As a proverb from the Marche region quotes, “olive ascolane are like cherries, you can’t eat one without having another”. We are now ready to start rounding up fans right here in Berlin as well.
Olive ascolane (stuffed fried olives), cremino (fried custard) and deep fried treats (artichokes, zucchini and lamb chop), ciauscolo (a variety of Italian salame), chicken jelly, lonza from the Marche (cured pork tenderloin), fresh pasta, sandwiches with guanciale (an Italian cured meat or salami product prepared from pork jowl or cheeks) and creamy parmesan cheese sauce, and despite the space available being quite limited, loads more: we are talking about Biagio vagabond bistrot, the food truck that is bringing the best of the gastronomic tradition from the Marche region to Berlin. Foodstuff from Italy is supplied constantly and of the highest quality. The olives, of course come from Ascoli Piceno, from the Case Rosse co-operative, the cured meats come from the slaughterhouse Mezzaluna located in Fermo, and other products come from Macerata, San Benedetto del Tronto and so on.
From San Benedetto to Berlin. Le Marche, a wonderful region of which you probably haven’t heard enough of despite its outstanding natural landscapes, its architectural beauty as well as its fine cuisine, has its very own ambassador in the German capital. Biagio’s project comes from Dario Vagnarelli, a 31 year old young man that comes from San Benedetto. Since 2008, he has been the owner and manager of the beach bar and restaurant 45.com Spiaggia.Cucina.Musica, as well as co-founder and organizer of a great gastronomic event, the San Beach Street Food Festival, which in its first edition, in July 2016 attracted tens of thousands of food lovers from the entire area (the second edition will take place in July 2017). «Biagio’s idea was born from this experience. There were food trucks from almost every part of Italy and in these two years I began to realize that in Berlin there was almost nothing to do with Marche. While I was organizing the event I started to think that I wanted to be the one to represent my region here in Berlin. After that I started to look around for the right van. I never would have made it in time to bring Biagio to the event but I was still in time to bring him to Berlin where I spend most of the year! The pursuit took plenty of time and took me all over Italy. I finally found what I was searching for, a 1980 Volkswagen van, only a few km away from home. Before it was a very unique clothes shop but thanks to a specialized company and a lot of elbow grease I completely transformed it, creating an appropriate kitchen in order to serve the very best street food. Above all, of course, great attention is paid to the quality of our ingredients and in choosing our cook. My chef, Gianmarco Bruni, is from San Benedetto; he is very young but has a lot of experience behind him and is able to make every dish unique and special».
Biagio’s Menu. «Olive ascolane are our main dish. In Germany they don’t really know about them, even though their history goes back to the XIX century, when chefs of noble families, in order not to through away the left over meat, decided to put it inside delicious local olives, already famous in Roman times. We also serve other traditional fried dishes from the Marche, but with a few alterations, such as our fried custard cream, which is breaded and then of course, fried. We also have different types of pasta, such as cannelloni, vincisgrassi (a type of lasagna) and sandwiches made with local products. Among the different choices we come across BIAGIO, made with ciauscolo p.g.i, parmesan cheese flakes, olive oil from ascolana tenera (a variety of olive) produced by the Cestini oil mill, the TARTABURGR made with 100% beef tartar from the Marche region, pickles, spring onions, mustard, Worcester sauce, salt packed anchovies, capers, arugula, cherry tomatoes and the PANINO DELLA NONNA (i.e. grandma’s sandwich) prepared with meatloaf and gravy made with the meat’s broth. Many things change, depending on the season and on the availibility of fresh Italian produce. There will also be the possibility for vegetarians to taste our parmigiana (i.e. deep-fried sliced eggplant, layered with cheese and tomato sauce, then baked). Our olives and other deep fried delights will be served in eco-friendly paper, according to street-food tradition. Last but not least our neapolitan caffè espresso. We are regionalists, that’s true, but not so much as to deny ourselves the pleasure of the real ‘made in Naples’».
Where to find Biagio. Every weekend you will find Biagio and its delicacies in one or more famous Berlin street markets (at the moment Saturdays at Bötzowmarkt and Sundays at Kulturbrauerei, both based in Prenzlauer Berg). But that’s not all, Biagio will also organize special events during the week and catering (upon request).
Biagio – Vagabond bistro
Every Saturday from 9 AM to 3 PM at Bötzowmarkt – Pasteurstraße 34, 10407 Berlin
M10 tram stop: Arnswalder Platz
Every Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM at Street Food auf Achse presso la Kulturbrauerei – Schönhauser Allee 36, 10435 Berlin
U2 subway stop and M10-M1-M12 Tram stop: Eberswalderstraße
Translation edited by Iole Basello