|The Cuisine of Umbria and Le Marche||| Print ||
|Written by Larry Aiello|
|Friday, 11 January 2013 11:35|
Savoring the regional cuisine of Umbria and the Marches, Italy
The central Italian regions of Umbria and Le Marche can provide an awesome gastronomic experience unlike any other part of Italy, since that area has some unique characteristics not found in other Italian regions.
Hilly and Mountainous
This part of central Italy is hilly and mountainous, so the food is very hearty, and can be gamey. Just like other parts of Italy, it is best to savor the local fruits and vegetables that are grown in this region and look for the items that are in season. You can get a quick lesson of what items are in season by walking though one of the local markets. The farmers in this region are very hard-working and proud of their craft, so you will not be disappointed with the food that comes from these two Italian regions.
Truffles in Italy
This delicacy (pictured right) is grown more in Umbria than in any other part of Italy. Truffles are an underground fungus that is also grown in the Piedmont and Tuscan regions of Italy. There are three types of truffles: black, gray or white, the most prized being the white truffle which can sometimes get approximately $1300 USD per pound. They are used often in Umbrian cuisine by shaving them into omelets, or over pasta, or also in soups and broths.
Central Italian Olive Oil
Just about everywhere you look, along the hillsides, you will see olive trees that are used in the production of olive oil. The soil of the Apennine mountains produces an olive oil that is relatively low in acidity. The town of Tevi is noted for the best quality olive oil in Umbria.
The Umbrian and Marchigiano cuisine revolves a lot around pork products. It is often roasted, which Italians call "porchetta", and grilled on a barbecue, flavored with herbs, wild fennel, and basted with a rich red wine sauce.
Lentils - Lenticchie
The town of Castelluccio di Norcia is known for its beans, lentils, etc. that are often used in a variety of soups and broths. These dishes are more common during the autumn and winter seasons.
Central Italian Wine
Sagrantino grapes are the most noted red wines from these two regions. This varietal is used to produce a semisweet version, along with a dry version of the wine.
Umbria and Le Marche are easily accessible from Rome, and you can even stop there on the way to Florence or Venice during your Italian vacation. The town of Assisi (pictured below) is located in this region, so it makes for a great excuse to sample some of this great Italian cuisine, as you will not be disappointed.
Image of Assisi below
Photo credit for above Truffles and Wine: From Wikipedia Commons - author: Arpingstone