Local Cuisine in the Land of Plenty

June 14, 2012 / Food & Wine
Norcia, Umbria

What kind of challenge is it to practice chilometro zero (local) provisioning in Norcia, Umbria, where the daily fare includes black truffles, where Norcineria (the art of preparing wild boar and pork IGP prosciutto and sausages) is still practised, where you’ll find Castelluccio lentils and roveja peas, not to mention artisanal cheeses and lamb grown in the verdant national park next door?

Flavio Faedi, a chef (Ristorante Vespasia, at Hotel Palazzo Seneca) and native of Emilia Romagna, Italy’s other gastronomic paradise, has found such culinary riches in the countryside around Norcia.

While it would be easy to just pick up the phone and have it all delivered to his doorstep, Flavio prefers to source in person (95% percent of the ingredients he uses are from no more than 20 miles away). He spent the two years trolling the hills and valleys for provisioners, joining them to produce cheeses, sausages and salami to his taste.

Stay tuned for a series of notes in which we visit and meet his suppliers, now friends, to learn about the delicacies and traditions available in this culinary paradise.

  1. Rita Rossi’s goat cheese and saffron!
  2. Ernesto Tiberi and his pecorino and ricotta at Agriturismo Quarantotti
  3. Daniele Salvatori, fresh pork Maestro
  4. Alessandro Pistoni, cured pork Maestro
  5. Norcia’s place in the sun

Sharri Whiting

by Sharri Whiting

Sharri writes about food, wine and international travel from Umbria, where she and her husband grow olives. In addition to articles, she writes a blog,  UmbriaBella. Her app, Olive Oil IQ is a portable encyclopedia for foodies and culinary travelers (iTunes & Android). Follow her on Twitter: @umbriabella and @oliveoiliq. Facebook: www.facebook.com/UmbriaBella, and www.facebook.com/oliveoiliq

7 Responses to “Local Cuisine in the Land of Plenty”

  1. Penny Ewles-Bergeron
    Penny Ewles-Bergeron

    Where local food is really local. Sounds wonderful Sharri. Thanks!

  2. In all these posts, food almost always involves meat or cheese. Just wondering, is there much vegetarian cuisine in Italy? Are there any vegetarian or vegan restaurants?

  3. My introduction to Norcia occurred a few years before my first visit. Mike Norcia moved from the U.S. to Canada to play professional football and we became friends (he also sold me my first house) after I asked him if he’d ever been to his namesake. He extolled his folks and the food and the countryside and the clilmate and on and on. When we finally got to Norcia, we learned he had not overstated. Wonderful.

  4. Nina Sgriccia

    In 2012 we spent Easter Sunday with my husband’s second cousins at their newly restored family home in Preci. While the aunts and one uncle prepared our dinner (which included a roasted pig from the farmer next door) we were taken to Norcia which was open and bustling during the holiday. It truly is a foodie haven. I look forward to the upcoming articles.


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