Food in the harvest time

People in Montepulciano have always lived on farming and this tradition is alive even today, especially regarding food.

In the past, meals used to be peasant, made out of few products, such as stale bread and seasonal vegetables. However during the grape, wheat and olive harvestings peasants who took part to those activities would change their eating habits. This was because the workers would spend more than ten hours each day in the fields and therefore farmers would provide them frequent and nutritious meals.

The chronicles talk about a nobleman, who owned many acres around Montepulciano. He was used to exploiting his few workers 12 hours a day without giving them enough food. But during the harvest time of course he needed more day-labourers. One day all the exploited people rebelled against their master and refused to go on working if at least he would not have fed them properly. He accepted their request after days of riots. Step by step others workers from others places started to rebel against farmers, and after few years a kind of law was drawn up, that obliged farmers to feed their workers during harvest time at least 5 times a day. This tradition to feed workers has continued also later, when farms were run by peasants and the day-labourers were people of the neighbourhood who just came to help them in harvesting.

Elder people think back to those days as happy ones despite the tiring work. They were in fact, a great opportunity for the people living in the village to be together working, having a good time and eating such nutritious and abundant meals that some say they could even put on a little weight during the harvestings.