The Abruzzo region of Italy
The long, cold winters in Abruzzo mean that salami and salumi have always featured strongly in the diet of the Abruzzesi and traditional dishes. In fact, December and January are traditionally the periods when the pork is worked and put into storage. For this reason it still has strong symbolic value.
Look out for the following in the shops: 'mortadelline di Campotosto, 'fegato dolce' from L'Aquila and 'Ventricina' flavored with wild fennel from Crognaleto. Recipes using pork and pigs feature strongly in the cuisine of Chieti province.
We have had the pleasure of exploring the territory of Vasto, both the city itself and along this stretch of the Adriatic coast in Abruzzo in either direction. Vasto city is full of restaurants, but those outside, and especially the famous trabocchi which offer the possibility of a meal or dinner, are a little more difficult to locate once on the ground. The list below should help and comprises our own discoveries and the personal recommendations of a bed and breakfast we stayed in located in the Protected Park of Punta Aderci.
Vasto is a gem of a place perched over the Adriatic Sea with a view which, on a good day, stretches to the the Gargano peninsular and the Tremiti Islands. It is a perfect base from where to discover the wonderful Trabocchi Coast towards Ortona or inland along the Sangro Valley as far as Villa Santa Maria.
You can't miss the small town of Tollo in the province of Chieti if you are looking to discover the land Montepulciano d'Abruzzo wines. As well as being the home of the Cantina Tollo wine label, the town is a reference point for three itineraries which combine the best of local culture, tradition and eno-gastronomy.
Michelle Capobianco is the owner of Majella Home Cooking located in Queens, New York. As you can tell from the name of her business, she has strong roots in Abruzzo. Her father was born in the village of Salle and she return to her family home every summer, from which she is blessed with a stunning backyard view of the Majella. We are glad to share her article about 'La Festa di Sant’Antonio Abate' the local annual event which takes place in many places of Italy on the 17th of January.
Cif & Ciaf may sound like a Neapolitan slapstick duo, but this pork dish is very simple and very satisfying and very popular across the Abruzzo region. www.castelfrentano.net from the province of Chieti proposes a slightly different version which is made over the carnival period.
1kg lean minced pork, 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 hot pepper, 1 celery stick, marjoram, extra virgin olive oil, 1 glass of dry white wine, tinned tomatoes, salt