• Booked a trip to Rimini for an overnight CouchSurfing Event
  • I received a nametag, slapped it on my shirt and introduced myself to 60+ CS members.
  • We had a great mix of Couchsurfers- mostly Italian (various areas) and some people from Poland, Turkey, Netherlands, Russia, Czech and the USA (not just me, LA represented too)! I switched from English to Italian, Italian to English, English to… English; spent a good hour just figuring out who was Team Rimini/ Team Bologna/ Team Neutral.

You might be asking yourself, what is a food war?? So here’s a brief compilation of the questions, I asked Alessandro (organizer) after the event:

LML: First of all, what is a CS Food War??

Alessandro: A gastronomic competition; a way for people to enjoy and discover local dishes.

LML: Competitors?

Alessandro: For this event, it was a friendly competition between Bologna and Rimini. Rimini is a couple hours away from Bologna so both regions are part of the Emilia-Romagna area. In the past we’ve competed with three other local towns through the CouchSurfing organization.

LML: Which local foods were up for competition?

AlessandroThis time the fight featured two MUST-HAVE dishes from of our cities: crescentine bolognesi (Bologna) and piadina romagnola (Rimini), combined with our local salami, ham, mortadella, squaquerone cheese, rucola etcetera etcetera… plus our local wines (lambrusco and sangiovese) for 13 euro per person

LML: How many people did you expect to attend this event? Was everyone part of CouchSurfing?

Alessandro: We rented a hotel kitchen (250 euro) in order to host the event so we were hoping for a minimum of 40 people. Within the last 24 hours, a lot of people decided to attend so we actually had to close the event! Since the event was public, we ended up with a really great group of 60+ paying CouchSurfers & friends!

LML: Where was the event hosted?

Alessandro: The CouchSurfing ambassadors in Rimini did a really great job finding the location. Hotel Smarty’s in the center of Rimini, close to the train station as well as the sea. If Couchsurfers needed a place to stay, we reserved shared rooms and each person ended up paying 15 euro.

LML: Who won the competition?? Find out after the pictures…

  • RIMINI DISH: If you’ve read my Piadina post in Riccione, you’ll know that the local piadina should be served hot and filled with prosciutto crudo, rucola and squacquerone (fresh, creamy, white, liquidy) cheese.
  • BOLOGNA DISH: Alessandro, Fernanda and Roberto spent the afternoon preparing the dough for the Gnocco Fritto (fried dough). How’d they make it?
  • Gnocco Fritto Recipe (Serving: 6 People)
    • 500g Flour
    • 100g Water
    • 150g Milk
    • 10g Salt
    • 25g Beer Yeast
    • 50g Lard
    • Then you need to roll, roll, ROLL!
    • Cut in to pieces and let it rest until you’re ready to fry it in pigs fat (for this challenge, the gnocco fritto was fried in oil).
  • WINNER? Pari, which means… it ended up as a tie! No losers in this war! When both teams provide excellent ingredients, it can be really difficult to pick one over the other, don’t you agree??
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