Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Beyond Food & Wine
Umbria is a small rural region which is still unspoiled and peaceful where the cuisine is based on family traditions with their simple dishes made with natural and genuine ingredients.
Local agriculture produces fresh fruits and vegetables. high quality of olive oil, pork products and tender beefsteaks, whilst the rivers furnish carps, trout, pike, tench, mullet and perch, andthe woods mushrooms of prize quality.
Black truffles from Norcia, lentils and cheese come from Valnerina and white truffles from the upper Tevere valley and Eugubino Gualdese.
Hunting the precious black or white truffle is a secret jealously kept by its masters and it's hard to find a friend in Norcia or in the nearby area who will take you along for the hunt because locations are a secret handed down by one generation to another in the local families.
In the range of first courses the most famous local fresh pasta are the Umbrichelli, home -made spaghetti dressed with browned onions, oil, garlic, tomatoes and chilly (Arrabbiata Sauce) or with local sausage and mushrooms (Norcino Sauce) or sauteed with Black truffle ragout.
Maybe the most famous and well know is the Pork Butchery "Norcino" that has the speciality to treat the hog meat.
He produces the best salami and ham boast with exceptional flavours and the famous mazzafegati which are sausages made from hog liver, orange peel, pine nuts, salt and pepper.
Their quality is due to the fact that pigs live on hills and plateau more than 1600 mt above the sea level where the natural environment and weather conditions are ideal for farming.
The results is a wide range of high quality products as ham capocollo, loin, sausages, mazzafegato, salami, bacon, coppa and many other products thank to the experience and creativity of the umbrian farmers.
The most important area for this type of production are the Nera Valley and the area around Orvieto.
Umbrian wines have earned themselves a position of respect both on the national and international scene. Everyone is familiar with wines such as Sagrantino di Montefalco, Rubesco, Grechetto, Orvieto Classico,
Wine has been made at Orvieto since extremely remote times. The first inhabitants on the site, the Etruscans, understood that the special makeup of the tufaceous soil that is characteristic of the district was extremely favorable to the production of wine and the excavation of cellars where it could be preserved at length
Orvieto is famous worldwide for its wine. It is white and dry and it's called Orvieto Classico.
It is produced from grapes of the Procanico, Verdello, Malvasia, Grechetto and Drupeggio varieties. This wine is the result of rigorous selection of the most prized grapes combined with modern technology, and it is outstanding on account of its delicate, light bouquet, and its light but mellow flavor with a pleasantly bitter after taste.
Since the 1997, Umbria attained qualification as DOP (protected origin denomination) "Umbria" for its extra virgin olive oil.
Umbrian olive oil should not forget that, although olives are pressed cold, the oil produced in all these is substantially a mixture of oils combined from different kinds of species of olives such as moraiolo, frantoio, leccino, San Felice, pendolino and agocia.
Cooking in Umbria is varied, meat, fish, cereals, spices and herbs are equally important and combined with an enviable equilibrium so it does not seem right to define this cooking as poor, maybe we can define our cooking essential as better description and we are proud to be far from any kind of food sophistication.
This is the land of the ancient Etruscans, and studied of frescoes in the ancient tombs show that the locals eat in a manner very similar to that of their ancestors.
Our green and wise region awaits your arrival.