Truffles grow abundantly in the Umbrian countryside and are used in a variety of ways: shaved on grilled meats, used to flavour cheeses and salami, shaved onto eggs, formed into dumplings, preserved in spreads, put into salt and sautéed with butter to make a heavenly pasta sauce. And last but not least Strangozzi with a Tartufata Sauce (Made with truffle and mushroom) - heavenly!
Pecorino & Caciotta Cheeses
Umbria cheeses are simple, authentic and boldly flavoured. From sweet and creamy to cave-aged and sharp, Umbria serves up a variety of Pecorino (sheep’s milk) and Caciotta (cow’s milk) cheeses to nibble on with a glass of local, dry wine or at the end of your meal before dessert. Try Caciotta with Pear!
Prosciutto di Norcia
Prosciutto is famous all over Italy but certain designations stand out for their quality. One of these, Prosciutto di Norcia is an Umbrian staple from the town of Norcia, a place so famous for its butchery products that the term “Norcineria” is synonymous with quality meats and butchery products not only in Umbria but also all over Italy.
Absolutely delicious. Tracing its ancient origins to a city just outside of Rome, this savory, herb-packed boneless pork roast takes center stage as a street food that owes its unique central Italian flavour to a type of wild fennel that only grows in Umbria.
Salsiccia Secca (Dried Sausage)
As evidenced by this list, nobody would accuse the Umbrians of eating too little pork! This typical dried sausage is yet another example of delicious Umbrian charcuterie. To the foreign eye these lean, lightly seasoned, air-dried sausages look like a smaller version of salami when sliced. They are perfect on a cheese plate with crusty bread and crackers or, as is the tradition in the region, eaten alone with savory, cheesy Easter Bread.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Though it makes only a tiny percentage of the total production of Italian olive oil (less than 2%), Umbrian EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) wins a lot of awards. Ranging in color from rich, golden yellow to luminescent green, the five distinct growing areas offer a variety of taste profiles with ever-present notes of spice and herbs.
Fagiolina del Trasimeno
Grown since Etruscan times near Lago Trasimeno, this nutrient-packed bean was nearly extinct due to the laborious, entirely manual cultivation process. Thankfully, a few family-run farms are still willing to plant, sow and harvest these tender, buttery, nutty flavored beans that can be tossed in salads, made into a bruschetta topping, added to soups or just eaten plain with a simple seasoning of Umbrian olive oil, salt and pepper. Packages of the dried beans are sold all over Umbria—they don’t require a long soaking period.
Imbrecciata (also spelled ‘mbrecciata)
Umbria is known for its legumes and grains and there’s no better way to sample the region’s bounty than a bowl of this traditional harvest soup of lentils, beans, corn, chickpeas, cicerchie (wild chickpeas) and spelt topped with croutons and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Torta al Testo
This traditional Umbrian flatbread has long been associated with “Cucina Povera,” the romantic sounding name for the stuff the poor masses once had to eat. Today it’s still made according to a simple recipe though the “testo”—in ancient times a stone or brick tile has been replaced by a round, griddle-like pan that’s used to cook the bread on a cooktop or over an open flame. It’s often served with soups and stews or “farcita” (stuffed like a sandwich) with various meats and cheeses.
It should come as no surprise that in a town with a chocolate tradition, Perugina and its Baci is not the only chocolatier.