Once a very poor region, Basilicata is the least populated of all the Italian regions. Pig farming plays an important role in the cuisine of Basilicata as Pork is an integral part of the local cuisine and is spit roasted, grilled or made into wonderfully tasty sausages. Pork tends to have less fat here as the pigs wander around with the sheep and goats on the mountains and therefore have more muscle. There are a great many tasty sausages which include the Pezzente and Pancetta. Lamb, kid and rabbit will also be found in many of the regions dishes. All the parts of the pig are used, trotters and snout and even the blood in blood pudding cake. Many of the foods of Basilicata are spiced with the local Senise pepper which contains very little water and so lends itself very well to being ground into a powder, this is then found in local cheeses, cured meats, soups and dishes. Salsicce lucane (lucanica sausages) made with top quality pork and seasoned with fennel seeds are some of the finest sausages in the country.
Staple crops of the region include lentils, fava beans, chickpeas, artichokes, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, olives and grapes and it is with these fresh, simple ingredients that the people of Basilicata have produced a great variety of hearty wholesome dishes. Besides the vegetables, herbs play a very important part in the cuisine of Basilicata, rosemary, cumin, wild fennel, sorrel, fragrant herbs that influence the local dishes and make them Basilicata‘s own. There is a large variety or mushrooms and also the black and white truffles. Fruits are grown in quite considerable quantities such as strawberries, apricots, peaches, apples and chestnuts.
A major crop of Basilicata is durum wheat and there are countless types of pastas produced from this while others incorporate lentil flour or bean flour. The different shapes of the pastas are designed to capture, and hold onto, the wonderful, simple sauces, shapes such as “Orechiette” (little ears), Lasagne,Strascinati, Manate, Tapparelle, Cavatelli, Rascatielli.
The wonderful selection of cheeses are a delight to sample, cheeses such as Cacioricotta Lucano which is made from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk which goes very well with the Orecchiette pasta, Pecorino Lucano, Lucania Mozzarella and Casieddu di Moliterno.
Aglianico del Vulture Superiore, produced in the province of Potenza
- Aglianico del Vulture produced in the province of Potenza
Matera produced in the province of Matera
Terre dell’Alta Val d’Agri produced in the province of Potenza