Umbria: November in the month of Taste
Umbria, known as the “green heart of Italy,” is a region that enchants visitors with its natural beauty, its rich cultural heritage and, of course, its very long and delicious food and wine tradition. November is the month of taste dedicated to Umbrian excellences such as truffles, oil, wine, chestnuts…
The truffle: a delicious, well-kept secret
This precious underground mushroom is a true treasure of Umbria and a fundamental element of its traditional cuisine. Not everyone knows that the Green Heart of Italy is one of the best places in the world to find it. Here, among the lush woods and rolling hills, delicious varieties of black and white truffles grow.
The prized black truffle (Tuber Melanosporum Vittadini) is found above all in Norcia or Spoleto. Ripening takes place from November to the first days of March. Its area of diffusion goes from the Nera, Corno and Sordo rivers, the Spoleto mountains, the Martani Mountains, the Trevi Mountains and the Subasio.
The Umbrian black truffle is known for its intense and earthy flavor. It is often used in pasta dishes, such as truffle tagliatelle, or grated over eggs or risotto for a luxurious touch. Its flavor goes perfectly with mature cheeses and red meat, creating a symphony of flavours.
The white truffle (Tuber Magnatum Pico), rarer and more valuable. The production area goes from the Upper Tiber Valley, to the Eugubino Gualdese up to Orvieto. It ripens from October to December (except for some very cold areas, it can go until January). It loves poplar, willow, harrier but also oak, turkey oak and hornbeam.
It prefers wooded areas, near rivers and the innermost slopes of the hills.
Each of these has its distinctive characteristics and its favorite culinary pairings.
The white truffle with its delicate and fragrant aroma is considered a true culinary jewel. It pairs beautifully with simple dishes such as risotto, fresh pasta or meat carpaccio. However, its true beauty is revealed in dishes that allow its flavor to shine, like a fried egg with grated white truffle.
The flavors of Umbria: perfect pairings with wine such as a Montefalco Rosso DOC or a Grechetto with a passage in wood.
Discovering the green gold of Umbria: extra virgin olive oil
Umbria is not only famous for its picturesque landscapes and charming medieval towns, but also for a culinary treasure that is essential in Italian cuisine: extra virgin olive oil.
Thanks to its fertile soils, the favorable climate for very slow maturation and the dedication of its farmers, Umbria is renowned for the production of high quality extra virgin olive oil, with its rich and fruity flavour, with notes of herbs aromatic and a light spicy hint and an extremely low acidity level. This golden elixir is extracted from freshly harvested olives, cold pressed to preserve all its beneficial properties and authentic taste.
The main olive varieties are:
Moraiolo, in the geographical mention of the Assisi Hills – Spoleto.
Oil mill, prevalent in the Martani Hills, the Amerini Hills, and the Trasimeno Hills.
Leccino, present in the Orvieto Hills.
San Felice, present in the Colli Martani sub-area.
Agogia (or Agocia), typical of Lake Trasimeno.
Pendolino, pollinating agent of Moraiolo and Frantonio
Nothing pays homage to extra virgin olive oil like a simple Umbrian bruschetta. Toast some crusty bread and rub a clove of garlic on it. Add diced tomatoes, fresh basil, salt and, of course, a generous drizzle of Umbrian extra virgin olive oil. It is a pleasure for the palate that enhances the flavor of crunchy bread and ripe tomatoes.
The Umbrian nectar: wine and its harmonious gastronomic symphonies
Umbria is an extraordinary wine region, known for its wines full of character and personality. From Montefalco, Torgiano l’Orvietano, the Asisi area etc, the Umbrian vineyards produce full-bodied red wines such as Sagrantino di Montefalco, elegant white wines such as Grechetto and Trebbiano Spoletino and refined sparkling wines such as Metodo Classico and Muffati wines, a golden nectar excellent with cheese pairings.
These wines are the result of the passion of local winemakers and the native grape varieties, carefully cultivated in the sunny hills of Umbria.
The perfect matches:
Sagrantino di Montefalco with roast meats, Grechetto with fish dishes, Umbrian sparkling wine paired with appetizers and Vin Santo with traditional desserts such as Panpepato or Torcetti.
Flavor of autumn through chestnuts
November autumn in Umbria is synonymous with chestnuts, a versatile fruit that is used in multiple ways in local cuisine. From traditional roasted chestnuts to rustic soups, from sweet cakes to velvety creams, chestnuts are an essential element of the Umbrian gastronomic heritage. The chestnut harvest involves local communities, creating an atmosphere of warmth and sharing that permeates the entire region.
The perfect matches:
Steaming chestnut and Porcini mushroom soups, a delicious chestnut risotto and Umbrian Pecorino or chestnut desserts with Passito wine.
Umbria is a dream destination for food and wine lovers, with its delicious cuisine, its enchanting landscapes and its unique culinary heritage, this region will give you an unforgettable experience. Have a good trip and bon appetit!