Good cooking in Umbria is considered as an "art" and is essentially based on quality and authenticity, on strong flavours and on traditional simplicity.
The most important products are wine, olive oil, meat, sausages, cheese, truffle, lentils (from Castelluccio and fish from the Trasimeno sweet lake waters and from the mountains rivers waters).
Such an abundance of products is mainly due to the fertility and variety of the Umbria soils and to the microclimate offered by different Regions.
Wine - The excellent quality of Umbria wines it's due to different reasons: the slightly waved ground helps the necessary exposure to the sunbeam, the abundance of waters, a milder continental weather the particular ground structure favour the wine-growing.
Moreover this particular convenient conditions have induced its population to be interested in the wineyard cultivation and to wine production from ancient times on.
An almost millenary tradition gives to the vineyard producers such a particular experience which is perfectly in line with the features of this Region which is also very jealous of its old traditions.
Wine is produced following ancient methods, and techniques always very simple and natural. Olive Oil - Olive groves have been favoured in Umbria by the weather conditions and also by the eviromental features particular helpful.
The grounds where they grow are very suitable for a strong development: they are usually located in a hilly position or in a piedmont area.
Olives are stricly hand-gathered at the beginning of their maturing, when they have the maximum flavour and the least acidity degree, as soon as gathered they are carefully squeezed, to safeguard their freshness and integrity.
About 90% of the oil production in Umbria is extra virgin oil and the whole production is almost entirely subject to a thorough control and is submitted to the disciplinary measures established by Co.re.ol.
which is an Olive-Oil producers Association whose project is the valorisation and the diffusion of the typical Umbria extra vergine olive oil.
The main production areas are: Assisi-Spoleto, Martani hills, Armerini hills, Trasimeno hills, Orvietani hills, which have obtained the assignment of D.o.p.
(Denomination of the Original Production). Truffles - Umbria is considered an uncontamineted country, a small paradise on earth, where landscapes are unchanged through millenaries; the presence of many woods which offer a precious gift: the trutfle.
Umbria is a wide truffle-ground since many areas have the ideal characteristics which favour the development of this scented tuber.
The most typical truffles that can be find in Umbria are: the excellent Black, the summer "Scorzone" and along the Tiber high valley and the Umbrian Valleys the white Truffle.
The truffle unmistakable fragrance can be joined to the Umbrian cooking: to pasta, meats, fishes, sauces and to various hunted animals.
Lentils - In the heart of the National Park Reserve located near the Monti Sibillini at 1300mt the Valley of Castelluccio offers the ideal conditions for the famous lentils production: centuries have passed but the old traditions have always been respected as a matter of fact the cultivation has always been natural without adding chemical or chemical or fertilizing products.
From the harvest to any other labour are always made by hand in order to obtain the typical lentils, with their soft flavour and unmistakable taste.
The lentils from Castelluccio have a soft peel and can be easily recognized by the small dimensions.
Following the tradition lentils should be eaten with cotechini an zamponi to wish prosperity and wealth on the occasion of the New Year eve.
As a matter of fact they represent are a food very rich in vegetal proteins, vitamins, mineral salts and should be eaten during all the year.
The lentils from Castelluccio make possible the preparation of tasty and genuine dishes such as soups and can be served together with the various local salami.

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