Visiting Umbria is a really memorable experience! Places rich in history, art, beautiful landscapes, and traditions, such as cooking. Dishes are mainly based on meat and land products, but every small town has its own specialty.
Start your journey to try all these irresistible flavors!
BruschetteNothing more simple and tasty! Served as an appetizer, they’re made by toasting slices of bread, rubbed with crushed garlic, and seasoned with oil and a pinch of salt. Oil is the main secret, actually all around the Umbria hills and particularly in the area of Assisi, Trevi, Campello, and Spoleto, they produce olive oil of the highest quality.
No doubt the best-known product not only in Italy but in the world. There are really many different types of cold cuts, and the biggest production center is Norcia, in the province of Perugia. Do not miss lombetto, Umbria mortadella, Norcia ham, sausages, and the typical sack-shaped salami, Cojoni de Mulo (Mule’s balls) – I know it’s a particular name, but don’t let it put you off.
It is the most common type of pasta in the region and depending on the area, it’s also called strozzapreti or umbricelli. It is a homemade pasta similar to tagliatelle, but it doesn’t contain eggs, and it is shorter in dimensions. It is served with sauces of meat, fish, and vegetables. I suggest you try the Trasimeno strangozzi, with perch fish sauce.
Torta al Testo
In the past, it was prepared as an alternative to non-leavened bread. It is a type of focaccia with water, flour, baking soda, and salt and is given a flat and round shape. It is cooked on a cast-iron surface, said testo, after which it is named. Get it stuffed with ham, cooked sausage, boiled vegetables, salami, stracchino cheese, and rocket salad. Be careful not to call it piadina!!!
Palomba alla ghiotta or alla Todina
During the winter months, there is no house or restaurant where this dish is not served! It is a historical, rich dish prepared with Palomba meat, red wine, black olives, and spices.
Although Umbria does not overlook the sea, you can eat so much fish…from the lake! The Umbria trout is stuffed with a mix of garlic, crushed oil, and salt, then cooked in a medium heat pan.
Castelluccio di Norcia lentil soup
Small, tasty, and fragile skin, the Castelluccio di Norcia lentil grows in the heart of the National Park of the Sibillini Mountains.
It’s used to prepare many dishes, the most famous of which is the lentil soup, with the final addition of extra virgin olive oil and toasted bread.
For several weeks between May and July every year, thousands of flowers blossom in the fields cultivated with lentils, giving a natural show of unique and exciting colors, which I absolutely recommend!
Norcia Black Truffle
Truffle is present in many Umbria recipes, and the most appreciated is Norcia’s black truffle, which is mainly collected from December to March. Each year, between the last weekend of February and March, there is the Truffle Festival in Norcia.
It’s a typical dessert of Perugia, in a classic doughnut shape. It was born as a peasant’s dessert, prepared with simple ingredients that are easy to find. Actually, the base mixture was prepared with bread dough.
Perugina is a historical Italian brand of confectionery products that was born in Perugia.
Among the great products, the most famous one is Bacio Perugina, a dark chocolate shell with a soft gianduja filling and crispy hazelnut pieces.
Inside there is also a message with a poetic phrase, translated into several languages. The perfect gift for a sweet Valentine’s Day!
To enjoy your stay in Umbria and experience this territory’s local habits and traditions, I suggest these three villas, equipped with every comfort.