Food in Umbria

Food in Umbria

The usual diet of the Umbrians includes lavish potions of vegetables including peas, lentils, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, spinach, beans and eggplant, to name a few.

The vegetables are boiled with endive, chicory, celery, fennel, etc., then garnished with pepper and pecorino and lastly served as soup. A noteworthy fish-based culinary item of Umbria is the broth made of a dozen or so kinds of fish. This goes by the name of brodetto. A not uncommon culinary trick in Umbria is to mix vegetarian with non-vegetarian foods. One example is the item made by cooking olives with partridges. Another is the lamb meat boiled with rosemary, celery and onions.

A third delicacy is composed of goat meat cooked with wild berries. These items of food are available in many restaurants. A peculiarity of Umbrian diet is to add spices to liquids. For instance the wine is seasoned and made highly intoxicating with the incorporation into it of bay leaves and garlic. Or milk is flavoured with the addition to it of saffron and/or cinnamon; this mixture goes by the name of tagliolini. Many people in Umbria are fond of pure non-vegetarian foods.

These are based on the meat of calf, rabbit, pigeon, guinea hen, pig, etc. Grapes are the raw materials for different wines. A variety of top class wines are available in Umbria. These include Sagrantino di Montefalco, Orvieto Classico, alpolicella, Soave, Barolo and Barberesco. The whole of Italy is famous for its pastas, pizzas, calzoni, pastry rolls, and ravioli. Pasta is dried dough made from wheat flour, yeast, water and sometimes egg. Pizzas are open pies made of bread with a coating of sauce, a smearing of cheese with generous sprinkling of salami flavouring agents and spices.

The pie is made of flour from wheat germ, mixed with olive oil, water and yeast and then baked. When it rises, it forms the base for further topping of the pizza. Cheese is made by allowing bacteria to breed in milk. The preferred cheese for making pizza is mozzarella. The flavoring agents are dried herbs such as thyme and oregano. Salami is the dried and salted meat. Calzoni is an oil fried or baked and savory-filled pizza. Pastry rolls, locally called calzoni and panzerotti, are dough rolls containing vegetables or meat, beef, chicken either oil-fried or even baked in ovens.

Ravioli is small rounded or square dough with savory fillings. But the best and tastiest of these are available in the eateries and pizzerias of Umbria. Some of the other famous dishes of Umbria are summarized below: Cioccolata calda. This is a kind of chocolate which is best served hot. Falchetti Verdi. This results when ricotta gnocchi and spinach are baked with cheese and tomato sauce. Umbrichelli alla casalinga. This includes fat spaghetti plus spicy tomato sauce. Tris della casa. This name is applied to a combination of milk-fed veal truffle, and mushrooms and porcini.

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