Flavors of Abruzzo

Spaghetti alla chitarra with pork ragu and chestnuts.

Flavors of Abruzzo

A plate of Abruzzo style arrosticini. Courtesy of giallozafferano.it.

Abruzzo style arrosticini. Courtesy of giallozafferano.it.

A gastronomical paradise, Abruzzo is a region distinguished by hearty, rustic and bountiful fare. From it’s world renowned olive oil to its artisanal cheeses and its signature handmade spaghetti alla chitarra to its fire roasted game, Abruzzo exemplifies the type of homestyle goodness that only the countryside can produce. Here is a sampling of some of Abruzzo’s richest classics:

Spaghetti (or maccheroncini) alla Chitarra – Fresh egg pasta cut into a tubular spaghetti shape using a rustic tool that resembles the strings of a guitar. The spaghetti are shorter than the store bought variety and are more delicate in texture and flavor. The pasta is usually made fresh and served with a meat ragu made of beef, lamb or pork from the region.

Cannarozzetti – A unique dish found in the Navelli area located outside of L’Aquila, it names saffron as one of its key ingredients. The short pasta is cooked al dente and then sauteed with guanciale (pig cheek), fresh ricotta cheese, pepper and saffron, resulting in an explosion of vibrantly rich flavors.

Arrosticini – Individually roasted lamb or sheep skewers. The arrosticini are succulent and slowly grilled to bring out the deep flavors of the meat. They are typically served in beautiful ceramic containers indicative of the region.

Pan Ducale, Abruzzo's signature dessert bread.

A box of Pan Ducale. Courtesy of panducale.it.

Pan Ducale – With a recipe that dates back to 1352, Pan Ducale (or Royal Bread) is a decadent sweet bread original to the Abruzzo region. Originally called “the almond pizza”, the bread became famous when the Duke of Acquaviva arrived in the region and upon tasting the dessert, demanded that it be served at his table every day. The bread is predominantly made using flour, eggs and almonds, with the later addition of chocolate to the recipe in the 19th century. Today the dessert bread can be found throughout Abruzzo in local pastry shops and bakeries.

About the author

Dejou Marano is Co-Founder of CountryBred and Founding Editor of The Bred Blog. Splitting her time between Los Angeles and Europe, Dejou seeks to bring the imagination and wonder of Europe to all travelers through her never-ending pursuit of undiscovered cultural gems and experiences, which she shares through her travel writing.

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