The central Italian region of Abruzzo known as the country’s ‘best-kept secret’ is giving up more of treasures to its visitors this year. And culinary delights are at the top of the list.
Steeped in fascinating history and breathtaking landscapes Abruzzo is beginning to show on the radar of people looking for the quintessential Italian food and wine travel experience.
Luciana Masci, director of Touring Abruzzo is passionate about food and where it comes from and how it is prepared and has been a member of Slow Food Italy for a long while. It was founded by Carlo Petrini in 1989 as a reaction against fast food and fast life. Today the Slow Food organization has over 100,000 members in 132 countries.
Ms Masci says the culinary delights of Abruzzo are becoming a big attraction with well travelled people looking for an authentic Italian experience.
“Meeting local producers who embrace traditional methods are creating world class extra virgin olive oils, pecorino sheep cheeses and wonderful Montepulciano wines. Local regional produce including truffles and saffron is the key to some fascinating recipes that date back generations,” said Ms Masci.
So far Abruzzo has remained unspoiled and virtually untouched by modern tourism, but is now providing an insight to centuries old arts and crafts, medieval history and the village culture that has endured for hundreds of years.
The region’s cuisine is perhaps Italy’s most diverse and imaginative. Abruzzese cooks have long been considered Italy’s best. On the many itineraries offered by Touring Abruzzo, guests not only experience the fresh seasonal dishes but they learn how it’s prepared in a cooking class included in the itinerary. Food does not have to travel miles to get to the table. “The tomatoes that are served at breakfast for example, have been picked from the sun drenched vines that morning and the flavour is exquisite,” said Ms Masci.
The region’s cuisine is perhaps Italy’s most diverse and imaginative. Abruzzese cooks have long been considered Italy’s best, and Touring Abruzzo tour groups not only experience the fresh seasonal dishes but they learn how it’s prepared in private cooking classes included in the itinerary.
The warmer weather in Italy brings a host of festas and festivals and nowhere is the calendar more crammed with the celebration of food than in Abruzzo. Italians traditionally mark the start of a crop or harvest with a particular festival or ‘festa’ to focus on each of the many wonderful local produces. Among these is the yearly festival dedicated to pasta.
Learning the traditional method of making top quality Italian pasta is one of the highlights on any 4, 8 or 10 day programme in Abruzzo with Luciana Masci and her team.