bird thinking it was turkey, duck, maybe goose and the answer again was “bird”.  Now, my Italian isn’t what I would like it to be, but I think I have a fairly decent command of the English language and thought for sure there was some sort of language barrier here.  But when the guy pointed toward the trees and flapped his arms, I had my answer.  So yes, authentic Brescian Spiedo has pork, chicken and bird…specifically goldfinch.

Sometime later, we sat down to a beautiful table set with multiple wine glasses,


a platter of perfectly roasted and glazed spiedo and amazing polenta.


The food, the wine, the company was awesome…and no, I didn’t try the bird.




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Comments (5 Comments)

Posted by peter on October 19, 2011

why didn’t you try the bird? wimp!

Posted by Rise Mattler on September 29, 2011

Buona fortuna with your new venture…everything looks delizioso!!

Posted by Bill Kelman on September 29, 2011

I’m drooling! Send me everything!

Posted by Liz Larkin on September 27, 2011

Sounds so incredible! I can almost smell it! I’d skip the bird, too! ;)

Posted by Sue Anderson on September 26, 2011

Congratulations on what looks to be the launch of a wonderful and delicious line of products from Lago di Garda! My mouth is watering!!!!

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