Insider’s Guide To Abruzzo Food And Wine7 min read
Whilst it retains numerous allures, Abruzzo has historically been just one of the considerably less touristed locations of Italy. This could be a blessing due to the fact it stays a single of the greenest, most authentic, and however unspoiled locations of the country—one with exclusive appeals for meals and wine enthusiasts.
Genny Nevoso is the Government Director of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West (IACCW), a non-earnings organization based in Los Angeles that promotes trade between the U.S. and Italy. Less than her leadership, one particular of the Chamber’s most formidable projects has been to function hand-in-hand with the Italian authorities to distribute the word about “True Italian Style,” the distinctive, regional food stuff and wine goods that have made Italian delicacies a most loved all-around the planet.
Born and bred in Tortoreto Lido, Abruzzo (and obtaining lived in the States for 18 several years), Nevoso just lately experienced the pleasure of showcasing the specialty foods and wine of her start region to a U.S. audience.
Forbes.com asked Genny to share her insights about Abruzzese gastronomy based on her personal knowledge and specialist knowledge.
What are some of the not-to-be-skipped regional specialty food items/dishes related with Abruzzo?
Genny Nevoso: Abruzzo’s cuisine mirrors the diversified landscapes of the area: from the coastal fish-primarily based dishes to the heartier fare of the mountain towns. The conventional recipes convey to the tale of resilient people who have managed to safeguard nature while leveraging its bountiful gifts for survival.
Some specialty foods are Navelli Saffron PDO, Pecorino d’Abruzzo cheese, Campotosto Mortadella, Farindola Pecorino cheese, Pork Sausages preserved in oil, Ventricina to name a few.
Spaghetti alla chitarra is quite possibly the region’s finest-recognized pasta. It is customarily handmade working with a device resembling a string instrument, typically regarded as a carratur in the neighborhood dialect.
In the Teramo province, this pasta is normally served with a tomato sauce topped with miniature meatballs. As a baby this was the at any time-existing celebratory dish my household liked and continue to make to this day!
Of system, a excursion to Abruzzo is not complete with no a style of timballo, brodetto di pesce, tacchino alla Canzanese, pallotte cace e ove and earlier mentioned all mutton skewers recognized as arrosticini, a recipe which faucets into the region’s deeply rooted sheep farming custom.
During the transumanza, shepherds employed to direct their flocks all the way to neighboring regions these kinds of as Puglia. Their flocks have been their security, furnishing them with meat, milk, and wool.
Escalating up in a family members-run cafe in the beach town of Tortoreto Lido, regional cuisine was generally served with good satisfaction. I still daydream about the intoxicating aroma flowing up from a grill complete of arrosticini!
What types of wines are created in Abruzzo?
GN: Abruzzo’s key appellations are Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, which, on your own, signifies around 80% of the region’s wine, adopted by Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Pecorino and Cerasuolo, Abruzzo’s rosé.
On top of that, there are modest productions of indigenous white grape varietals these as Cococciola, Passerina and Montonico within the Abruzzo DOC area, and the glowing Villamagna, a fairly new DOC.
While Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is conveniently located in the States, wines by compact producers are most likely greatest tasted at the source.
The Chamber lately manufactured a sequence of situations to teach customers and people about the “rebirth of the Pecorino grape.” Is it a new assortment?
GN: Essentially, I only uncovered about this grape varietal recently, myself, thanks to a partnership with the Consorzio di Tutela dei Vini d’Abruzzo and its supervisor, Davide Acerra.
Pecorino is a white grape of ancient origin, indigenous to the Center Adriatic in foothill regions. The grape dates back to the 2nd century B.C. when it was introduced to southern Italy in the course of the Greek migrations.
It is a incredibly sugary grape, resulting in wines with a higher alcohol written content, good structure and marked acidity.
Even so, owing to its precocious ripening and its scarce output, it all but disappeared in the 1950s, overtaken by grapes like Trebbiano. Then, it was rediscovered in the ‘80s and ‘90s and is now created all through Abruzzo.
For meals or wine enthusiasts planning to check out Abruzzo, what are the key not-to-be-skipped metropolitan areas and cities?
GN: In this article are some of my favorites:
Santo Stefano di Sessanio
Most effective regarded for Sextantio, the fashionable albergo diffuso—a scattered resort with rooms located in person houses in just the village—Santo Stefano di Sessanio ranks as just one of Italy’s most wonderful Medieval hamlets. It is found in just the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga Countrywide Park, about an hour and a half drive from Rome. Community lentils are a person of 18 Slow Food stuff Presidia in the location.
Castel del Monte
Another amazing medieval mountain hamlet is Castel del Monte. Nestled in the centre of the Gran Sasso Countrywide Park, it provides breathtaking sights of the Gran Sasso, Majella and Sirente-Velino massifs as well as the storybook castle of Rocca di Calascio.
This space is brimming whole of classic bites: test the calcioni, the culatello di maiale nero, the Pecorino Canestrato di Castel del Monte (a area cheese designed from raw sheep’s milk that is also a Slow Meals Presidio). Arrosticini (in this article recognized as “rustell”) style even a lot more scrumptious with a perspective of the heavenly Campo Imperatore plateau known as Abruzzo’s Small Tibet.
Castel di Sangro
For a three Michelin star culinary working experience and impeccable hospitality, Chef Niko Romito’s Cafe Reale is a should-pay a visit to. The ever-evolving self-taught chef explores the crossroad among haute cuisine and community merchandise.
A micro-region regarded for superb wines and EVOO. Examine out Cantina Ciavolich and Masseria Ciavolich for an immersive hospitality knowledge.
From Tortoreto Lido to Torano Nuovo
I could possibly be biased as I was born and elevated in this article but I most unquestionably endorse expending a working day chilling in Tortoreto Lido. Get pleasure from the fantastic sand golden beach locations, the miles-extensive palm tree flanked bike lanes and the tranquil Adriatic waters.
In just a short push is Torano Nuovo, a little hilltop city wherever Agriturismo Emidio Pepe is found. As soon as the birthplace of the legendary winemaker, it features an remarkable, environmentally-pleasant escape for foods and wine enthusiasts finish with lodging, wine tastings and a farm-to-fork restaurant.
Costa dei Trabocchi
Heading South together the fabled Adriatic coast, expect to be mesmerized by the attractive extend of coastline involving San Salvo and Ortona. It gives an extraordinary prospect to explore the Trabocchi, wooden constructions as soon as made use of by fishermen.
Soak in the sights from the Punta Aderci Mother nature Reserve and the Punta Penna Lighthouse. Program to dine at just one of the restaurants on the Trabocchi Coast, lulled by the sea even though taking pleasure in the cotton candy sky.
Why is Abruzzo even now “undiscovered” by most travelers?
As a indigenous who encourages Italy for a residing, I have generally asked myself this exact same query. The solution is complex.
Centered on April 2022 statistics from the Italian Ministry of Tourism and the Italian Vacationer Board, Abruzzo was the tenth most searched Italian area on Google, also rating 3rd most searched in the hotel and lodging category. So we are optimistic.
But Abruzzo’s world fame and tourism improvement has been hindered by historic and geographical factors. International trade and an enriching historical period, these types of as the Renaissance, for occasion, have had a transformative outcome on sites like Florence.
All those looking to practical experience Italy by way of an off-the-overwhelmed path adventure, ought to glimpse no even more. Known as Europe’s “green heart” for its a few nationwide parks, Abruzzo is outstanding. It is a lesser recognised, nonetheless breathtaking location the place basic traditions in harmony with mother nature turn into extraordinary.
From parks and shielded regions to the environment-class ski resorts and a 130 km shoreline dotted with fantastic sandy beach locations, Abruzzo will get you around and compel you to return.
Abruzzo delivers a wealth of evocative trekking, biking and horseback driving itineraries monitoring back again the life of historical and religious figures these kinds of as pope Celestine V and San Francis. For those fascinated by the coastline, the Costa dei Trabocchi is a ought to-take a look at with spectacular sights above the Adriatic and interesting culinary experiences for seafood aficionados.
When is the greatest time of 12 months to stop by? How do I get there?
GN: For me, the finest instances to stop by are among April and June or among September (to catch the grape harvest) or early October.
Abruzzo is straightforward to get to from worldwide airports like Rome’s Fiumicino or Bologna’s Guglielmo Marconi. A handful of connections are also offered via the Pescara airport, specially in the summer months.
For these who desire to get the coach, the Adriatic coastline is nicely related by the higher-pace railway expert services the vacation from Bologna Centrale to Pescara Central in Abruzzo takes just about three hrs.
To get all over and examine freely, hire a vehicle and generate (or hire a person who does it for you!). Program your journey very well ahead. The regional tourism web page is a good starting position to find out about the region, its concealed treasures and acquiring itineraries that fit your pursuits.
Take note: This conversation has been evenly edited and condensed for clarity.