FOOD AND WINE
Marche is a plural region, not only in landscapes, dialects, cities, but also in the kitchen. Marigian food and wine is a small confederation of local cuisines, making this land unique. Here is just a short list of some of the typical products
Stoccafisso all’anconetana: : a true classical . The original recipe is that the stockfish is cleaned and cut into pieces, then placed in a baking tray with tall board . Adds odors (celery, carrot, onion and rosemary) and salt. Continue adding oil, water, wine and cherry tomatoes to cover the stockfish. It boils for half an hour, then add the chopped potatoes until they cover all the fish pieces. Let it bake for an hour, then take off from the fire.
Moscioli all’anconetana: the moscioli are the wild mussels caught on the cliffs of the Conero, in particular in Portonovo in the stretch of sea between Pietralacroce and Sassi Neri di Sirolo. The mussels of Ancona have become a Slow Food presidium. They are present in many recipes, but the most typical way to cook is the following: after brushing and washing, they open, clean and settle in an iron frying pan. They spraying with lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley. Add a lot of salt , pepper and oil. They cook on fire for no more than five minutes; Then place them in a serving dish seasoned with the sauce.
Brodetto marchigiano: it is a fish soup, of which there are variations across the Adriatic coast. Originally it was a poor dish prepared by fishermen with unsold or less precious fish. In the Marches, the oldest variant is certainly the Ancona one. It contains 13 different types of fish, all form Adriatic: cuttlefish, squid, mussels, clams, prawns, toad, pike, palombo, sole, stem, canoes, sea snails, breed.
Vincisgrassi: is an old lasagna marchigiana, a rich dish first described as the princisgras by the chef Antonio Nebbia , Maceratese chef of 1779. This recipe differs much from that used by the farmer families. Basically the vincisgrassi are a lasagna seasoned with ragù and besciamella. In the sauce, chicken, liver, marrow and braid were added. According to the oldest recipe, the leaf was also prepared with buckwheat.
Maccheroncini di Campofilone: egg-thin pasta, produced exclusively in the small commune of the province of Fermo. Also called the angel’s hair, the first news of macaroni dates back to the fifteenth century, but the first certain documents that refer to it date back to the Council of Trent (1560), where they are defined as “so thin to melt in their mouths(così sottile da sciogliersi in bocca)”. Also beloved by the great poet Giacomo Leopardi, they are produced exclusively with fresh eggs and flour. The sheet is cut into thin “square” wires, with a thickness around the millimeter.
Ciauscolo: Typical product of the rural tradition of the Piceno, is a spreadable salami. Its name is most likely derived from the Latin “ciabusculum”, , that is small meal snack. The pork dough includes bacon, shoulder and trimming of lamb ham. After the mixture was finely minced, add salt and spice (black pepper and ground garlic). The dough is packed in the gut.
Olive all’ascolana: stuffed and fried green olives are a typical dish of the province of Ascoli Piceno, born in the early nineteenth century. We hit the olives with stone, then the filling of meat is inserted; Then we put them on the flour, In the beaten egg and, in the middle of the breadcrumbs. Finally they are fried. For this dish, they use olives of the Ascolana Tenera, also known as ” Liva da Concia “, very appreciated since Antiquity (the Romans called it Colymbades). The Concia Olive is harvested when it is still green, then it is immersed in a potassium solution to eliminate the bitter taste, after which it is washed with water , salt and brine.
Vino cotto: It is a picena origin wine. The writer Plauto praised the goodness in 191 B. C. The wine is obtained from baking hot live grape must In boilers of branches. The cooking lasts until the must has been reduced by about a third, then the wine is left to age in wooden barrels. The cooked wine is very sweet and aromatic, perfect for eating with dried desserts.
Bostrengo: Typical christmas cake, featured with various names in all Marche. It is prepared with dried figs, candied, walnuts, almonds, spices and wine. There is not a unique recipe: each one makes it as he/she likes.
Mela rosa: : It is a variety of very old apple grown on the Sibillini. It has an irregular and crushed shape; The colors vary from green to red, depending on the local variations and the degree of ripening. The pink apple is very sweet, crispy and resistant to cold: it is collected in early October and consumed until April. It is kept in the open air.
Rosso piceno: DOC and DOCG (Designation of origin Controlled and guaranteed)red wine, produced in the Marches. Its origins are lost in the darkness of the times: Piceni produced a red wine well appreciated by the Romans. The production area includes the provinces of Ancona, Macerata, Fermo and Ascoli. It is mainly produced with Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes.
Rosso Conero: : red wine DOC and DOCG, which is born exclusively from the grapes on the Conero. It is mainly made with Moltepulciano grapes and a small part of Sangiovese.
Verdicchio: it is a white wine, produced almost exclusively in the province of Ancona and Macerata. The two main production areas are the castles of Jesi and Matelica. Verdicchio is an autochthonous vine of ancient origins. Famous throughout the world, its name is often associated with the characteristic bottle of amphora, designed by architect Antonio Maiocchi in 1953.
Flora and Fauna
Recent studies show 1102 plant species present. The most common ones belong to the Mediterranean scrub and are: odorous broom(ginestra odorosa), laburnum with sessile leaves (another broom), lentiscus, bush, red juniper, holm oak.
On the cliffs and steep slopes grow up tagliamani, Arundo plinii , wallflowers, buckthorn and wild cabbage. In the more rocky areas there are: arborescence euphorbia, Juniper cuddly (very rare), euphorbia adriatica and terebinth. In the area, Jupiter’s beard was reintroduced, once deemed extinct.
In the countryside the most common plants are: roverella, country elm, black poplar, acacia and bramble, white willow, black poplars and oaks, stracciabraghe and evergreen roses, hornbeam. Another ancient presence in the park is the leccio.
Portonovo brackish lakes, unique throughout the region, present two endangered species: sedge and the grespino maritime. Other species are: Potamogeton pectinatus, Common Reed canebrake, sea rush and prickly.
At the Musone of particular interest are pond water-crowfoot, Mentha arvensis, Cyperaceae and Threebract Loosestrife, duckweed, Common Reed and fool’s-water-cress.
Even the dunes of the beaches of Marcelli present an interesting variety of tree species, including sea knotgrass, night flowering catchfly, Silybum marianum, yellow horned poppy, Timothy-grass, Sea Spurge.
The protected area is inhabited by numerous species of animals and in particular of birds that represent the most important part of the Conero fauna: over the last decade more than 200 species have been identified among stationary, wintering and migrating. The establishment of the Park has allowed the conservation of the Peregrine Falcon population, also thanks to the increase in other species of birds that are part of its diet.
In addition, the presence Pallid Swift colonies and Alpine Swift, especially on the Conero, species which reach the northernmost nesting point along the Adriatic coast. The headland of the Conero is an important point of reference for the migratory bird route (hawks, eagles, storks, etc.).
In the ponds of Portonovo there is a small, extremely rare freshwater crustacean.
Among the mammals there are: greifingi, the fox, the hedgehog, Stone Marten, the weasel and the skunk; Then small rodents like the dormouse. To these are added the porcupine, the roe deer, and the squirrel, arrived for spontaneous expansion of their area. Incredibly, the presence of the wolf was discovered, come maybe from Cingoli and attracted by the presence of the wild boar, introduced abusively in the late 1990s.
Among the reptiles we find: European green lizard, Common Wall Lizard, Italian wall lizard, Italian Three-toed Skink and Slow worm, the rat snake, grass snake and Aesculapian snake
Among the amphibians: Yellow-bellied toad, Crested newt, the Italian newt, the toad. In the brackish lakes of Portonovo there is the agile frog and the edible frog.
There are many species of butterflies, including the Two-tailed Pasha.
Among the birds birds is the presence of the Tawny owl, Little owl, the barn owl, the Long-eared owl, the Peregrine falcon, the cuckoo, the nightingale, the Hoopoe, the Blue rock thrush, the Rock martin Bird and the Pallid swift. The Conero Park is an interesting site for birdwatching, reported by LIPU.
In the ponds of Portonovo, you notice the Common moorhen, the eurasian coot, the kingfisher bird and the Cetti’s warbler.