The cuisine of Abruzzo is one of the most interesting regional cuisines in Italy. The variety of the territory, that extends from the mountains to the sea is reflected in a mosaic of flavours and traditional recipes. The flavours of Abruzzo are also linked to the availability of excellent raw materials and unique ingredients which play a key role in the preparation of land and sea dishes. Abruzzo can also be proud of an excellent extra virgin olive oil and a selection of wines among the best in the national scene.
The rich tradition of meat and dairy products is due to the long agropastoral history of the territory. The most popular and appreciated meats are lamb and sheep. The last one is also the basic ingredient of the famous “arrosticini” and on of the most characteristic flavours of Abruzzo. They are skewers cooked on the grill appreciated far beyond the boundaries of the region becoming icons of the Abruzzo agropastoral culture. Grilled meats are complemented by more complex preparations such as the sheep, the cooked into the “cultur”, the goat “cac’ e ova” and the turkey “alla canzanese”. The highlands of Abruzzo, with their high altitude pastures, also offer numerous dairy products to satisfy any palate. They are hard and soft cheeses such as “pecorino”, ” ricotta”, “scamorza” and “caciotta”.
Fish is certainly an important part of the flavours of Abruzzo. Typical they are fried fish, pasta and the “Brodetto di mare’. The latter, is a soup made with different varieties of fish and served in terracotta pots. In particular the one from Vasto is the most famous in Abruzzo. Along all the coast, from the sandy beaches of Giulianova to the pebbles of the vastese coastline it will possible to taste many preparations. All made with varieties of fish offered by the Adriatic sea. Especially in the southern part of coast the magnificent landscapes are dotted with trabocchi which are the typical fishermen houses that today host traditional fish restaurants.
Also in this case an extraordinary variety of recipes makes Abruzzo unique for its tastes. Famous examples are the “Torrone” of L’Aquila, the worldwide renomated “Confetti” of Sulmona, the “Pan dell’Orso” and the “Mostaccioli” typical of Scanno. Looking at the coast instead the “Parrozzo” is typical of the Pescara area as well as the “Sise di Monaca” or “Tre Monti”, so called in memory of the three highest peaks of the region in Guardiagrele. The “Bocconotti” are traditional sweets of Teramo while in the whole region, called with different names, it is customary to prepare “Ferratelle” at home. The sweets of Abruzzo represents a unique heritage because linked not only to geographical areas, but also to traditional celebrations and originality of recipes. This is the case of the easter specialities like ricotta tart, caster pizza and “fiadoni” or the Christmas “scarponi” and “ceci ripieni” made with chocolate and chickpeas.
On this aspect it is worth to mention the Fucino potatoes, the red garlic of Sulmona and the worldwide famous Saffron coming from “Piana di Navelli”. In the extraordinary micro clima of that highlands, this amazing product , cultivated since the XII century, is still strictly hand-gathered. It is defined as “red gold” for its quality and commercial value.
In particular the heart of regional production is located in Fara San Martino which hosts some of the most famous italian pasta factories like “De Cecco” and “Delverde”. The home-made tradition, on the other hand, finds its maximum expression in “maccheroni alla chitarra”. These are obtained by cutting the pasta sheet with a rectangular wooden frame fitted with steel strings, hence the reference to the musical instrument. Other typical preparations are the “scrippelle”, widespread of the Teramo and the “polenta rognosa” from Pettorano sul Gizio.
The excellent wines from Abruzzo are Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, red and structured wine, the Cerasuolo, rosé and fruity and the white wines such as Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and Pecorino. At the end of the important meal it is also usage to sip together with friends and the family one of the typical liqueurs of the region. They are gentian, made with a typical herb from Abruzzo mountains, ratafia based on black cherries, aurum an centerba typical for its strength and unique taste.