25 Jul The Best Italian Food: Authentic Italian Cuisine of The Abruzzo Region
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Check Out The Authentic Italian Cuisine of The Abruzzo Region
Italy Offers A Wealth of Food Variation
Anyone traveling in different regions of Italy discovers how the food selections can vary from region to region. Italian food has so much variation because the local cuisine is dependent on the local climate, geography and historical influences in that region of Italy. Getting to know the local people and culture and what it has to offer is just one of the exciting reasons to travel extensively in Italy. Because there are as many as 20 regions in Italy, each with its own distinct characteristics, you’ll have plenty of places to discover.
The Best Region To Eat In Italy
In 2013, the Italian organization Confesercenti did research which indicated Abruzzo as the best region to eat while in Italy according to foreign tourists ratings. This article reviews the Abruzzo cuisine, which is the traditional cuisine of the region of Abruzzo.
Geography of Abruzzo
Abruzzo is located on Italy’s Adriatic coast, and is outlined by the Apennine Mountains, with mountains over 8,000 ft high that run through the region such as the Gran Sasso and the Maiella group. From the mountainous areas in the west, one sees the landscape flatten as you move eastward towards the sea. Rather than mountains in the east, you find forest-covered hills.
The People of Abruzzo
Abruzzo was originally home to the Piceni population, who also occupied the southern part of the Marche. Even within this cuisine, there is some variation due to the influences and traditions of both the mountainous inland and pastoral areas near the coastal zone. The most common types of foods here include bread, pasta, meat, cheese and wine.
Cuisine of Abruzzo
It has been said that there are three types of cuisine that come from the different locales of Abruzzese food.” One is from the mountainous side (from the central Apennine part of the region), the second is from the coastal side (from the beaches to the east). And the third comes from the hill towns in-between mountain and sea.
Common Dishes of the Abruzzo Region
Because shepherding and traditional shepherd culture was prominent in the Abruzzo region, we see an influence of lamb and mutton dishes associated with Abruzzese cuisine, although these are less commonly seen in the coastal areas. These meats are often simmered slowly in sauces to serve over platters of polenta or pasta served family style. Abruzzese cheese, derived from sheep’s milk ricotta, and lamb intestines is frequently used as sausage casing or for stuffed meat rolls. Also common in Abruzzese food is mountain goat meat.
Prominent ingredients in Abruzzese dishes include mushrooms (often wild), and truffles, rosemary, garlic, hot chili pepper, especially local red garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Saffron is a specialty spice specifically of the L’Aquila locale. Saffron is commonly used in cooking, despite being more expensive per gram than truffles or caviar. In addition to mushrooms, Abruzzese cuisine commonly employs “rustic” or “peasant” vegetation such as lentils, grasspeas and other legumes, cauliflower, eggplant, and artichoke. Some famous Abruzzese dishes include maccheroni alla chitarra, arrosticini, and scrippelle.
Wines of the Region
Renowned wines like Montepulciano DOCG and Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC are considered amongst the world’s finest wines.
The principal wines of region include:
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, a renowned red wine considered one of the world’s finest wines.
Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo (the wine white of Abruzzo region).
Others wines include Montonico, Pecorino, Passerina, Controguerra.
The Food and Cuisine of Abruzzo
In addition to the lamb and mutton mentioned earlier, Abruzzi cuisine is famous for using artichokes, legumes, cardoons (a cousin of the artichoke), and potatoes, which they incorporate into their soups as well. Many Abruzzi recipes feature fresh seafood from the Adriatic sea prepared in various ways. We receommend you try a peppered seafood soup, called Brodetto, which even has variations unique to each of the four ports. The port cities also prepare fresh fish in a salty vinegar based dressing. Octopus is common here and cooked in tomatoes and hot peppers, and known as “polpi in purgatorio.” Another port dish is an anchovy and monkfish dish called “coda di rospo alla cacciatora,” seasoned with garlic, peppers and rosemary.
Abruzzi cooking often includes a crepe called scrippelle. These egg crepes are sprinkled with aged pecorino cheese and rolled up, cigar-style. Scrippelle is filled with flavorful ingredients and then used in other dishes. With scrippelle ‘mbusse, the crepes are served in chicken stock along with grated pecorino cheese. In timballo di crespe, the crepes are placed in elegant molds with vegetables, meat and cheese, and then baked.
Visit Us And Enjoy Authentic Abruzzi Cuisine
Fortunately, you dont have to go all the way to Italy to try a taste of Authentic Abruzzi cooking.
Tartufo Chef Dante Bellucci, was born and raised in Pescara, Abruzzi(Italy). He knows the food of the region well, having spent 14 years there preparing local dishes. He specializes in seafood dishes. Visit us at Tartufo Restaurant in Newton Centre, MA. For reservations call us at 617-244-8833.