Flavors of Abruzzo, between the Apennines and the Adriatic
Abruzzese gastronomy, although it has only been re-evaluated in recent times, is today considered to be one of the richest and most original in Italy. There are many typical dishes that tradition has handed down with unique imagination and creativity.
Abruzzese cuisine is simple and linear and the many typical dishes whose basic elements are lamb meat, sheep's milk, wheat and legumes, are handed down with imagination and creativity.
Navelli saffron is among the flagships of the region. Strictly cultivated by hand, it is considered the best in the world and is called "red gold" for its excellent quality and commercial value. But curiously, even if the Abruzzese are the main producers of fine quality saffron, superior to the Spanish one, no regional marketplace includes saffron among its ingredients.
Pasta is the other great specialty of the region: in the Fara San Martino area, there is the source of the Verde river, from which the ideal water is used to knead the durum wheat with the result of excellent pasta, good even without condiments .
The most famous dish are the "maccheroni alla chitarra". To obtain them, cut the pasta sheet with a rectangular wooden frame equipped with steel strings (hence the reference to the musical instrument). All the localities in the region are competing for the invention.
Among all the specialties, the "brodetto", a succulent soup of different varieties of fish cooked with water, oil, fresh chopped tomatoes, and served in earthenware dishes should certainly be mentioned.
Traditionally the fish for broth are the "poor" ones because in the past sailors selected the most valuable fish for sale; the second choice was intended for personal consumption. With this a single dish was prepared, enriched with local ingredients: tomatoes, chilli peppers, peppers, vinegar and above all a lot of imagination and good taste.
A large variety of meats and cheeses enriches the regional culinary offer and allows you to savor the true taste of the hinterland. It is in the area of the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, that the greatest concentration of dairy varieties is found as the pastoral destination par excellence; among the most delicious cold cuts in Italy there is the Frentano sausage. Product of the upper and middle Sangro and Aventino valleys, a hilly area on the eastern slopes of the Majella, Frentani sausages are pork sausages made substantially with fine lean cuts: ham, shoulder, loin and capocollo and the part fat never exceeds 10-20% of the total.
Among Italian wines, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is a place of absolute privilege. This well-known wine takes its name from an Abruzzese grape variety, probably originating from the Peligna Valley, Montepulciano has a strong charge of color, a good dose of acidity and tannins, and a large aromatic heritage (ripe red fruits, licorice, tobacco, cocoa toasted).
It prefers hills or plateaus at an altitude of no more than 500 meters, and is grown in the four provinces of the region: Chieti, L'Aquila, Pescara, Teramo. The grapes are vinified "in red"; the wine must be aged for a few months in the cellar, in steel or wood, before being released for consumption. With at least two years of aging and an alcohol content of at least 12 ° C it can bring the qualification of Reserve.