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Food & Wines in Umbria

The small and only Italian region without a coastline or international border is Umbria, the ‘green heart’ of Italy, is home to more culinary treasures. Umbria is a region, which offers all the time distinctively tasty products, just think of Umbrian cold cuts, Umbrian typical wine, Umbrian beers, Umbrian truffles and much more.
When it comes to international attention, tourists visit Umbria for its incredible cuisine. Towns and villages like Norcia, Orvieto, Montefalco and Trevi are renowned for producing some of Italy’s best foods, olive oils and wines, and they’re starting to attract intrepid foodies from far and wide.

Best meals to taste in Umbria are truffles, Norcia’s lentils, Norcia’s ham and Porchetta ham. The Norcia salumi are the best typical Umbrian food: the Umbrian capocollo, obtained from the back of the pig, ranked among the main Umbrian flavors and renowned thanks to the unique meat flavor. The coglione del mulo, also known as cojoni di mulo, is a typical Umbrian cold cut obtained from the neck muscle of the pig. The mule’s testicles or coglioni di mulo are the perfect mixture between the salty salami flavor and the delicate prosciutto. Prosciutto di Norcia, also known as Salato or Prosciutto di Montagna, is aged for up to 12 months and famous for its intense salty flavor. Norcia ham is typically served with bread, some cheese, and best accompanied with white wine, preferably dry and light.

 

Umbria has always been a leader region in terms of cheese production, ranking among the oldest and most delightsome products of the Italian food scenario. From pecorino with nuts matured at the cheese factory, following placed and wrapped into nut leaves, to pecorino con pere, gently soaked into the fruit’s flavor; from ditch Umbrian pecorino to white and black truffle scented cheese, which manufacturing follows a specific procedure path and places this product among the most recognizable and unique Umbrian cheeses. Pecorino di Norcia is the top of the Umbrian dairy production and represents an excellence in a sector in which sheep’s milk is dominant compared to the vaccine. At the end of the aging in the cellar of about twelve months, you get a cheese with straw yellow, crumbly and spicy paste.

Regarding pasta shapes, Umbria can offer lots of varieties such as strozzapreti – an handmade twisted pasta which consists of a combination of wheat flour, semolina flour, water, and sometimes eggs. It pairs well with sauces, whether vegetable or meat-based. Stringozzi is another pasta variety characterized by its shape that is reminiscent of shoelaces. Its texture is quite rougher than the texture of spaghetti, allowing better absorption of the sauces. One of the most rated sauces in Umbria is Ragù d’agnello, a traditional meat sauce made with pieces of lamb, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, white wine and tomato sauce. Since Umbria is the only land locked region in Italy, meat is preferred over seafood as a rule. The sauce is cooked over low heat until it thickens. This lamb ragù is traditionally served over homemade tagliatelle and it’s typical of the ancient town of Foligno.

 

Panpepato or panpepato di Terni, also known as diamante delle terre di San Valentino is a traditional Italian cake originating from the province of Terni and the neighboring municipalities in the province of Perugia. The Panpepato is a round and sweet cake made with nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate, honey and raisins. It’s a real “energy cake”, which makes it a very appreciated dessert during the Christmas season. Panpepato di Terni is dome-shaped and dark brown in color, with nuts visible on the surface. The texture is soft, compact, and crunchy, while the aromas are that of chocolate, nuts, and spices such as pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

 

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