We’re on a journey to discover a fascinating, haunting territory, where nature has been generous, although sever sometimes. Le Marche is filled with different natural environments, starting from the green valleys of the Apennines, sloping gently downwards, to the sandy beaches of the Adriatic sea. Here peasants have worked hard over the centuries to soften – without transforming – a land that has always been welcoming and heterogeneous.
Today the ancient wisdom and knowledge about the fruits of the region’s land and waters are still alive. From this knowledge a great food and wine tradition comes, made up of a remarkable variety of ingredients and inimitable delicacies.
We’d like to honor the “wonderful folk of the scattered houses” by listing below some of the most appreciated products, typical of region Marche.
The towns and Hamlets of wine and vin’cotto
The hills of region Marche, provide an ideal environment for vineyards, that have flourished here for centuries. The excellent exposure of these mostly sandy soils, combines with a proud tradition of grape cultivation and winemaking, that include meticulous pruning and care of the soil. This happy combination results in brilliant red wines and delicately perfumed white wines, that are appreciated all over the world, as the red wine Vernaccia di Serrapetrona or the white wine Colli Maceratesi, as well as vin’cotto.
The Olive Route
Knotted, twisting trees stud the rolling, fertile hills. This is the romantic olive route where, between the end of October and the beginning of November, the air is filled with the rich aromas of freshly crushed olives. The production of olive oil still respects one of the most honored agronomic traditions of the Province of Macerata; the proof is the flavour of many different kinds of olive oil, that you can taste directly in the numerous mills spread all over the territory.
The Route of Cheese and Salami
Expert hands transform meat and dairy products into rustic and delicious dishes to be savored fresh or preserved, according to the methods of an age-old agricultural and pastoral tradition. These are essentially simple foods, but inextricably bound to a complex system, that seals the ancestral bond among animals, human beings and land. Worth tasting the Ciauscolo salami from Visso and the Pecorino cheese.
With their short, white hair, Marchigiani cows are the region’s most popular breed. Marchigiani cows are appreciated not only for the quality of the meat, but also for their proverbial ability to withstand hard work in the fields. As a matter of facts, it is thanks to the strength of these cows, that over the centuries, farmers have succeeded in shaping the Marche countryside as we know it. The Province of Macerata boasts a flourishing tradition of sheep, pig and fowl husbandry, as well.
For centuries, fishermen have plied the waters off Civitanova Marche. Visiting the southern end of the port at dawn, you’ll see fishermen unloading the catches of the night, that they’ll sell at the fish market, where restaurant and local stores make their daily supply. If you prefer freshwater fish, there are fish farms along rivers Nera and Potenza, where the main fishes are trouts and shrimps.
Fruits and Vegetables, Cereals and Legumes
As seasons change, a plethora of aromas and colours spread all around the fields and orchards: corn, lentils from Colfiorito and Castelluccio, artichokes from Montelupone, fennels from San Claudio, fava beans from Potenza Picena, Sibillini apples, berries and all the best fruits of such a prosperous land. Works of art that local farmers are always eager to show off to visitors.
The Sweet Route: Honey, Jam and Jelly
These itineraries lead to surprising discoveries about the patient art of making preserves, the pride and joy of a people famously inventive and creative. You’ll learn methods and techniques rich in historical and cultural meaning, that have been proudly handed down through the centuries to current days. Honey, jam, jelly, syrup, grilled vegetables then preserved in olive oil: each jar, each can, holds the aroma of age-old wisdom.
The Freshly Baked Route: Bread and Pastry
Imagine those hardworking housewives, busily kneading dough. Imagine a revival of the good old days, when country kitchens were filled with the yummy aroma of fresh baked bread, or the tempting sweet, good smell of pastries. It’s like going back to a past, made of good, simple things, disappeared in the chaos of big cities, but still alive in the small towns of the province of Macerata.
Now that you have the guideline to face your trip in the province of Macerata, we wish you to enjoy your trip around, discovering all the best tastes of this amazing region.