The cuisine of Umbria is simple, rustic food once known as” cucina povera“, prepared and cooked to retain the wholesome goodness and flavour of the food. The dishes of the region rely heavily on the seasonal food available that is produced in it’s lush, rich landscape, and one can see why it is called the “green heart of Italy”. Vegetables, grains such as spelt,wheat, barley and lentils, and fresh herbs from it’s farms and gardens, fresh water fish from it’s lakes and game, black truffles and wild mushrooms from the forests that cover much of the region. Fish include Lasca, Trout ,Perch, Grayling and Tench which are caught in the River Tiber and the Transimeno Lake, while meats include Deer, Wild Boar, Pheasants, Goose, Pigeons and Snails providing rich game and Venison for Umbria‘s hearty dishes which are so loved in the region. Being a landlocked region it relies heavily on pork and butchers here are said to be the best in Italy and use every scrap of the pig, many families who have the space will raise sheep, pigs, goats and chickens. The pigs often roam freely through the woodlands eating acorns and this gives the meat it’s wonderful flavour. From Norcia, a small mountain town in the south-east of the region, you you can get Prosciutto di Norcia and a selection of good pork sausages such as Capocollo a spicy local sausage with pepper and garlic, it is also well known for its wonderful cheeses made from sheep’s milk and its abundance of black truffles . The aromatic black truffles from the region flavour risottos and polentas, meat dishes and even breads. Local specialities include “strascinati” and “umbrici” long, thick pastas. Umbrian soups are hearty and crammed full of vegetables, dried beans, lentils and chick peas served with a good drizzle of olive oil over the top. Cheeses from the region are produced from both cow’s and sheep’s milk and include pecorino, ricotta, raviglio, caciotta and some cheeses flavoured with truffle. With the olives grown in Umbria producing some of the best olive oil which is prizes at home and beyond, it is little wonder that it is liberally used in many dishes.
A wonderfully rich dessert is “rocciata di Assisi” normally made in the winter months because of the inclusion of walnuts. Umbria also has a long standing bond with chocolate, in Perugia the chocolate factory produces the famous Baci chocolates, the city of Perugia hosts a chocolate fair each years that, not surprisingly!,draws thousands of people from all over the world.
Montefalco produces some wonderful fruity wines, around Easter the town holds a wine festival to celebrate their wines.
- Sagrantino di Montefalco (Rosso as Secco and Passito), produced in the province of Perugia
Torgiano Rosso Riserva (Rosso only as Riserva), produced in the province of Perugia
- Amelia produced in the province of Terni
Assisi produced in the province of Perugia
Colli Altotiberini produced in the province of Perugia
Colli Amerini produced in the province of Terni
Colli del Trasimeno produced in the province of Perugia
Colli Martani produced in the province of Perugia
Colli Perugini produced in the provinces of Perugia and Terni
Lago di Corbara produced in the provinces of Perugia and Terni
Montefalco produced in the province of Perugia
Orvieto an inter-regional DOC produced in the provinces of Terni (Umbria) and Viterbo (Lazio)
Rosso Orvietano produced in the province of Terni
Spoleto produced in the province of Perugia
Todi produced in the province of Perugia
Torgiano produced in the province of Perugia