Abruzzo is reputed to be the region of “confetti” (the city of Sulmona is the most famous in the world), but it is also known for its monasteries, its national park and its beaches overlooking the Adriatic Sea.
It’s also, like all Italian regions, rich by an ancient culinary traditions. The traditional cuisine of Abruzzo is very wide and is originally from the its mountainous inland areas than the coastal area; bread, pasta, meat, cheese and wine and whatever characterized about one of the best Italian tradition. The isolation that has characterized the region for decades has meant that the latter maintained a living art and independent culinary.
We can defiantly drawing a culinary itinerary, with the characteristics of the mountainous area and the sea, one from the mountains and the hills, the other from the seaside.
Mountains and hills
In the outback, in the hill towns between mountain the citizens live with lambs and sheep. The food from this side is coarse, based from the meat of these animals. Visit town like Caprafico or Pianella means discover it. A main local dish is coretello, a rough mince of lamb and lamb innards. Another Abruzzese specialty from this side of Abruzzo is the arrosticino: small lamb chunks on skewers cooked over a wood fire. You could make them at home, by a good grill, but there are restaurants with long grills to prepare the skewers properly. Usually the chunks of lamb are marinated with herbs and you could company them by some versions of salumi, coarse salumi, served by some thick slices. From these hills, Abruzzo offer a fine kind of pasta manufacturer which started its production centuries ago. In fact in these land a hard durum wheat is sown, to make squared strands of long pasta. Served by a lamb ragù or tomato sauces the spaghetti alla chitarra, usually made with semolina or made with eggs, is a main specialty of the region.
The town of Pianella, Moscufo and Loreto compose the golden triangle of abruzzese olive oil. Farms and ancient outbuildings surrounding this countryside, here it’s produced one of the best olive oil you can find in Italy, made in the same way like centuries ago. If you visit this part of Abruzzo, you can heard the persistent hum of the frantoio, the olive oil press and feel the smell of the freshly olive oil just pressed.
In the seaside where you can dine on Abruzzese seafood in a comfortable coastal resort in towns like Vasto, Francavilla or Pescara. The pizzichi di farro is a dish made from farro with calamari, sepia, mussels, clams and scampi. The brodetto Vastese is other dish from the long history of abruzzese cousine, a rustic and tasty fish soup still prepared in the classic terracotta shards. This meal represent the meal of the fishermen that was regularly prepared on board the Vasto boats: the fishermen, having sold the best part of their fishing, prepared for them a broth with fish badly trapped in the nets, maybe a little broken or not presentable for sale. In a small tinned copper receptacle with sea water, oil, onions, and spicy chilis. When the mix started boiling was added the fish, squids, cuttlefishes and shrimps. The result was a tasty sauce was poured on large slices of bread. By the time the soup you went perfecting until it became one of the most delicious dishes and refined cuisine of the coast of Chieti.