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   11 December 19

 

LOCAL FOOD-AND-WINE PRODUCTS

Enogastronomia

  • Cesanese wine
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Cheese
  • Pan-pepato cake
  • Ring-shaped cookies
  • Noodles (home-made pasta)
  • Patacche (home-made pasta)
  • Frascategli (home-made pasta)
  • Polenta (maize-meal)
  • Pizza screscita (cooked under embers)
  • Erbe matte (mixed wild vegetables)

GASTRONOMY

The culinary tradition of Serrone has an strong connection with the ancient life in the fields. In our village, as in the greatest part of the villages of Ciociaria, the recall of a country, healthy, genuine, even if difficult life is still alive. Also today, the "Serronesi" continue to love their small country and some of them still practise cultivations of vegetables, grape, olive and other.

Our cuisine is simple, rich of unmistakable tastes represented from modest but singular dishes. Among the first dishes there are the "patacche", type of fresh pasta similar to some large fettuccine, but they are mixed with water, flour and salt - without eggs - creating a consistent mixture that is stretched with "jo stennareglio", an utensil in wood used by the housekeepers to prepare pasta. The same mixture is used to create the "frascategli" pasta coarsely cut, usually poured with tomato or with other kind of sauces.

Instead the dough to prepare the "tagliolini" includes eggs; they are cut in very thin strips and they are used to prepare pasta with beans enriched with onion finely cut and with some local pecorino cheese. In this recipe pasta is often replaced by homemade bread. The polenta (kind of porridge made from cornmeal) cooked with pork, the fettuccine with meat sauce, the gnocchi (small potato dumplings) with lamb?s sauce, are other dishes that often can be find on our tables.

A lot of women, above all the oldest, use still the old firewood oven to cook delicious loaves of hand made bread. An ancient tradition is the recipe of "pizza de turco" mixed with yellow hard wheat flour and with salty hot water. The particularity of this pizza is that it is cooked under the fire and not in the baking-pans.

The procedure is simple: the fire goes on and when there is enough fire red-hot this is moved, to create a clean space to put the pizza (of hard consistence but not excessively) on the hot bricks of the fireplace; then the dough must be protected with a cover and all is finally covered with some ember. The pizza needs around 45 minytes to be cooked. With the same procedure also is cooked the "pizza screscita", but this one is realized with white flour mixed with cold water, some salt and a pinch of bicarbonate.

They are excellent to be tasted with every type of salami, ham or cheese, but older people remember us that for them ham or cheese were a ?luxury", therefore they only could combine pizza with erbe matte ("crazy grasses"), that were generally picked up by the women, while they were developing other jobs in the countryside.

Those more known in our zone are common chicory, wild fennels, borragine, and then "crespinie", "ramoracci", "'ngrassacavagli", "uliosa", "caccia lepri" and others simply denominate in so eccentric way because of their form, their colour and their aspect. All these vegetables are boiled and overhauls in frying pan with garlic and oil. Another exceptional contour is the pumpkin cooked in the oven, cut in strips, floured and seasoned with oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Enogastronomia A product of which we have the exclusive one is the "ciammella serronese", particular for its taste neither sweet neither salty, often combined with every type of jam, but also with honey, with ham, with cheeses, with chocolate and with creams of wine Cesanese directly realized by the wine and not from the grape. Once, as testified by elderly people, it was simply composed with water, flour, yeast, anise, some eggs (but not necessarily), a small handful of sugar and some salt.

All is mixed and left raising, then some pieces of dough are taken and ordered to form a bun so that everyone seems a small crown. They are cooked in warm water, that doesn't have to boil, contained inside the "cottore" (copper saucepan) often put in the fireplace. Then they must be dried and they are baked for about forty minutes in warm oven. This ancient recipe has jealously been guarded and handed down by mother to daughter so much that today it still represents one of the few typical products of Serrone.

During the years this recipe has slightly been revisited, adding something more, however the original remains the best.

The elderly people of the country, tell that since that time the farmers held a bun inserted to the wrist like a bracelet and they nibbled it during the job in the fields.

The "ciammella" was also a symbol of economic prestige, in fact, it was brought as gift by the man, when he went to "pete" (to ask) the hand of his future wife. Today the fragrant smell of the bun Serronese is essentially warned during the festivities. Among the second dishes we find pork, beef, but above all lamb and then chicken with peppers or roasted with potatoes, or the dried cod cooked with tomatoes or grilled.

All recipes, except that of the bun, that you surely can taste also in other countries, but that thanks to the local variations become exclusive and original dishes.

Enogastronomia During whole year among the sweets it is possible to taste little buns made with wine to which the sweets of the parties are added periodically.

Among the more appreciated, there are the "Maritozzigli" composed by dry fruit mixed with honey, cooked must, flour, melting chocolate, candied and nutmeg, even if other variations can be added as pepper or some cup of coffee according to the personal tastes. In St. Joseph day recurrent are the frittelle with dry grape covered with sugar and fried in the oil. Frappe and "struffi" fried in oil and powdered with sugar are generally prepared during the period of Carnival.

In the period of Easter no one can resist to the smell of the "ciammellitti scucchiati" little buns prepared with eggs, sugar and flour, and also of the pizza cresciuta, very raised sweet pizzas, prepared with eggs, liqueur, sugar, flour, some anise and grated lemon.

You can also taste the "frittegli" made with the cauliflowers, with the borragine, with anchovies and mozzarella, with flowers of pumpkin, with apples and with dried cod.

Obviously the taste of all these dishes is magnificently exalted by the presence of an ingredient as the olive oil that is essential for the good result of every dish. This for Serrone represents a resource of primary importance. Our is essentially an oil of "rosciola", (type of olive more cultivated in Serrone) of excellent quality, with veiled clear colour slightly with gilded and greenish reflexes, from the definite taste and with very pleasant odour.

Nearby to a dish rich in ingredients can not miss a good glass of wine Cesanese, ideal to exalt the taste of every recipe from the simplest to the most elaborate. It deals with an exceptional wine with red ruby colour, with full-bodied and intense taste and with sustained gradation; it is well combined with red meats and with other important specialties.

The Passerina instead creates a perfect duo with the delicate first dishes, with dishes of fish and white meat base as this is a white wine with more delicate characteristics. Both are wines realized by grapes of good quality, cultivated according to ancient tradition, so to get first-quality products, esteemed in the whole territory and not only.

Through this brief summary on the local gastronomy of Serrone, we wanted to hand down and to guard what represents a precious treasure for us, that is the tied up modern tradition to the tastes of the past, with the intent to maintain well settled the bond with our roots.



 
Realizzato da:
Rocci Luca
Si ringraziano per la collaborazione: Nigro Carmen, Rocci Luca e Sperati Nicoletta.
© Michele Sperati. All Rights Reserved