Umbria is a region of central Italy and, located in the heart of the peninsula, is the only region not located on the political or maritime borders of the Italian state. The region offers a wide variety of geomorphological and landscape features through the succession of valleys, mountain ranges, plateaus and plains, which constitute the dominant geographical feature. The territory is mainly hilly and mountainous.
The varied regional territory is dotted with cities and settlements rich in history and traditions. The region, inhabited already in proto-historic times by the Umbrians and the Etruscans, was then at the center of the Regio VI Umbria et ager Gallicus of the Roman Empire. With much of its territory included for centuries in the Duchy of Spoleto in the south, in the Byzantine Empire in the center and in the Duchy of Tuscia in the north during the Lombard Kingdom in Italy, its territory after several centuries of struggle became part of the State Papal.
Umbrian cuisine, whose roots go back to the Umbrian and Roman civilizations, is based on a long tradition, with dishes that are not always poor or popular, but with frequent use of legumes and cereals. Little influenced by the neighboring regions, it is essentially based on meat and products of the earth, which are used both on important occasions and in the daily meal. It is a simple kitchen, with processes that are generally not too elaborate, which clearly enhance the flavors of the raw materials.
A fundamental aspect of the sense of identity and belonging that animates the local culture of Umbria is given by the events endowed with a good level of spectacularity, more or less known and important, but however characterized by a precise orientation towards a traditional past. Some of these manifestations are historical re-enactments and want to attract the attention and curiosity of tourists, but they also exhibit strong elements of involvement on the part of the popular classes. Others, on the other hand, are real folkloristic events that have been handed down for centuries, so much so that one of them, certainly the most important, the Festa dei Ceri, is also the symbol of the Umbria region.
As far as viticulture is concerned, Umbria has a high ratio between vineyard surface and total available area. The predominantly hilly morphology makes Umbria a region particularly suited for grapevines and wine. It is in fact characterized by average yields per hectare rather low, one of the prerequisites for the production of quality wine.
Torta al testo
The text cake, also known as crescia (in the eugubino-gualdese) or ciaccia (in the Valtiberina), is a typical food product of Umbrian gastronomy.
It consists of a mixture of water, flour, bicarbonate and salt, which is given a flat and round shape; in the tifernate variant only the egg is expected as an ingredient. Cooking takes place on a cast iron top called "testo", hence the name. It is usually stuffed with cold cuts, cheese, sausages and herbs.
The truffle varieties that are harvested in Umbria are about a dozen: from the rarest and most expensive to the cheapest ones. Today we will talk about the most known truffle species, famous in Italy and beyond. The prevailing quality of truffle that is harvested in Umbria is the Precious Black Truffle, better known everywhere as Truffle of Norcia or Spoleto, the White Truffle to follow.
The Easter cake is typical of Umbrian cuisine. Although the name is a savory pie, its origins are rooted in the peasant culture, but still today, on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, the feast morning is celebrated with a nice piece of cake accompanied by slices of capocollo and blessed boiled eggs.
Pasta alla Norcina
Pasta alla norcina is a typical dish of the Umbrian cuisine that is prepared with Norcia sausage crumbled in a pan with oil and onion, fresh cream, truffle and pecorino. It is usually prepared with short pasta: penne, rigatoni, pici, strangozzi, but there is also a version with long pasta, spaghetti or tagliatelle, which is made only with black truffle, garlic and anchovies, to which you can add mushrooms.
Hams, salamis, pancetta, cheeses and all that the pig can offer. It is said that it is thanks to a group of Jews who arrived in Valnerina who, for religious reasons, could not eat pork and had to keep it in order to be able to do business. From then on, this subject of study would be able to transform the pig into many culinary specialties.
The ciaramicola is a typical Easter cake of the province of Perugia; it is a cake in the shape of a donut, red with white icing and colored sprinkles. The colors that appear in the dessert refer to the districts and the coat of arms of Perugia.
Lentils of Castelluccio
Lentil of Castelluccio di Norcia (PGI) is an Italian fruit and vegetable product with a protected geographical indication, typical of the plans of Castelluccio, a hamlet of Norcia. The production area of the PGI also includes the neighboring Marche areas, in the Monti Sibillini National Park.
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