Drive along the Marche coast from Abruzzo and you eventually hit the small seaside resort of Porto Recanati just as Monte Conero looms into view in the distance. Perhaps the first thing you'll notice is a huge skyscraper of a hotel dominating the sea front of what was once a tiny Adriatic fishing village. Just as you ask yourself how this got planning permission look carefully and you'll notice at the top of the building in huge letters 'King of Brodetto'. It is here that perhaps Le Marche's best fish soup is made and in mid June every year Porto Recanati holds its 'Settimana del Brodetto' or 'Brodetto Week. Coming up for 15 editions the initiative involves around 25 of the town's restaurants and trattorie. Each serves up its own version along with a typical local meal.
Brodetto Soup Week
Origins of Brodetto
Brodetto has ancient origins and comes out of the tradition of utilizing fish and other seafood which did not make it to the local market or else remained unsold. This was perhaps due to the low quality or small size of the catch. With time, brodetto has evolved into a more refined gastronomic proposal and Le Marche now lay claim to it as their own, although the folks at Vasto in Abruzzo surely have something to say about that.
Brodetto Festival in Fano
Also look out for a similar three day event in Fano in September known as the Festival Internazionale del Brodetto e delle Zuppe di Pesce. It's a bit more than brodetto and celebrates fish soups from around the world. There are many accompanying attractions such as cooking shows, cooking lessons and meetings all on the themes of fishing and seafood traditions.
Many chefs from outside of Italy are invited each year to compete with local restaurants and to demonstrate innovation in their culinary proposals. Visitors can enjoy a brodetto meal for around €15 in conventioned restaurants and trattorie, not only in Fano but along the coast in Pesaro, Torrette and Marotta, as well as inland to Serrungarina and Fermignano. If you can't get there this year, then enjoy the promotional video for the event above.